China’s calculations in Russia’s war against Ukraine


Chinese policies aim to coordinate with their Russian counterpart and President “Putin” and send a message to the United States of America, the West and NATO regarding (their mutual desire to continue preserving the surrounding regional environment and ignite the nationalist sentiments of their citizens in the face of the American and Western policies of NATO hegemony in their areas of direct sovereignty).

 It will become clear how keen China and Russia are to intensify their cooperation together in order to preserve their national identity. At a time when Russian President Putin has directed his intolerance of violating Ukrainian sovereignty in Russia’s immediate regional neighborhood, the ruling Communist Party in China will also not accept the secession of Taiwan, which it considers the CPC is part of China’s sovereign territory, or as the Chinese call it “reunification” as one of the main objectives of Chinese foreign policy.

 Beijing refused to agree to the sanctions imposed on Russia, in the lengthy meeting held in the Italian capital, “Rome” on March 17, 2022, which took place between the US National Security Adviser, “Jake Sullivan”, and the senior Chinese foreign policy official, “Yang Jiechi”. Here is the Chinese viewpoint, that (weakening Russia as a close ally of it will undermine and limit Chinese moves towards the Taiwan side in the future).

 The most important Chinese calculations emerge from Russia’s war against Ukraine, through (the Chinese expectation that President “Putin” will use the influence of Russia and China together in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk in northern Japan), through the presence of nuclear-armed submarines for Russia, which are those submarines (designed to attack the United States). And this explains, according to my analysis of the scene, the extent of the joint Sino-Russian determination to (conduct joint naval maneuvers and display their military power and increasingly joint exercises in the Sea of ​​Japan), which I considered as a “joint Sino-Russian deterrent message to Japan for not joining the ranks and the front”. The United States of America and NATO forces militarily.

 We find here leaks of several intelligence reports that confirmed that: “China was prior knowledge of the Russian military operation against Ukraine, so Beijing asked senior Russian officials to wait until the end of the Beijing Olympics before starting the attacks”, while the Chinese embassy in Washington denied the validity of these intelligence reports, stressing that:

 “The allegations made in those intelligence reports were just baseless speculation, and mainly aimed at shifting blame and discrediting China”

 China affirms the principle of refusing to interfere in the internal affairs of countries, stressing that Ukraine is part of Russia’s spheres of influence and direct sovereignty over its lands and direct borders. We will find here an analysis of the assertions of “Liu Xiaoming”, a prominent Chinese diplomat, that: “China has “never invaded other countries or participated in proxy wars”, but at the same time China is committed to the path of peace.

The Chinese fear remains that Russia’s war against Ukraine may extend to Europe and harm China’s economic interests with it. Chinese officials rejected US President Joe Biden’s statements that: “he does not accept any red lines on Ukraine”. Here, China was interested in analyzing the position of the former US intelligence officer “John Colfer”, analyzing that:

“Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, or the invasion and seizure of Kyiv, violates China’s position that sovereignty is sacred”

 We will note, however, the extent of China’s insistence on being neutral in the Ukrainian crisis, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin refusing to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, or even referring to what is happening there as an invasion with the official Chinese assertion that “it still recognizes Ukraine as a legitimate country”, but China has not yet officially commented on (whether Beijing will recognize the breakaway republics of eastern Ukraine “Donetsk and Luhansk” or not)?

  We will find that Beijing’s attempt to claim Taiwan by force has become closer in the near future, not because there is a direct link between “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Beijing’s threat to Taiwan”, but because the Russian war against Ukraine is (the worst indicator in the world of the real slow gradual trend of repartitioning  Global geopolitics starting with Russia and its ally China).

 In my daily follow-up to the official and public Chinese state media, I found the extent of China’s constant keenness to publish and broadcast periodic messages to the West and Washington, by publishing regular daily Chinese reports on the situation in Ukraine, but at the same time it refuses to describe the Russian military operations as a (Russian war or invasion against Ukraine, rather, considers it to be within Moscow’s internal affairs), in which the world has no right to interfere, as is the case with its position on Taiwan.

 We will note here that after the end of the (annual session of the National People’s Congress) from 5-11 March 2022, many questions were directed to “Li Keqiang”, the Chinese Premier, who is similar to the premiership, responses and comments came by  “Li Keqiang”, for a large number of questions asked by journalists, most of those questions revolved around the Chinese vision of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We find that the Chinese premier focused in his answer on the need to avoid escalation of tensions or the crisis getting out of control.  However, “Li Keqiang” expressed China’s official position in not criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, by emphasizing (China’s consistent rejection of the principle of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, which may harm the global economy as a whole).

 Analyzing the Chinese media, I was able to accurately note the commitment of all the official Chinese media to repeat the same Russian point of view in the responses and defenses of itself in the integrity of its stance against Ukraine, such as: “The Ukrainians set fire to their nuclear plant” or “Ukraine is allied with  NATO is against our interests”, and so on.

 The most prominent Chinese analyzes on the Ukrainian-Russian crisis came in Chinese press reports, including the Chinese “Global Times”, where accusations were made against the United States of America, that: “it profits from selling weapons and military supplies to Ukraine, so it is in its interest to fuel the conflict and spread lies”.

 China has formally accused the United States of deliberately (publishing many misleading information about the Ukraine crisis to discredit China globally).

 Bearing in mind that the Russian media in China have a strong presence in Beijing, and they have almost the same orientations as the Chinese media, such as: (banning most foreign news websites or imposing severe censorship on them). In addition to the continuous Chinese follow-up to the Russian media, for example, the number of Chinese followers of Russian news sites such as Sputnik has reached about 12 million followers on the famous Chinese “Weibo” site such as, YouTube, and the Chinese media always report many news and other sources, especially during its coverage of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

   From here we arrive at that, there are broad strategic gains for Beijing from the current war, the first of which is the hypothesis of the possibility of Moscow’s infection spreading to Beijing in its dealings with Taiwan, that is, launching a war to restore it, as well as China’s realization that it will be a target for NATO in the future, as is the case with Russia at the time  Currently, Beijing is also strengthening its relationship with Moscow through partnerships and alliances, as it realizes Moscow’s bet on it to reduce the effects of economic sanctions.

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


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