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Beijing remains “all in” for Vladimir Putin, warned a China expert, who said the countries’ foreign policies have been “highly coordinated” throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia and China, they are bad actors,” Gordon Chang told Fox News. “They’re working together, their militaries drill together, their foreign policies are coordinated.”
“This is a new axis,” he added.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its 12th day on Monday, Russian forces announced a ceasefire to allow Ukrainian civilians to evacuate cities caught in the siege warfare. Since the invasion, Russian forces have violated multiple temporary ceasefires intended for humanitarian corridors.
CHINA SAYS RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA ‘IRON-CLAD’ IN WAKE OF RUSSIA’S INVASION
Russia has given no indication that it has swayed from its goal of annexing all of Ukraine.
“Putin has now staked his political life and maybe his life on being successful in Ukraine,” Chang said of the Russian president.
Over 11,000 Russian troops have been killed since the invasion, the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff announced Sunday. Ukraine’s military announced Monday that its forces recaptured the city of Chuhuiv from Russian troops.
“Right now, his forces are not doing as well as intelligence estimates told us,” Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” said. “And that means he’s in trouble.”
“That means he’s desperate,” he continued. “That means he can do anything.”
China has remained relatively quiet on the Ukraine invasion, creating speculation over how close the allies remain. Chinese officials rejected Western pressure to impose sanctions on the Russian government, continuing with “normal trade cooperation.”
“There’s always been concern in Beijing about China’s full-throated support for Putin,” Chang said. “But generally, this has only been at the mid- to lower-level officials.”
“Where it counts at the top of the Chinese political system, they’re all in for Putin,” he added.
China’s allegiance lies fully with Moscow, Chang said, despite Beijing distancing itself publicly from Russia following the invasion’s underperformance.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called Moscow the “most important strategic partner” to Beijing and said “the friendship between the two peoples is ironclad.”
He noted that China’s ties to Russia constitute “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world.”
Chang recalled the Biden administration’s attempt to get China to help avert war leading up to the invasion.
“Biden officials have shared information and intelligence with China in the hopes that China would try to restrain its good friend, Russia,” he said. “That didn’t happen.”
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“Chinese officials told the U.S. to go take a long walk off a short pier and also shared the intelligence with Russia,” Chang continued.
“That’s really an indication that China and Russia are very close, and we can’t pry China from Russia unless we are willing to impose strict sanctions on Beijing as well as the Russians,” Chang told Fox News.