China is under pressure from the West for its support of Russia

China is under intense diplomatic pressure from both Europe and the United States to stop supporting Russia and its economy, which has been subject to countless sanctions since the Ukrainian invasion.

Western countries have imposed several waves of sanctions in recent weeks that may push Russia to do so hypothetical of its debt, according to financial rating agency Fitch.

Sanctions range from freezing assets to banning the export of some products to Russia, through measures to paralyze the banking sector or closing European airspace to companies.

But Beijing is currently reluctant to stop supporting its ally.

The Russian government, isolated and struggling against the fall of its currency, would have asked China for economic and military aid, according to the American newspaper. The New York TimesCiting unidentified officials. China appears to have responded positively to the request, at least in part.

But it is difficult for Beijing to find a balance between its friendship with Russia and its desire to avoid international scorn and even succumb to Western sanctions in turn.

The United States described what it called Beijing’s “alignment” with Moscow as “extremely concerning” on Monday, March 14, after a meeting in Rome between Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, and Yang Jiechi, the Communist Party’s top diplomatic official. Chinese (CCP).

Since the start of the invasion, China has refused to publicly condemn the military operation, calling its friendship with Russia “solid” last week.

“China thinks about its own interests, and that’s it,” says Alexander Gabiv, a specialist on Sino-Russian relations at the Carnegie Moscow Center in Moscow.

“Perhaps a weaker Russia will be the Russia that serves its interests better, because it will have a greater influence on it,” the expert says.

At the moment, China is trying to appear as a neutral power, calling for “restraint” and negotiation between Russia and Ukraine, while criticizing NATO expansion.

The US media, citing unnamed officials, said that Beijing is ready to support the Russian economy and even provide weapons and logistical support to the forces of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

The France Press agency These claims cannot be verified.

In line with other Western countries, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he had asked Beijing to exercise its “significant influence” over Moscow to secure a ceasefire.

Appeal apparently without much effect.

In China, some of the Kremlin’s arguments have been picked up by state media, such as Ukraine’s use of civilians as “human shields”, and US funding of military biological programs in Ukraine.

“The Chinese position is not so much pro-Russian as anti-American,” says Alexander Gabiev of the Carnegie Center in Moscow.

The invasion of Ukraine, which came three weeks after Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing for the Olympics, may damage the Sino-Russian friendship that was described as “unlimited” during the Kremlin leader’s visit.

“The longer and more violent the conflict, the more complex the situation will be for China,” predicts Ni Lixiong, a professor at the Shanghai Institute for National Defense Strategy.

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