China Could Force A “Checkmate” in Key Fight 

( )- China is a “no-limits” friend of Russia and is ostensibly trying to be a peacemaker in Putin’s brutal war with Ukraine. However, military analysts warn that any proposal will benefit Beijing and that President Xi Jinping will likely use coercion to convince Kyiv to sign on to any pact. 

On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Moscow for a formal official visit. While there, he’ll have to decide whether to keep China’s neutral stance on Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine or to increase Beijing’s backing for Moscow. 

A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry stated during Xi’s announcement that China will maintain “an objective and fair perspective” on the conflict in Ukraine and “play a helpful role in encouraging discussions for peace.” 

For its part, China has resisted U.S. and allied efforts to isolate Russia economically and diplomatically while it has supported Moscow militarily. 

China’s purchases of Russian oil have provided a vital economic lifeline to the Kremlin, and the two countries announced their alliance would have “no bounds” not long before the invasion. 

China has tried to depict Western involvement in Ukraine’s conflict as the cause, pointing to the enormous transfer of Western armaments to the Ukrainian armed forces as evidence. 

Yet, it seems like China is getting ready to go down the same road by providing weaponry to Putin’s Russia. 

The visit by Xi to Putin, an international pariah whose army is wanted for arrest by the International Criminal Court for its operations in Ukraine, has caused some observers to speculate that Xi is exposing his actual motivations by breaking with official Beijing policy. 

It was reported on Thursday that Chinese firms have already begun shipping firearms, body armor, and drone components to Russian organizations. 

The Chinese embassy in the US responded by denying any involvement in the transfer of weapons and reiterating its commitment to “supporting discussions for peace.” 

According to Ward, the situation has reached a “crisis point” since Russia cannot advance militarily while possessing a theoretically superior force than Ukraine. 

Ward warned that if the current trend continues, China may risk the West’s anger by providing overtly fatal assistance. 

China has to tread a fine line between supporting Russia and expanding its commercial hegemony. 

Eurasia Group analyst Ali Wyne says that China’s stance concerning Russia presents a geopolitical conundrum. It is reluctant to cut ties with one of the few other big nations with whom its relationship has been strengthening. But, Beijing’s partnerships with sophisticated industrial democracies will be damaged as the conflict lingers in the Sino-Russian relationship.