- Is Xi learning from Putin’s Ukraine policy?
- The dilemma of Taiwan’s chip industry
- IOC chief Thomas Bach under fire
- WTO: China allowed to impose punitive tariffs against Washington
- US plans stricter foreign investment law
- Chinese mRNA vaccine passes first clinical phase
- Xi urges careful energy transition
- Profile: Claudia Barkowsky – Chief Representative of VDMA in Beijing
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn pointed out earlier this week that wars should not be waged during the Olympic Games. He referred to a United Nations resolution. “I believe that gives everyone time to think about war and peace and then make the right decision,” Asselborn said. A notion that also suits Xi Jinping at the moment. Nothing would be more inconvenient for him than a war in Eastern Europe overshadowing his Games. But will Vladimir Putin play along?
But Beijing is keeping a close eye on the Kremlin’s Ukraine tactics for a very different reason. The similarities between Ukraine’s symbolic importance to Russia and what China considers the breakaway province of Taiwan are obvious. Looking at Ukraine, Beijing is trying to figure out what reactions can be expected from US President Joe Biden and the West in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, analyzes Christiane Kuehl.
Taiwan’s extremely successful chip industry is also in a bind. The high global demand is currently raking in record profits. At the same time, it could be crushed in the dispute between China and the USA, writes Frank Sieren in his analysis. Without Western know-how, even the best Taiwanese chip companies cannot remain competitive. And neither can they without the Chinese market.
I hope you enjoy today’s issue!
The Ukraine conflict also makes Beijing nervous
Did Xi or did he not? Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the Chinese leader had asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at least not to invade Ukraine during the Winter Olympics. China’s foreign office spokesman Zhao Lijian immediately rejected the report on Monday as an attempt to divide Beijing and Moscow. An invasion that casts a shadow over the Winter Games “would not go down well in Beijing,” said Helena Legarda, a security expert at the China think tank Merics in Berlin. “But I can imagine that Putin would definitely consider it.” An invasion of Ukraine during the Games “could change relations with Russia completely.”
But China is likely concerned about more than just the spotlight from the Games. Because the obvious question is how Beijing would position itself in the event of a possible invasion. The more Russia allows the situation to escalate, the more difficult it will be for China to stay out of the Ukraine crisis. When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Beijing maintained its ironclad principle of “non-interference” in the affairs of other states.
So far, official Beijing has remained silent. Joe Webster noted in his blog on Russian-Chinese relations, that China’s military and diplomatic structures, as well as the state media, remain awfully quiet and without any opinion. The expert believes two reasons to be at play: “First, Beijing is uneasily balancing its security and economic interests. Second, […] ambiguity can be a useful tool.” It’s a tool Putin also likes to apply – especially when currently dealing with the West.
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