While China did not support the scenarios of Russia’s intrusion into Ukraine, Beijing clearly expressed its adoption of the same Russian position rejecting the expansion of NATO, through a joint statement after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the opening of the Winter Olympics .
The current battle between Russia and the West may be described as a “Chinese battle par excellence.”
The opportunities or the gains that the Chinese side can reap through the crisis lie in three basic contexts. The first context is related to what Beijing can gain from alleviating the pressures it faces from the American side. This is in light of the compass pointing at the tension between Moscow and the West as the most important file at the present time.
The second context that can be put forward, and observers have warned, is to consider the Ukraine crisis as an exploratory station for the Chinese side; To test the reactions of Washington and the West in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, thus providing China with a clearer picture of its future options in the “Taiwan” file.
And this is exactly what she warned the former US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, when she spoke at the weekend on “Fox News”, when she said that “the only thing that makes the Ukrainian-Russian issue very important is that China is watching it, because this issue will determine what If Beijing believes that it can move forward with the annexation of Taiwan, then all of these things are linked together.”
And thirdly, this crisis serves China at the strategic level, in that the geopolitical and strategic developments with regard to the Ukraine crisis contribute in one way or another to the formation of the new international order, in a manner that serves China’s position and role.
China expert, Nadia Helmy, said in exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia” that “the Ukrainian crisis bears features of a new world order, and a sharp global division that the world is witnessing at the present time, between the United States and its allies on the one hand, and China and Russia on the one hand.” another side.
At the same time, she points to a “Chinese-Russian agreement on the need to confront Washington and its allies and seek to undermine their areas of influence. Therefore, the Russian and Chinese parties are playing an alternative role to the two Western military alliances led by the United States (NATO and OCOs).”
On the other hand, China is seeking to ease pressure on it from Taiwan, especially with Western and American support for Ukraine in the face of Russia.
Helmy explains that the most prominent gains or opportunities for China from the Ukrainian crisis are related to the issue of “unifying the front of demands” and this was represented in issuing a joint statement in which it was emphasized that (Moscow and Beijing oppose any expansion of NATO membership in the future).
And the expert on Chinese affairs added, “We note the Russian-Chinese joint opportunity in their support for the principle (one and indivisible security), which is the principle on which the two sides rely in order to demand the withdrawal of NATO from Russia’s vicinity, and their constant affirmation that the security of some cannot be achieved at the expense of others. Although every country, and therefore Ukraine as well, has the right to choose its alliances.
But in front of these “opportunities,” there are challenges and risks that the Ukraine crisis – if it escalates – poses to Chinese interests. Among these challenges is the repercussions of the crisis’s effects on China’s arms industry.
Which was recently highlighted by a report by the “Eurasian Times” website, which indicated that the instability of Ukraine – which is a partner of Beijing in the Belt and Road Initiative – could affect the cloned arms industry in China, in light of the industry’s dependence on valuable Ukrainian defense companies. high.
In the same context, observers believe that Beijing will face a very difficult “economic adventure” if the crisis with Ukraine and its support for the Russians escalates in the event of the invasion of Kiev, as it will face the dilemma of strategic interests with the Russians, and its economic interest if Washington and the West impose sanctions on Moscow.
Helmy indicates in this context that “China does not want to move to prevent Russian military intervention, but – in the face of a set of challenges – it may play positive roles in resolving the current crisis in Ukraine for the benefit of its Russian ally.”
At the same time, the expert on China spoke about Beijing’s rejection of the Cold War mentality, and its demand for all parties to completely abandon that Cold War mentality, while at the same time demanding the importance of taking Russia’s security concerns – which it described as legitimate fears – seriously.