China doubles down on propping Moscow up, WSJ reports

14 December 2022, 11:45 PM
Xi Jinping (Photo:Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS)

Xi Jinping (Photo:Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS)

Despite making an effort to somewhat distance himself publicly from Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is “doubling down” on his long-term support of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 14.

Citing political advisers in Beijing, WSJ writes that Jinping has recently instructed his government to further deepen economic ties with Russia. The plan reportedly involves increased imports of Russian hydrocarbons and agricultural produce, along with additional investment in Russia’s ports and railways. Beijing and Moscow also seek to limit their exposure to potential Western sanctions by conducting more financial transactions using yuan and ruble – as opposed to the U.S. dollar.

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“Russia and China have long sought to dull the U.S.’s influence in the world, a shared objective that has come into sharper focus in recent years as the two nations have grown confident they can reshape an international order that both view as biased in favor of the West and its allies,” the article reads.

WSJ notes that while China did not directly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it also stopped short of openly embracing the Russian regime. During the November G-20 summit, Jinping told U.S. President Joe Biden that China opposes Moscow using nuclear weapons in Ukraine – something that official Chinese media omitted to “avoid giving Putin the impression the two leaders were teaming up against him.”

In general, China is becoming the ever more dominant partner in Sino-Russian relationship, with Beijing considering it “acceptable” to “snub” Moscow, said Yun Sun, director of the China program at the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank.

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