The Facts

  • On Thurs., during his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin praised Beijing's "balanced position" with regard to the crisis. However, he also admitted he was aware that the Asian country had "concerns" over the war.

  • The Kremlin leader attended the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit this week, along with Xi Jinping, in Uzbekistan.

The Spin

Pro-Russia narrative

Western sanctions are deeply unfair. The West is punishing and isolating Russia from the rest of the world, and understandably Beijing and Moscow are gravitating closer to each other. The budding friendship between Xi and Putin will create many opportunities for the people of both countries, and nations in the Islamic world may follow suit to resist Western hegemony.

Pro-establishment narrative

This new alliance won't be sustainable. Despite the possible short-term benefits for Russia and the PRC to align against the interests of the U.S. and its allies, a Moscow-Beijing axis would likely eventually jeopardize Xi's policy of non-interference in global affairs. China will likely tilt away from Russia to protect its geopolitical interests in the end.

Nerd narrative

There's a 10% chance that China will get involved in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Public figures in this story

Establishment split



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