Russian tank targeted on frontline in Ukraine
Western and Chinese officials revealed that during a state visit to Moscow in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping personally delivered a face-to-face warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
This revelation showcases Beijing’s genuine concerns about Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, despite offering tacit support to Moscow.
According to the Financial Times, Chinese officials have been privately claiming credit for persuading Putin to back down from his veiled threats of deploying nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
The prevention of such a dire scenario has been a key component of China’s efforts to mend its relationship with Europe, especially after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which created tensions between Moscow, Beijing, and the European continent.
China has consistently taken a public stance against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
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However, doubts have been raised by some supporters of Kyiv, given China’s close partnership with Putin under the “no limits” approach and a “peace plan” that aligns with Russian talking points.
President Xi’s direct warning has raised hopes among Kyiv’s backers that China is not merely paying lip service to deterrence but is actively standing behind its public rhetoric through private diplomatic actions.
It appears that Xi’s message may carry potential consequences for the Sino-Russian relationship, serving as a significant deterrent to any reckless moves on the part of Putin.
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As of now, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued any official response to the reports. However, a former government official has confirmed that Xi Jinping explicitly conveyed to Putin the Chinese stance against the use of nuclear weapons, reinforcing China’s position on peace in Ukraine as outlined in their official position paper.
The report comes as Putin said Tuesday that the Russian people are “united as never before,” seeking to project confidence in the wake of a short-lived revolt while participating in a meeting of an international organisation that offered him a sympathetic audience.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, hosted via videoconference by India, was Putin’s first multilateral summit since an armed rebellion rattled Russia and comes as he is eager to show the West has failed to isolate Moscow over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The Asian security grouping, founded by Russia and China to counter Western alliances, also welcomed Iran as a new member, bringing its membership to nine nations.
Speaking by video link from the Kremlin, Putin praised the organisation for “playing an increasingly significant role in international affairs, making a real contribution to maintaining peace and stability, ensuring sustainable economic growth of the participating states, and strengthening ties between peoples”.
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