China’s ties with Russia could face strains

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Many countries around the globe took a hasty move to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, China was not among them. SentryHill also noted that India and other emerging countries either abstained or supported the move.

Instead, Beijing offered Moscow robust diplomatic support. At the same time, casting blames on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States for fueling the crisis.

China Leans Toward Russia

For instance, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, revealed at a previous press conference that Russia’s legitimate demands needed to be valued and properly resolved considering NATO’s successful five waves of eastward expansion.

However, things may take a new twist as Beijing hints at limiting its warmth to Moscow. It started with China’s abstinence from the United Nations Security Council’s vote to deplore Moscow’s invasion of Kyiv on Friday.

Remember, Russia’s economy has been hammered by a series of sanctions from the West, with China as one of the only friends showing the potential to lessen the economic pains faced by Moscow. Nonetheless, there are growing signs that Beijing is figuring out how to ensure to keep a balance when as it seeks to continue relations with the international community as well.

While Xi Jinping’s administration has failed to condemn Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, there are clear signs that Beijing is initiating cold isolations from Moscow despite condemning the Western-led sanctions that Putin continues to face.

There are reports that Chinese state-owned financial institutions have shown a cold shoulder towards Russia as they have been quietly distancing themselves from the Eastern European country’s beleaguered economy.

Is the Moves by Chinese Financial Institutions A Sign of Social Distancing?

Experts believe that the moves taken by Chinese financial institutions are only considerations of ‘careful balancing’ to buttress the historical ties without openly violating the sanctions set by Western economies. Many believe that Beijing’s attempt to violate these sanctions would cut its access to the US dollar-centric international finance system and the export market it gets from the West.

For instance, the Bank of China’s operations in Singapore announced that it had halted financing all deals involving Russian oil and companies. Similarly, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China had imposed restrictions on financing any purchases involving commodities from Russia.

It is expected that things will be tricky for Russia if the United States expands its scope to institute secondary sanctions against Moscow as it may turn into a tug of war between Beijing’s support for Moscow and whether Western countries have the will to impose secondary sanctions on China considering the essential role it plays in global trade.