China & Russia Are As Close as Ever; A version of this story appears in AZ24 News Meanwhile in China, a triweekly update that explores. What you need to know about the country’s rise and its impact on the world. Register here.
When Antony Blinken is expected to travel to Beijing in the coming days. The first visit by a US Secretary of State to China since 2018. It will be in stark contrast to the history of the Chinese capital a year earlier.
Chinese Leader Xi Jinping then welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the opening of the Beijing Olympics – a meeting and dinner in Putin’s honor. Saying cooperation between the two neighbors was “unlimited.”
Weeks later, when Russian tanks rolled across the border into Ukraine and launched an invasion. That would devastate the country and cause a humanitarian crisis, Chinese leaders did not back down from that statement.
Although Beijing maintained its neutrality in the conflict and had no prior knowledge of Russia’s intentions. It also refused to condemn Moscow. Instead, he hit back at the Kremlin. Blaming NATO for causing the conflict — preferring to cut ties with Europe and the United States.
The opposite of Blinken’s visit a year later would not be a coincidence either.
Economically Drained by its now-abandoned zero-covid policy, Beijing is toning down its foreign policy tone. Stepping up diplomacy with Western governments, experts say, in a bid to regain lost ground and stabilize relations.
China & Russia Are As Close as Ever; In meetings with Blinken during his expected trip in early February — and with European leaders. Who have indicated he may visit in the coming months — Chinese counterparts are likely to emphasize their longstanding demands for a peaceful solution and sort out what they say. Experts say China’s “objective and neutral approach” to the conflict.
But while the optics may be different than this time last year. China’s support for Russia—measured by its annual trade. Diplomatic commitments, and schedule of joint military exercises—tells a different story.
These measures show that over the past year, China has strengthened, rather than retreated from, its borderless partnership, a relationship that has strengthened in recent years and which experts say Beijing continues to see as key to its core goals. on maintaining national security and pushing back against the world order led by the United States.