Partnership has no limits? China in a bind as Putin struggles to gain extra support

Ukraine: China not taking Russia's side 'where it counts'

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Mr Cheshire also claimed that Mr Jinping was not helping Russia where it needed to most, in terms of getting involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Mr Cheshire discussed the reasons why Xi Jinping had not injected himself into the political battlefield by outright supporting Putin. Putin has been waging war on neighbouring Ukraine, despite crippling sanctions being imposed on Russia due to the invasion. Mr Cheshire also explained that Jinping had not called the attack an invasion, the Chinese President has been following Putin’s chosen phrase, “operation.”

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Cheshire said: “It said he wants to mediate but it’s clearly about saying it supports efforts of mediations.

“It’s not offering that leadership and the reason for that is it finds itself in a bind with its strategic partnership with Russia.

“Vladimir Putin came here to Bejing on the eve of the Winter Olympics and met with President Xi Jinping.

“They said their partnership with no limits, shortly after that Russia invaded.

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Mr Cheshire said: “And China has been offering rhetorical support, it has refused to call it an invasion.

“It has repeated Russian disinformation about US labs in Ukraine.

“It seems really Xi is taking Russia’s side, but not where it counts in terms of actual action on the ground.”

In recent years the pair have been allied closely, but many political commentators have been observing the alliance due to the current strain of the war on Russia’s economy, due to sanctions.

Global political leaders have been speculation as to how much help Mr Jinping put forth.

Many are hoping that Jinping will talk Putin out of continuing the war.

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Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute, told the Telegraph: “If there was anybody that could [reach Putin], that’s Xi.”

Mr Tsang added: “We’ve got two problems here: One is that Xi won’t do it, and the second problem is, we don’t know whether Putin would listen if Xi tries. But if anybody can, it is Xi.”

“Attempting to silence voices globally that speak up for freedom and democracy is unacceptable and will never succeed.”

Some military and political commentators have been speculating about the possibility of China using the opportunity to invade neighbouring Taiwan whilst Russia continues it’s attack on Ukraine.

Dr Zeno Leoni, a war studies expert from King’s College London, told “When Putin invaded Ukraine like he did in Crimea, he knew NATO wasn’t going to intervene. There wasn’t any deterrence to stop Putin.

“We’ve seen a lot of concern for Taiwan and I can appreciate why.”

Dr Zeno added: “The pact says the US will have to defend Taiwan. It doesn’t really say how and it will be up to the American congress whenever the time comes.

“There is some ambiguity but at least there is a pact.”

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