Trade Wars

Understanding China’s Position as U.S.-Russia Relations Continue to Deteriorate

Beijing Moscow has found common cause in trying to weaken American power and influence,” but China knows that explicitly supporting Putin will antagonize the EU, which is now China’s second largest trading partner.

File image of Chinese President Xi Jinping. PA

As the United States of America and Russia continue to exchange bitter words on the Ukraine crisis, each reluctant to flex its military muscle against the other, China has thrown its weight behind Russia.

Supporting Russia, Zhang Jun, China’s UN ambassador, said there was no basis for Western claims that Moscow was about to stage an incursion. The comments were made during a public meeting at the United Nations in New York.

It comes after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a January 27 phone call that “Russia’s legitimate security concerns must be taken seriously.” .

“Today, in the 21st century, all parties must completely abandon the mentality of the Cold War and form a balanced, effective and sustainable mechanism for European security through negotiations, and Russia’s legitimate security concerns must be taken seriously and dealt with,” Wang said.

So what does China stand to gain from this current crisis. Let’s help decode:

Taiwan

The ultimate US response to the Ukraine crisis could provide clues about Washington’s reaction if Beijing decides to unite with Taiwan, which China considers part of its own territory. The current conflict could serve as a test to determine the extent to which the US military is involved, according to Nikkei Asia report.

But some believe that if Russia were to invade Ukraine, leading to an all-out war involving the United States and its European allies, it would give China the opportunity to make its way into Taiwan because the American and European military would be already linked to Ukraine.

Belt and Road Initiative

China’s multi-trillion-dollar “Belt and Road” initiative runs through several former Soviet bloc states, including Ukraine. In addition, Ukraine is a major grain exporter to China. By 2025, Beijing and Kyiv aim to increase bilateral trade by 50%, to $20 billion a year. China has also funded infrastructure projects, including a new metro line for Kyiv. Any real invasion of the country would impact Chinese interests in Ukraine. Beijing therefore wants to ensure that this crisis does not get out of control.

The other block

US relations with China are not in better shape. The deterioration, which began under Donald Trump, has yet to be reversed under the Joe Biden administration. So far, the two countries have quarreled over issues such as trade wars, human rights abuses against Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Taiwan’s bid for independence, claim of China over the South China Sea and the development of fifth-generation or 5G communications. . And in this battle, China would like to keep Russia close, because whatever sanctions are imposed on either country, each can help the other.

China announced last month that trade with Russia had reached nearly $147 billion, up from $68 billion in 2015, a year after it annexed Crimea and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. according to New York Times.

But despite Beijing’s closeness to Moscow and its determination to end dollar hegemony, it would be incorrect to expect anything drastic from the country given the way economic relations are intertwined in a globalized world. .

As the New York Times the report says that “beyond any economic benefit, the two countries have found common cause in trying to weaken American power and influence”, but Chinese leaders know that explicitly supporting Putin will almost certainly antagonize the European Union, which is now China’s second largest trading partner.

With the contribution of the agencies

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