BLUFHaving described Vladimir Putin as ‘my closest foreign colleague and my best confidant’, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has taken admiring note of Putin and his tactics. So will Putin’s invasion of Ukraine inspire Xi to make his own moves?
This article by Evan Osnos, writing for The New Yorker, makes the following points:
- Vladimir Putin may not have embarked on the invasion of Ukraine at this time, if he didn’t know he had Chinese support.
- Beyond his support for Putin, however, Xi has also seen the perils in some of Putin’s foreign-policy adventures.
- Russia and China are not natural geopolitical partners and China’s mistrust of Russia runs deep.
- Xi has become increasingly brazen about pursuing China’s territorial ambitions.
- Chinese leaders will be watching the invasion of Ukraine as a test case for their own long-held ambition to conquer Taiwan.
- The most immediate risk is that China will see Putin’s venture as a step toward normalizing more aggressive tactics.
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