Russia-Ukraine war: China’s military support to Moscow could help Beijing too | EXPLAINED


Image source: AP/FILE Russia is looking to China for military assistance

Ukraine-Russia War: Geopolitical observers are closely analyzing every development related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that does not seem to be ending anytime soon.

Russia, whose strategy to take over Ukraine went wrong in weeks, is reportedly running out of weapons because a year into the war, it has not even captured 50% of Ukraine’s territory.

Now, attention has turned to China as some reports suggest Beijing is weighing the consequences if it provides military aid to fight Russia.

Beijing is considering sending arms, ammunition and drones to Russia, according to information announced by the Biden administration at the end of February 2023.

China’s military aid will directly support Russia’s war in Ukraine. The public disclosure, which came less than a month after the US Navy shot down a Chinese balloon that was allegedly being used for espionage purposes, further heightened existing tensions between the US and China. given

It also comes as Russia faces mounting costs in its war on Ukraine — both financially and in human lives. These setbacks have pushed Russia to seek help where the government can find it. Russia has sought arms and other military aid from allies such as North Korea and neighboring Belarus.

Russia has also turned to neutral countries like India and China to which it can sell its oil and gas and bring in more money. China has not publicly announced its decision to provide military aid to Russia.

An international relations scholar whose work focuses on the growing rivalry between the US and China has said he is confident Russia would welcome any offer of assistance from China.

China’s decision to join the Ukraine war will be carefully calculated, considering the potential long-term benefits, risks and impact on Western powers.

But I think China’s choice whether or not to support Russia comes down to two main considerations: how the Ukraine conflict will affect China’s overall development in world politics, and its interest in attacking Taiwan. How will it affect

China’s official stance is that massive military aid to a struggling military is not cheap. The US spent more than $75 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2022.

But despite the cost of the war, China is considering supplying military hardware to Russia for a few reasons.

Economically, China’s interests in Russia include money, energy and trade opportunities.

During the Cold War, the US successfully drove a wedge between the two countries. However, after the Cold War, Russia and China grew closer and economically intertwined.

Since Russia launched its first full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, China has appeared to maintain a “pro-Russian” neutrality.

That is, China is officially neutral and not contributing to the conflict, but its government officials are still echoing Russia’s war narrative and propaganda, while ignoring what Ukraine is telling the world. has been

China has criticized Western intervention in the war. It has also proposed a peace plan for the conflict — one that doesn’t actually call for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

So far, China has stopped sending military aid to Russia. Reversing course would be a significant departure from China’s previous policy of official neutrality.

A general anti-Russian success in Ukraine is consistent with China’s goals of reshaping global politics and power, and could support China’s own rise as an economic and military leader.

In February 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. They issued a joint document calling for the reshaping of world politics.

The lengthy statement detailed shared values ​​and a vision for a world without the United States as a dominant leader, and where China and Russia gain more control and influence.

The foreign ministers of China and Russia met on March 2, 2023, and the Chinese government issued a statement reiterating the point that the two countries had “a new approach to a new type of major-country relationship.” has maintained strong and stable growth, setting the paradigm.” Political scientists and human rights scholars do not consider Russia or China to be democratic or politically free.

But both countries have hailed their own traditions of democracy and said they stand in opposition to a world where America sees its version of democracy and human rights as the only option.

Taiwan factor

Another reason China wants Russia to succeed in Ukraine is that a Russian victory would give China more external support in any plans to overrun Taiwan or other territories.
Taiwan is an island off the coast of China that claims independence, but China says it is just a breakaway province that it wants to reclaim.

If Russia had won the Ukraine war as quickly as it had initially planned, it could have paved the way for China to attempt a similar attack on Taiwan. But there was no quick victory.

Yet a protracted Russia-Ukraine war could present a new type of opportunity for China in Taiwan by diverting US money, military resources and attention away from the island.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang argued on March 7, 2023 that since the US sells arms to Taiwan, it justifies China’s arms sales to Russia.

Some critics have noted that US aid to Ukraine makes it difficult for the US to justify defending Taiwan if China tries to overrun it.

While China’s invasion of Taiwan seems unlikely in the short term — and some experts say such a move would be disastrous for China — both the U.S. and China have vested interests in the fate of Taiwan and the surrounding region.

The US and China have recently taken steps to establish a greater military presence in the South China Sea region.
China has increased its show of military force around Taiwan.
The United States recently announced that it will deploy troops and military equipment to the Philippines, a strategic military base that is close to Taiwan.

Western pressure
Over the past few months, the Biden administration and other Western powers have warned China that it should not get involved in the Ukraine conflict.

In March 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz publicly warned China that there would be consequences if it joined. Given that China has not yet moved to officially support Russia, these efforts appear to have been successful.

However, research has shown that countries intervene in disputes when they think their interests may be affected and when they can make a difference. This may be a factor that pushes China to become more involved in Russia’s war.
(with PTI input)

Also Read – ‘War Turning Soon’: Russia Will Run Out Of Arms By Spring End, Ukraine’s Intel Chief Claims

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