China, Russia, and the War in Ukraine

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Sep 15, 2023 | Politik Quarterly.

Chinese support for Russia has enabled the Kremlin to continue its aggression against Ukraine and has helped solidify the refusal of much of the Global South to condemn or sanction Moscow, suggests Angela Stent in her article for the Internationale Politik Quarterly. This has complicated the West’s moves to isolate Russia and exclude it from the global economy. By now, the Chinese may well have lost some confidence in Putin’s judgment, but they cannot afford to have Russia lose, given the deepening tensions of great power competition. The author reasons that it is better to emphasize Russia’s violation of international law than to cast the conflict in terms of democracy versus autocracy. China has reiterated its commitment to the UN Charter and to states’ territorial integrity and sovereignty. Emphasizing that Russia disregards all of these is a first step to engaging the Global South in a more productive conversation about the war.

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