The apparent ‘bromance’ between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin blossomed against the backdrop of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Xi even seemed to give a ‘quiet nod’ to the prospect of Putin going into Ukraine. But now, with Putin having ‘bitten the bullet,’ the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is drastically adjusting its messaging: The CCP Foreign Minister recently said that Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected. Why does Putin’s move on Ukraine put the CCP in an awkward position?
Putin has long denounced the role of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and communism in dissecting parts of what was historically Russian territory. Was this the beginning of his justification for going into Ukraine, and does this rationale hold up to the light of day?
Putin’s unabashed denunciation of communism is another sticking point in the China-Russia relationship. Where does the prospect of an alliance between the two superpowers stand given that Putin used “decommunization” as a basis for going into Ukraine? And what implications does this all have for China’s claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea?