Russia’s disintegration could offer strategic gains for China and the West, but there would also be significant security risks from its breakup.
Russia has locked itself into an economic partnership with China in which it is the supplicant. It’s a role that Moscow seems happy to play.
Xi Jinping is unlikely to disown Putin, but he will balance his support for him with the need to stabilize relations with the U.S. and Europe.
Beijing is avoiding direct comment on the Wagner Mutiny, but in subtle ways, it may be suggesting to Moscow it needs to get its house in order.
A post-Putin Russian leader will have an opportunity to re-evaluate the costs and benefits of close ties with Beijing.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — backed openly by China’s economic power — is just the first geopolitical product of a restored Russia-China axis.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin prefer a multipolar world order, which would most probably result in a number of regional hegemons.
Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow was more about reiterating China and Russia’s shared interests than pursuit of a settlement to the Ukraine war.
China’s choice in supporting Russia or not goes down to its impact on its global rise and interest in invading Taiwan.
China’s Ukraine peace initiative proposal helps position it as a great power in Eurasia, challenging both Russia and the West.