Moscow and Beijing have been keeping each other abreast of their plans in the leadup to the Ukraine attack, according to two lawmakers.
“I think they have coordinated and I think that China is in a better position letting Russia go first, to evaluate,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told EpochTV’s “China Insider” program at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 25.
By watching the world’s reaction on Ukraine, China is trying to gauge its next steps on Taiwan, the self-ruled island that the Chinese Communist Party claims as its own territory and long planned to bring under its control, by force if necessary.
“China has designs on Taiwan,” said the lawmaker during an interview in Orlando, Florida. “And they want to see if the world imposes real sanctions on Russia, and how much it hurts Russian, and what really the willpower is to stop an aggressive nation from gaining further territory.”
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) held a similar view.
He made a particular note of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping at the Beijing Olympics’ opening day three weeks ago, which ended with the two countries forming a “no limits” partnership.
“They’ve been plotting behind the scenes,” he told NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times, at the CPAC event.
Ukraine was one subject discussed during “in-depth discussions” between the two nations’ foreign ministers, which took place a day prior to the Xi-Putin meeting. From the Kremlin readout, Moscow also “reaffirms its support” for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese foreign ministry has been peppered with questions about whether Xi had prior knowledge about the plan and even gave Putin “his blessing,” but its officials had avoided making a direct answer.
“Russia is an independent major country,” spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters on Thursday.
She accused the reporter of having “rich” imagination when asked if the timing of the assault, only days after the Beijing Olympics concluded, was coincidental.
By Eva Fu