25 March 2023

Will China ally with Russia against Ukraine?

After the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Russia, people around the world have been pondering what the consequences will be. One manifestation of this is when US President Joe Biden stated during his visit to Canada that China has not yet delivered weapons to Russia. 

It remains to be seen whether this will happen at a later stage. However, it is most likely that Xi's administration will not take such a risk. Instead, it seeks to benefit from Russia by exporting Chinese products there to replace Western counterparts and importing underpriced Russian raw materials to China as their export to Western countries has collapsed.

I base my view on the fact that China would not gain much advantage by supporting the soon-to-be ousted dictator Vladimir Putin and exacerbating its strained relations with the West over the Taiwan issue. On the contrary, such an action could prove to be very costly for China. Moreover, the current Chinese leadership is not accustomed to taking significant risks in any matter, as demonstrated by its excessive caution in lifting coronavirus restrictions.

However, this does not mean that China could not act differently from what I imagine, as the failed coronavirus policy has shown that Xi's administration has made mistakes before. Therefore, Western countries should be prepared also for that possibility.

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
China is betting on scientific excellence
The main consequence of Putin´s attack to Ukraine
Could China take advantage on the weakness of Putin´s Russia?

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