Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Feb. 24 in a special televised address that Russia would conduct a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Russian troops were later stationed in Ukraine’s eastern part and launched airstrikes on some crucial facilities in Ukraine.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has finally turned into a war.
Wang Youqun was a doctorate in law from the Renmin University of China. Previously he worked as a copywriter for Wei Jianxing from 1931 to 2015 and was a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee from 1997 to 2002. According to Wang’s analysis, Beijing encountered three significant problems following Putin’s actions against Ukraine.
First, dealing with Russia’s recognition of the independence of Ukraine’s two eastern republics.
Putin announced on Feb. 21 that he recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in eastern Ukraine.
At the same time, he ordered Russian troops to station in these two republics, carrying out the so-called “peacekeeping” operations at their request.
Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state. Donetsk and Luhansk are internationally recognized as part of Ukraine’s territory.
Wang said the unilateral recognition by any foreign government of the independence of the two regions of another country is an act that violates the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of this country.
Accordingly, many countries, led by the United States, strongly condemned Russia’s moves and introduced sanctions.
Before that, on Feb. 19, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Munich Security Conference.
In response to a question from Conference President Isengel, he stated that “The sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of any country should be respected and maintained, as this is the basic norm of international relations, and Ukraine is no exception.”
However, at a press conference on Feb. 24, following Putin’s formal action against Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dodged more than 11 questions about Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
These included repeated questions about whether Beijing considers Russia’s actions an invasion and whether it violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Wang Youqun said, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s previous statement at the Munich Conference, Beijing should be in a position to condemn Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security.
However, Wang supposes that Beijing could not criticize Russia because it is currently seeking to comprehensively strengthen its relations with Russia under the circumstance of unprecedented international isolation.
On the Beijing Winter Olympics’ opening day on Feb. 4, China and Russia signed 15 cooperation documents. Three among them are concerned with energy.
Putin took advantage of the case, touting a new $117.5 billion gas deal with China and increasing Russia’s Far East exports. The two countries also have set a target of reaching $200 billion in trade by 2024.
Furthermore, Chinese and Russian sports authorities signed a joint statement on the launch of the Years of Sports Exchanges in 2022 and 2023. Accordingly, the two sides will hold more than 550 sports communication events during this time.
Additionally, Wang Youqun believes that Putin’s actions have further put Beijing in a dilemma. If China supports Putin’s decision, it could make the United States and its allies take Ukraine’s case as a reason to recognize Taiwan’s independence and send troops for “peacekeeping.”
Second, dealing with the Western countries, led by the United States
Shortly after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power, the relations between the Soviet Union and China fell into a serious confrontation.
Consequently, the Soviet Union nearly carried out a surgical “nuclear strike” against the CCP in 1969.
Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, was ordered to meet with the National Security Assistant to the U.S. President, Henry Kissinger. Dobrynin informed him of the Soviet Union’s intention to carry out a nuclear attack on China and sought advice from the United States. In response, the United States opposed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) doing so and leaked the news to the media.
Dr. Wang said the world was shocked by this news, which forced the Soviet Communists to cancel the nuclear strike program.
On Sept. 16, 1969, London Evening News published an article by Soviet journalist Victor Lewis stating that the Soviet Union might carry out an airstrike on the Chinese base at Lop Nor in Xinjiang.
The United States later made it clear to the Soviet Union that it opposed a nuclear strike against China.
The United States also issued an order with a code that the Soviet Union had deciphered, “Once the Soviet Union carried out a ‘nuclear strike’ on China, the United States would simultaneously launch nuclear strikes on 134 strategic targets in the Soviet Union.”
As a result, The Soviet Union was forced to cancel the nuclear strike plan again.
Beijing began to improve relations with the U.S. after the visit to China of President Nixon in February 1972.
On former Chinese Communist leader Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the U.S. in January 1979, Deng said, “As we look back, we find that all of those countries that were with the United States have been rich, whereas all of those against the United States have remained poor. We shall be with the United States.”
Since then, Deng has placed the development of China-U.S. relations at the top of the Communist Party’s diplomatic priorities.
Over the 40 years since establishing diplomatic relations between China and the United States, the CCP has emerged from the Cultural Revolution with the U.S.’s assistance in financial, technology, talent, markets, and services.
Wang Youqun said the U.S.’s support had brought the Chinese economy out of the brink of collapse and leapfrogged to become the world’s second-largest economy.
However, since the US-China trade war’s outbreak in 2018, China-US relations have continued to deteriorate to the worst level in more than 40 years of diplomatic relations.
In addition, Wang Youqun said, relations with Japan, India, Australia, Canada, Lithuania, and many other countries have also deteriorated due to the CCP’s “wolf-warrior diplomacy.” And to avoid unprecedented diplomatic isolation, the CCP has been trying to join hands with Russia to resist the United States.
However, the current affairs commentator said that Putin and the CCP are not entirely in the same boat, and Putin is merely using the CCP to maximize Russian interests.
Therefore, Wang supposes that amid the crisis’s outbreak in Ukraine, if the regime chooses to “take sides” with Russia, it is bound to be the enemy of the whole free world led by the United States.