China and Russia Strengthen Ties with “No Limits” Partnership in Ukraine Crisis
China and Russia have struck a “no limits” partnership in the past year, a relationship that has seen the two countries conduct joint military drills and flights above the East China Sea. While China has not provided any direct military support to Russia's war in Ukraine, they have issued a 12 point position paper calling for a cease-fire and the resumption of peace talks.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The two countries have issued a position paper that calls for dialogue and negotiation as the only solution to the Ukraine crisis, and says that nuclear weapons cannot be used and nuclear war should be opposed.
China has also opposed the unilateral sanctions imposed by Western countries, and called on them to stop abusing “long-arm jurisdiction” against other countries.
Ukraine welcomed China's position paper, but urged the country to do more. The United States, on the other hand, criticized the paper, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan saying the war “could end tomorrow if Russia stopped attacking Ukraine and withdrew its forces.” Meanwhile, Ukraine's Chargé d’Affaires to China Zhanna Leshchynska said that China should do everything in its power to stop the war and restore peace in Ukraine, and urged the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised concerns that China may be considering providing Russia with lethal military assistance, an accusation denied by Beijing. The US believes China may be providing nonlethal military assistance to Russia for use in Ukraine, and the administration worries Beijing is considering sending lethal aid. China has been vocal in its opposition of Western sanctions, and has urged all parties to “avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions” in the hope of preventing the crisis from “deteriorating further or spiralling out of control”. China has also made it clear to top EU officials that they will not provide weapons to Russia.
Ultimately, the US has called on China to talk to both Russia and Ukraine in neutrality, and to urge the Russian Federation to stop the war and withdraw its forces. As the situation continues to escalate, it is clear that China will play an important role in the resolution of the Ukraine crisis.
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