Bypassing sanctions + War as a political tool
China will not supply aircraft components to Russia for the time being. That was an important piece of the larger political puzzle on Thursday. While Beijing pays lip service to Russia's support, there has been precious little tangible action so far. Yet anything that cushions Western sanctions would be extremely valuable to Russia. Using China's trade with Iran as an example, Michael Radunski analyzes how a boycott can be undermined - and why China will not make use of these options to aid Russia. After all, the country does not want to be drawn into a sanctions spiral.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the likelihood that China will reach for Taiwan has been a major discussion topic. Couldn't it be an example for China if Russia takes back its supposedly own territory? Are Western sanctions perhaps so half-hearted that Beijing feels vindicated in its invasion plans?
However, the Taiwan situation can hardly be compared with the Ukraine situation, argues Frank Sieren. The threshold for military action is much higher for China because it stands to lose much more than Russia. It is strongly internationally integrated and has achieved great things in the past decades during its technological and economic catch-up. China is far too smart to sacrifice all that – especially since the modern battlefield is the hunt for the most advanced technology, believes Sieren. That doesn't mean China won't keep trying to take over Taiwan without bloodshed.