News analysis

China hawks see Russia as ‘the lesser of two evils’ compared with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Feb 4, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING - Russia's game-changing invasion of Ukraine has put China on the back foot, but for Beijing there is little incentive for now to condemn or sanction Moscow.

The international image of China and Russia has taken a huge hit, but both are riding the tiger and it has become too risky to get off. Russian President Vladimir Putin has gone too far and cannot lose the war, which, in all likelihood, could lead to his downfall. If Mr Putin is deposed, it would put Chinese President Xi Jinping in an awkward position ahead of the Communist Party of China's crucial quinquennial 20th congress in the autumn for choosing the wrong side.

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