The position of China on Russia-Ukraine war

The position of China on Russia-Ukraine war

China has so far resisted clarifying its position on the war in Ukraine, although its foreign minister said it would organise aid to Kyiv.

In the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bejing and Moscow had being building bridges. But Putin’s war is putting China in a very awkward position.

China’s banking and insurance regulator said on last week that the country opposes and will not join financial sanctions against Russia.

The position of China on Russia-Ukraine war.

“Everyone is watching recent military conflict, or war, between Russia and Ukraine,” Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said at a press conference in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation. “China’s position has been stated clearly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our international policies are consistent.”

In public statements and at international summits, Chinese officials have attempted to stake out a seemingly neutral position on the war in Ukraine, neither condemning Russian actions nor ruling out the possibility Beijing could act as a mediator in a push for peace.

But while its international messaging has kept many guessing as to Beijing’s true intentions, much of its domestic media coverage of Russia’s invasion tells a wholly different story.

There, an alternate reality is playing out for China’s 1.4 billion people, one in which the invasion is nothing more than a “special military operation,” according to its national broadcaster CCTV; the United States may be funding a biological weapons program in Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is a victim standing up for a beleaguered Russia.

The position of China on Russia-Ukraine war

“Regarding financial sanctions, we do not support that,” said Guo, noting particular opposition to “unilateral” sanctions, which he said don’t effectively address problems. “China won’t join such sanctions.”

Facing the Ukraine stand-off, the United States is very concerned about Russia and China’s interactions. For example, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby called China’s “tacit support” for Moscow “deeply alarming.” Kirby seemed to imply that China supports Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. concern is understandable, but some U.S. officials seem to be misjudging both China-Russia relations and China’s broader foreign policy.

First, some Americans do not have a clear understanding of China-Russia military relations. China and Russia are not military allies. In other words, when one side is at war, the other side has no treaty or legal obligation to help. This is completely different from the military alliances between the United States and NATO countries.

Therefore, even if Russia and Ukraine go to war, China has no obligation to support Russia. Indeed, during the Crimea crisis seven years ago, China did not openly support Russia’s position.


The position of China on Russia-Ukraine war