China’s benefit from the Russian-Ukrainian war

In my personal opinion, if Russia continues to control Ukrainian cities and causes a long-term conflict on the side of Eastern Europe, perhaps (China will gain more geopolitical benefits), including doubling the focus of the United States of America with Russia and giving Beijing more breathing space, and here the harsh sanctions will make  imposed by the West, Russia is more economically dependent on China.

 Just as Taiwan’s location in the heart of the “first island chain” in the western Pacific, and considering it as a barrier for Japan, which is Washington’s main ally in the region, is a Chinese threat, so American credibility is at risk in Asia about Taiwan more than it is in Europe regarding Ukraine.

 We will find, in general, that China’s ultimate goal is to (recover Taiwan), and when the appropriate opportunity comes for China, in my personal opinion, China will then (will seek to possess the necessary military capabilities and economic flexibility necessary to deal with the course of events internationally), but most importantly, that  China will probably need to (adopt more flexible tactics so that it can give itself enough room to maneuver and demand an extension of the time needed to negotiate), even if its primary goals are out of reach.

  And the former Taiwanese Defense Minister, “Andrew Yang”, analyzes this Taiwanese situation compared to Ukraine, that China will intensify its media and propaganda campaigns and expand the use of (cyber-electronic attacks, designed to sow doubts about American commitments and strengthen the narrative of the inevitability of Chinese hegemony). Here, there is a link with Ukraine, where China is watching closely how Russia implements hybrid warfare in the Ukrainian interior, and is learning lessons for its use against Taiwan in the future.

 The most important Chinese gains from the Ukraine crisis are (the continuation and increase of joint Sino-Russian pressure, and provoking new crises in several places in the world to disperse the American and Western power of NATO, in order to put pressure on the United States and its partners in other files, such as: (negotiating for the Iranian nuclear file or a North Korea missile crisis or the heavy Chinese presence in the depths of the African continent, Pakistan and others).

 Perhaps China may be able to exploit the Ukrainian crisis in order to (break the policy of American alliances in the “Indo-Pacific” region, and thus negatively erode US sovereignty in the areas of Chinese and Russian influence), and here the invasion of Ukraine may be just a stage to restore full Russian influence on its lands and areas of direct influence of the territorial control, and the next stage may include the control of Taiwan.

  The truth is that the war between Russia and Ukraine within Ukraine itself is not over yet, and whatever the outcome of the Ukrainian crisis, China has already learned important lessons, and they may be applicable to any actual crisis regarding Taiwan, then (we can see the same tactical scenario that took place  Russia applied it in Ukraine on the other Asian shore in Taiwan by China in defense of its sovereignty in the face of the policies of NATO and the United States of America).

 Also, the American pressure paper by imposing and using threats of economic and financial sanctions imposed on Russia, which was actually announced by the United States of America and its allies in NATO and the West, may (give China in the future a practical lesson, regarding the development of a mechanism and a future vision to assess and study all economic risks in the event of an outbreak of a war on Taiwan), President “Putin” has previously tried to protect Russia from such sanctions by (isolating the dollar from Russian trade, hoarding hard currency, and diversifying markets for Russian energy exports).

  There is a view in Chinese think tanks about the extent of the Russian readiness to protect its economy, especially (the extent to which the Russian side secured the basic sources of technology before the start of the Ukraine war), and this is the basis for winning any war with the Chinese, as well as (China’s employment of cyber and technological sources of power externally as one of the  China’s foreign policy objectives), and we will note here the extent to which the Chinese monitor the movements of Russian President “Putin” using cyber-technological power in Ukraine and the extent to which he is able to do so, and even how the West and the United States of America responding to them.

 The Ukrainian crisis made Chinese President “Xi Jinping” and the leaders of the Political Bureau of the ruling Communist Party more determined to proceed with (increasing China’s internal dependence on domestic growth and technological self-sufficiency), although such a path would greatly harm the economic efficiency in the future is not to diversify from outside technology sources.

  Chinese think tanks believe that: (the only tactical mistake of Russian President “Putin”), which future Chinese leaders should avoid is Putin’s request regarding (obtaining a written guarantee from the United States of America and NATO on security in Russia’s immediate vicinity). This is a very inflexible request.  And based on Putin’s failure to achieve his purpose, he was forced to start a war that might not fully serve Russia’s strategic purpose, which is to restore Russia’s sphere of influence without launching a conflict.

   Hence, the Egyptian researcher concludes that there is a misconception by American officials regarding their correct vision in differentiating between Sino-Russian military relations and China’s broader foreign policy tracks toward Russia in the first place. China and Russia are not military allies unlike the alliance of the joint NATO countries, meaning:

  “When one side – whether Chinese or Russian – is at war, the other party does not have any treaty or legal obligation to assist in the event of war, in contrast to the military alliances between the United States of America and the states of the NATO”

  Hence, we find that China is not obligated to support Russia, as is the case between Washington and NATO countries. China has some autonomy over the Russian military confrontations against Ukraine, as is the case in the Chinese side’s reluctance to publicly support Russia’s position during the “Crimean War crisis” in 2014.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit