November 29, 2022

Chinese Arbitration?


Chinese Arbitration?
Russian president Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Moscow Zoo. Press Office of the President of Russia

On November 16, China's representative to the UN Security Council, Zhang Jun, announced that China is ready to assist Russia in seeking a diplomatic resolution to the war in Ukraine.

While Jun argued in a statement that peace would be beneficial, his rhetoric does sound closer to Moscow's point of view, saying that Kiev has repeatedly turned down opportunities to negotiate. Of course, if recent news is any guide, Ukraine has little reason to want to stop the fighting.

That said, China has been remarkably shy about voicing support for either side in the conflict. While Beijing has traditionally hewn close to Moscow, with its affection for authoritarian rule, Chinese economic interests are perhaps more in line with the interests of many Western companies, except for the part about being very interested in the resources available in Siberia and Eastern Russia.

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