Now it appears that Mr. Xi’s display of solidarity may have, possibly unwittingly, emboldened Mr. Putin to gamble on going to war to bring Ukraine to heel.
A retracing of Beijing’s trail of decisions shows how Mr. Xi’s deep investment in a personal bond with Mr. Putin has limited China’s options and forced it into policy contortions.
Before and shortly after the invasion, Beijing sounded sympathetic to Moscow’s security demands, mocking Western warnings of war and accusing the United States of goading Russia. Over the past two weeks, though, China has sought to edge slightly away from Russia. It has softened its tone, expressing grief over civilian casualties. It has cast itself as an impartial party, calling for peace talks and for the war to stop as soon as possible.
The quandaries for China, and Mr. Xi, remain.
Publicly, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin had vowed that the friendship between China and Russia had "no limits." Now it appears that Xi's display of solidarity may have, perhaps unwittingly, emboldened Putin to gamble on going to war. https://t.co/Dd3eMjFM32
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