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China and Russia bond but may not help each other militarily

U.S.-based analysts said that the international pressure might be the reason why China and Russia are bonding. Still, it does not seem enough for them to support each other militarily.

On Wednesday, the two presidents met each other virtually for the second time in 2021. They organized this video meeting just a couple of days after the U.S. and seven other major economies criticized Russia’s aggressive rhetoric and military preparation for Ukraine. 

Analyst for China and northeast Asia at consulting firm Eurasia Group, Neil Thomas, said that Russia and China bond because both see bilateral cooperation as profitable to their national interests. Not because they are ideologically connected.

Neil Thomas said in an Email that Russia and China would instead split Washington’s political concentration between strategic hotspots in the Indo-Pacific and Europe.

China’s position on Ukraine is not very clear. Besides, China has come under international scrutiny as Russia regarding human rights issues and territorial claims. In the case of China, it has some territorial problems with Taiwan’s democratically self-ruled island.

Russia mobilized troops at the border with Ukraine, while China expanded military activity near Taiwan this year. The U.S. President recently revealed confusing messages on whether the country would defend Taiwan or not.

Professor emerita and director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University, Angela Stent, said that China wants to guarantee that in case it takes a military move against Taiwan, the Russian will not interfere against their decision.

She also shared her opinion. She believes both sides recognize that if Putin invaded Ukraine, China would not send military help. Instead, they remain entirely neutral. This allows them to do whatever they want in places they consider to be in their influence.

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