Why can't the Chinese support the Russians against Ukraine?

Asked 11-Oct-2022
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It's been almost a year since the start of the Ukraine crisis, and Russia still doesn't have the full-fledged support of China

Why is this?

First, let's take a look at the Chinese media. The most popular newspaper in China is the People's Daily, and its overseas edition is called China Daily. A simple search on these two websites shows that they have published a total of 1,191 and 935 articles on Ukraine, respectively. In contrast, a search on Russia's popular newspaper website, Gazeta.ru, shows that it has published 11,476 articles on Ukraine.

This disparity is even more glaring when we compare the number of articles on Ukraine published in the two countries' state-run news agencies. Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, has published 942 articles on Ukraine since the crisis started, while Russia's state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, has published 16,215 articles on Ukraine.

So why is the Chinese media paying so much less attention to the Ukraine crisis than the Russian media?

One possible explanation is that the Chinese media is under strict censorship from the Chinese government, which doesn't want its citizens to know about the unrest in Ukraine.

Another possible explanation is that the Chinese media is simply not as interested in the Ukraine crisis as the Russian media. This is because the crisis is taking place in a country that is relatively far away from China, and it doesn't have the same geopolitical significance for China as it does for Russia.

Why cant the Chinese support the Russians against Ukraine

So why isn't China supporting Russia against Ukraine?

There are a few reasons.

First, China has its own issues with Ukraine. In 2004, China and Ukraine signed a gas deal that allowed Ukraine to import gas from Russia at a discounted rate. But in 2009, Russia suddenly raised the price of gas, putting Ukraine in a difficult position.

Second, China is worried about setting a precedent. If China were to openly support Russia in its intervention in Ukraine, it would open the door for other countries to intervene in China's own affairs.

And third, China is concerned about the stability of the region. An escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could lead to a wider conflict that would threaten the stability of the entire region.

For these reasons, China is treading carefully in its response to the crisis in Ukraine. While it has expressed its support for Russia's 'right to protect its interests,' it has also called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.