Beijing initially showed its solidarity with Moscow during President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to the Winter Olympic Games. In a sweeping joint statement, the two sides took a swipe at the US-led world order and displayed deep grievances at Nato, while ignoring any mention of Ukraine.
But as the prospect of a possible war in Ukraine has increased – especially with Mr Putin’s explosive recognition of the two breakaway Russia-backed regions of Donetsk and Luhansk – Beijing has begun to show more caution, maintaining its verbal support for Moscow, while at the same time calling for dialogue and diplomacy as a means of de-escalation. It has also recognised Ukraine’s sovereignty.
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