China’s top leaders have spent days weighing how far Beijing should go to back Russian President Vladimir Putin and how to manage a partnership many call a marriage of convenience as opposed to one of conviction.
With the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looming, China’s final arbiter of power—the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee led by President Xi Jinping —has largely disappeared from public view.
Behind closed doors, according to people with knowledge of the matter, one topic of intense discussion is how to respond to the Russian-Ukraine crisis and back Moscow without hurting China’s own interests.
The brooding has gone on for more than a week, practically since Mr. Putin got on a plane back to Moscow after meeting with Mr. Xi and attending the Feb. 4 opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The unusually extended discussion underlines how urgent and delicate the situation is for Beijing despite Mr. Xi’s public stance of support for Russia.
China's top leaders have spent days weighing how far to back Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine without hurting Beijing's own interests, people familiar with the issues say https://t.co/9XjjsQhLOm
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 16, 2022