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China’s leaders walking tightrope on Russia-Ukraine conflict

Beijing [China], March 5 (ANI): Following the imposition of harsh economic sanctions from the west, Russia would be looking towards Chinese commitment for assistance in resolving its fast-approaching economic hardship.

Analysts say Ukraine’s conflict will show the world whether confessions of both leaders are legitimate, or these relations are rather transactional.

Writing for the InsideOver publication, Federico Giuliani said the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has also exposed the true nature of friends on each side in times of crisis.

Giuliani argued that Moscow has been taken by surprise by the reticence of Beijing on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Russia would have definitely counted on China’s support when it invaded Ukraine. Though China is Russia’s biggest trading partner- with total bilateral trade between the two countries valued at $112 billion in 2020 – it seems Beijing is at sixes and sevens in supporting Moscow in the current conflict,” he added.

According to other experts, China’s leaders are walking a very difficult tightrope on the issue of Ukraine. Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and maintained.

Wenbin emphasized that China has always believed that the security of one country cannot be based on the damage to the security of other countries.

A few days later on March 1, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a telephonic conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba expressed concern over the damage borne by the Ukrainian civilians in the ongoing conflict.

Wang Yi also said that China is ready to play a role in the Ukrainian ceasefire.

On the issue of economic aid to Russia, experts believe that it is unlikely that China will immediately offer aid, but it could easily become the long-term buyer of gas and other resources that Russia can’t sell to Western countries.

According to experts, even if China wants to support Russia in areas that are not subject to sanctions Beijing may face severe restrictions.

Mark Williams, the chief Asian economist at Capital Economics, said that the “financial sanctions that have been imposed on Russia by the West put significant practical constraints on China’s dealings with Russia even where they don’t restrict them directly.”

Some have suggested that China’s CIPS could be used by Russia after seven Russian banks were removed from SWIFT.

According to CNN, CIPS is much smaller in size and has only 75 direct participating banks, compared with more than 11,000 member institutions in SWIFT. Some 300 Russian financial institutions are in SWIFT. Meanwhile, only two dozen Russian banks are connected to CIPS.

“In practice, because CIPS is limited to payments in [yuan], it is only currently used for transactions with China. Banks elsewhere are unlikely to turn to CIPS as a SWIFT workaround while Russia is an international pariah,” Williams said. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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