Xi's mask slips as true relationship with Putin exposed despite effort to charm Europe


Share post:


Xi Jinping’s approach to dealing with Vladimir Putin since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back a year ago has been unpacked by Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr Gabuev believes Chinese diplomats are looking to “spin” the relationship between Beijing and Moscow so as to not isolate European leaders, while Xi looks to use China’s increasing power over a weakened Russia for the Chinese Government’s own ends.

Mr Gabuev wrote on Twitter: “After securing his third term, Xi does a course correction on foreign policy and tries to win back friends in Europe.

“This includes efforts to distance China from Russia (or at least tell the West that Beijing is doing so), because China’s leadership sees that China’s reluctance to criticize the Kremlin and join Western sanctions is viewed in Europe as tacit support for Putin’s brutal war effort.

“Several Chinese officials in private conversations with the Financial Times strove to put clear daylight between Beijing and Moscow on the issue of Ukraine — a message that has been repeated to some EU diplomats.”

Quoting the FT article he adds: “Putin is crazy,” says one Chinese official, who declined to be identified.

READ MORE: Hero medics tell of mission to rescue injured UK fighter in Ukraine

He continues “Chinese diplomats want to spin it the way they do in talking to EU audiences. The ‘Putin is crazy’ quote shouldn’t shock as it reflects a pretty widespread attitude towards Putin’s impulsiveness and emotionality among many Chinese officials including people working on Russia [..] at least since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.”
Mr Gabuev believes that Xi sees the relationship with Russia as only part of the problems fueling China’s tension with the West.

He explained: “China knows that its problems with the West are not rooted in Xi’s bromance with Putin, but in issues like Chinese-US rivalry, Taiwan, tech, etc.

“Even if Xi drops Putin under the bus, ties with the US will not structurally improve absent China’s fundamental change to US liking. However, the EU is somewhat different.

“Having survived a crash course in decoupling from Russia, major EU economies don’t want to go that road with China, at least for now.

“Amid fears of a recession in the eurozone, German, French, and Italian leaders rush to Beijing to secure market access, new deals, etc.”

He added: “This gives China a slight opening to drive a wedge between US and Europe, capitalizing on other disputes between them, and delaying the cementation of the anti-China tech coalition led by the US. thus buying Beijing the precious time of having access to European tech, money, and markets.
“In order to create additional reasons for EU leaders to go to China and strike deals there, Beijing is using the Russia/Ukraine card.

Mr Gabuev continued: “It wants to create an impression that with a little bit of accommodation of China by Europe, China is actually willing to do more to restrain Putin.”

China and Russia have had a long history of relations, with both countries being neighbors and sharing a long border.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, relations between the two countries have improved, resulting in a number of significant economic, military and political ties.

In January 2022, China abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Russia, and on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Xi Jinping knew of Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine and asked him to delay until the Beijing Olympics ended.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles

Selena Gomez, 30, says ‘I’m a little big’ as she hits back at Golden Globe outfit trolls

Selena, 30, hit back at online trolls who wrote nasty comments about her weight, despite oozing confidence...

Dancing On Ice’s Ekin-Su details ‘supportive’ gestures from partner Davide

“It's great, I’m happy I’m doing it, no regrets at all, see you later to the curse!”Ekin...

Kate wore stunning full length gown with a trendy twist – shows off her enviable legs

The royal turned heads in a silver chain with lots of geometric shapes attached to it, and...

Nick Kyrgios risks trouble with Aussie police after scooter ride before Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios could find himself in hot water ahead of the Australian Open after he was pictured riding an e-scooter...