The price of friendship

The price of friendship Cartoon by Rebel Pepper
Photo: RFA

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been put in a tight spot by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent troops to attack Ukraine just weeks after the two strongmen declared a "no limits" friendship. Beijing denies it is entertaining a request from Moscow for military equipment, but Chinese official media and diplomats have spread pro-Putin propaganda, while claiming neutrality in the conflict and sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Xi faces the challenge of maintaining support for geopolitical ally Putin while avoiding a hit to China's international reputation–and possible trade sanctions–by aligning so closely with a pariah state that is increasingly using indiscriminate violence against civilians in Ukraine.


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