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Beijing Sees Pain and (Some) Gain in Ukraine Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. At the time of writing, Russian troops were attacking from the north, south, and east, and skirmishes with Ukrainian forces are taking place on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv. If Russia occupies Kyiv, effectively dividing the country along the Dnieper river, a prolonged confrontation with pro-Western insurgent forces seems likely. The United States and Europe are negotiating feverishly to coordinate their response, threatening far-reaching financial and trade sanctions that would severely restrict Russia’s ability to sell sovereign debt, make dollar-denominated transactions, and procure critical technologies. All eyes are on Europe’s next move after the United States announced another raft of sanctions on financial sanctions and export controls.

In this note, we peer through the fog of war from Beijing’s vantage point to understand the risks, benefits, and lessons that are likely to inform China’s response to what may be the biggest military conflict in Europe since World War II.

Posted July 22, 2022
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