‘Let’s not give China and Russia more reason to club together’
16 Sep 2022 - 15:23
Source: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing, Feb 4, 2022 ©Reuters

If Europe wants to prevent further Chinese support for Russia, it should downplay messaging that emphasizes an inevitable conflict between autocracies and democracies, with China and Russia being natural allies, Clingendael experts say.

They warn that painting the picture of an ‘Axis-of-evil’ formed by Russia and China, makes it more likely that the side of the Chinese elite that favours a hard confrontation with the US wins out. ‘Let’s not give China and Russia more reason to club together’, the experts state.

China will not be a mediator in Russia’s war with Ukraine, according to the researchers. But emphasizing that China has a responsibility for peace and non-intervention might make it harder for anti-Western voices in the country to prevail ‘This is particularly true now that European countries show their willingness and ability to hit Russia hard with financial sanctions – a fate that the Chinese government is most eager to avoid’, the experts say.

Read more on the Chinese narrative of Russia and the war in the latest Clingendael Alert.