China not likely to sit on the Ukraine fence for long

China cannot afford a reduced and weakened Russia. But it also cannot risk being dragged into the Ukraine conflict wrong-footed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on Feb 4, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Chinese leaders and government officials have worked hard to keep themselves out of the limelight.

Sure, Beijing aired the occasional warnings about the danger to global security and occasionally called for restoration of peace. But beyond such generalities, China’s silence in this war remained deafening.

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