China seeks to distance itself from Putin, FT reports

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Read also: Putin did not inform China about full-scale invasion of Ukraine, reports FT

According to FT’s sources, China is trying to improve relations with some Western countries and is paying particular attention to ties with Europe, which have been “severely damaged” due to Beijing’s support of Russia throughout the war in Ukraine.

Beijing is attempting to “unofficially” convince its European partners that it’s ready to use its influence to deter Putin from using nuclear weapons, act as a potential “peacemaker,” and signals readiness to help with the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, FT wrote.

While Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Putin have been publicly discussing plans to deepen their relations, several Chinese officials in private conversations with FT journalists “sought to bring clarity to relations between Beijing and Moscow on the Ukraine issue.” According to the article, the same message was repeated by Chinese representatives to some European diplomats.

“Putin is insane,” one Chinese official said on condition of anonymity.

Read also: Putin doesn’t mind if Russian oligarchs end up paying for rebuilding Ukraine, expert says

“The decision to invade was made by a very small group of people. China shouldn’t blindly follow Russia.”

Furthermore, China now reportedly “understands the possibility that Russia won’t be able to defeat Ukraine and it will emerge from the conflict as a minor power.” Despite public declarations of friendship, some Chinese officials in private conversations have expressed distrust towards Kremlin leadership.

Read also: Zelenskyy administration to tap serving minister for China ambassador post

The FT’s sources confirmed that Beijing wasn’t aware of Putin’s plans before he ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: German president urges Xi Jinping to convince Putin to end war in Ukraine

Due to a lack of understanding of the situation, Chinese authorities demoted then-Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister and chief Russia expert Le Yucheng for not being able to foresee the war.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Xi Jinping instructed the Chinese government to establish closer economic ties with Russia. According to sources, China wants to increase its imports of Russian oil, expand energy cooperation, and increase investment in Russia’s infrastructure.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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