October 7, 2022

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According to one political analyst, China holds a “dominant position” in its relations with Russia, and President Xi Jinping is no longer ready to “act as it pleases” for Moscow.

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“It’s an unequal partnership, and China is in a dominant position in the relationship,” said Matthew Sussex, an associate professor at Griffith University in Australia. He attributed this to the fact that Russia needs China more than China needs Russia.

The remarks came a day after the Chinese leader met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand. It was the first personal meeting of the two leaders since Russia launched an unprovoked war on neighboring Ukraine in February.

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During the meeting, Xi said Beijing was “ready to work with Russia” to support each other’s “core interests”. Chinese state-backed media Xinhua listed areas of cooperation as trade, agriculture and connectivity.

But the Sussexes said the China-Russia partnership is not necessarily equal.

While China is buying cheaper oil from Russia, Beijing has consistently refused to provide Any weapon for Moscow.

The Sussexes explained that this could be a sign that Beijing has “some genuine concerns and genuine annoyances” with Russia about the handling of the conflict.

As of August, the conflict has killed around 34,000 people so far. New York Times report In which it is said that Ukraine lost 9,000 soldiers while Russia lost an estimated 25,000 lives on the battlefield. Moscow has repeatedly referred to the attack on Ukraine as a “special operation”.

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Nevertheless, the strategic partnership between China and Russia will remain, said Jiaoyu Pu, associate professor at the University of Nevada.

He said the alliance is such that both powers can counter “Western hegemony”, which is a term used to describe the dominance of the West in the global community politically, socially or economically.

“China needs Russia’s strategic partnership to balance against Western hegemony, so China and Russia will continue to trade to maintain some kind of normal economic relationship,” he said.

‘Symbolic Support’

Russia and China last month held a week-long joint military exercise in the Sea of ​​Japan along with other troops like India, Laos and Mongolia. both countries have organized Joint exercises in recent yearsAlso included in the Far East of Russia.

However, Pu said that “the relationship has its limits.”

“China will not give any military aid to Russia, so I think China has its own objections to Russia’s war,” he said. “This Russia-China partnership is not a form of military alliance. It is more … [a] symbolic support.”

In their last one-on-one meeting in February, Xi and Putin sealed a “No Limit” Partnership, They promised each other diplomatic and political support, and agreed not to “prohibited” areas of cooperation.

Similarly, the Sussexes pointed to obstacles Beijing may have, as seen by China’s reluctance to provide arms to Russia.

Since the beginning of September, Ukraine occupies an area of ​​more than 6,000 square kilometers. Out of Russian control, including Kharkiv, the second largest city, its president said.

“I think Xi will probably be on edge for the foreseeable future,” the Sussexes said. “And yet it is inflicting significant injury on the Russians in prosecuting the war.”

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“There are limits to the ‘no boundaries’ partnership, and increasingly, those boundaries are set by Beijing rather than Moscow,” the Sussexes said. “China is no longer ready to act according to its will for Russia.”

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