When the tension was escalating between Russia and Ukraine, the Biden administration presented the Chinese officials with the intelligence that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine. It also requested the Chinese officials to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop the military operation plan in Ukraine.
China not only rebuffed the Biden administration but also presented the intelligence shared by the US to Moscow.
Commenting on the development, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Senior Fellow Sushant Sareen said, “Karma! In 1998, the Vajpayee government told the US that nuke tests were necessary because of threat from China. The Clinton administration promptly made a secret communication public to embarrass India. What the US did to India, China has done to the US.”
The US administration hoped that China would persuade Russia to drop the military operation plan in Ukraine. But China did not take any such initiative. On the contrary, it tacitly supported Russia.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday (February 24). On Thursday (February 24), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “On the Ukraine issue, lately the US has been sending weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions, creating panic and even hyping up the possibility of warfare… If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.”
She added: “When the US drove five waves of NATO expansion eastward all the way to Russia’s doorstep and deployed advanced offensive strategic weapons in breach of its assurances to Russia, did it ever think about the consequences of pushing a big country to the wall?” China refused to call Russia’s military operation in Ukraine an “invasion”.
On February 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. In the joint statement after the meeting, the two countries reiterated that their partnership has “no limits”.
Reporting the bilateral meeting between President Biden and President Jinping, the NYT wrote, “The Biden administration’s diplomatic outreach to China to try to avert war began after President Biden and Mr. Xi held a video summit on November 15. In the talk, the two leaders acknowledged challenges in the relationship between their nations, which is at its lowest point in decades, but agreed to try to cooperate on issues of common interest, including health security, climate change and nuclear weapons proliferation….”
This particular meeting gave the Americans confidence that they could successfully persuade China to stop Russia. But now it’s clear that China defeated the US in its own game. China not only did nothing to change the mind of Russia but also shared the US intelligence about Russia with Moscow.