Beijing’s fence-sitting appears to be a case of keeping its friends close and its enemies closer.
What’s at stake?
Convinced that Western democracies are in decline, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping seek to reshape the geopolitical map. With Russia bogged down in Ukraine, Beijing must weigh support for an international pariah against continued access to Western markets. Stiff Ukrainian resistance may also delay any Chinese moves on Taiwan.
China continues to walk a fine line of seeming neutrality in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as the U.S. ratchets up pressure on Beijing to comply with Western financial sanctions and technology controls.
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