Ukraine war sending Russia-China ties in new directions

With the world’s attention focused on Ukraine in the weeks since Russia began its invasion of the country on February 24, there has been fervent debate among foreign-policy experts on how Russia’s relations with the West will be affected. Officials in Moscow and Western capitals have traded barbs in the media, while sanctions and counter-sanctions have already begun to bite.

But the effects of Russia’s invasion on Chinese-Russian relations have been far less discussed. In recent years, both Russia and China have publicly promoted their increasingly strong partnership. Chinese President Xi Jinping has called Russian President Vladimir Putin his “best friend,” while both Xi and Putin have described the current state of Chinese-Russian relations as “the best they’ve been in history.”

This has been reflected in collaborative military drills, increasing weapons and energy deals between China and Russia, and public support for each other across their state-run media outlets and their dealings within international organizations like the UN.

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