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China is divided on Russia – let’s keep it that way

15 Sep 2022 - 16:51
Source: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing, Feb 4, 2022 ©Reuters

How will the war in Ukraine impact the geopolitical rivalry between the US and China? US officials see the war as part of a broader confrontation between democracies and autocracies and lump China and Russia together. Others are much less outspoken. Much has been made of the Xi-Putin statement on February 4th, giving rise to a new Axis-of-Evil narrative and concerns that China has chosen to side with Russia. But what is the Chinese narrative of Russia and the war? A review of Chinese statements shows a mixed picture. In this Alert, we examine Chinese statements made after the Russian invasion in Ukraine and assess what it tells us about possible Russian-Chinese cooperation.

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