Chinese state media highlighted Russia’s “considerable losses on the battlefield”, a rare admission of the continued challenges the Russian military faces in Ukraine from the Kremlin ally.
China remains one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest international allies amid the invasion, which drew widespread international rebuke when Putin launched his ‘special military operation’ on the Eastern European country. Is February 24. More than seven months later, Putin’s army has struggled to achieve any substantial goal in the invasion, with Ukraine claiming to have recaptured thousands of square kilometers of territory occupied by Russia.
China Daily, a news site owned by the Communist Party of China, published an op-ed on Sunday condemning the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for its intention to conduct a nuclear “deterrence” exercise in late October against a backdrop growing nuclear tensions.
“Despite its considerable losses on the battlefield, Russia has only resorted to ‘partial mobilization’ at home, and it continues to insist that it is engaged in ‘special military operations’ rather than a war,” the editorial read. “The European Union and the United States and their allies have limited their assistance to Ukraine to the supply of arms and intelligence support, so that they are not considered ‘participants’.”
Besides the subtle acknowledgment, the China Daily editorial broadly aligned with Kremlin interests, denouncing NATO for “Steadfast Noon”, the nuclear deterrent exercise, which will not involve any live bombs, and was planned before that Russia does not invade Ukraine. The exercise will involve 14 alliance members and up to 60 aircraft, including fourth and fifth generation fighter jets, as well as surveillance aircraft and tankers.
China has been an important ally of Russia as it becomes a pariah on the world stage. China also strongly criticized Western sanctions against Russia and continued to import Russian products, especially energy, a key part of Moscow’s economy.
China’s concerns over Russian losses
In recent weeks, some Chinese authorities and media personalities have raised concerns about the ongoing invasion.
In a month of September world times opinion piece, Hu Xijin, the paper’s editor, wrote that the war is “spinning out of control” amid nuclear threats and allegations of Russian sabotage against Nord Stream pipelines, which carry gas from Russia to Europe.
“But there is a real risk of an explosive further development of the situation, and the possibility of a chain reaction, followed by ‘more unruly’ parties in the conflict. This is a reminder that this conflict could well spiral out of control. , and that any type of tough tactic could be used next,” he wrote.
Putin acknowledged Chinese President Xi Jinping’s concerns at a meeting last month, with the two countries continuing to portray themselves as allies. However, Xi did not publicly mention what his concerns were, with Chinese state television later saying China was willing to continue providing strong support to Russia, according to Reuters.
“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends regarding the Ukraine crisis,” Putin told Xi. “We understand your questions and concerns about this. At today’s meeting, we will of course explain our position.”
Yet China and Russia continue to strengthen their relationship as the two nations find themselves at odds with the West, a NATO official said. Newsweek earlier this month.
“China has remained politically loyal to Russia throughout this process, amplifying their messages, their disinformation – including on NATO, which China has not done in the past – essentially in partnership with Russia , which supports China’s views on Asia,” said James Appathurai, NATO Assistant Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comments.