China and Russia: Are There Limits to `No Limits` Friendship?

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Publication Date December 2022
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When Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Beijing in February 2022, they declared in a joint statement that “friendship between the two states has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of co-operation”. Since then, Putin has tested this claim by launching a war of aggression against Ukraine – a country with which China previously had friendly relations. While China has been helpful to Russia in some areas, it has generally tried to appear neutral. It is in the West’s interest to keep China on the sidelines of Putin’s war; if it could be persuaded to exert some pressure on Russia to stop fighting, that would be a bonus.

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