Comment: China cannot fudge the Ukraine question indefinitely

Xi Jinping wants to present his country as a responsible stakeholder in a peaceful, prosperous world, but this is not possible if he is an ally of Putin

Plainly, some Chinese communists have begun to realise the difficulty of the diplomatic tightrope that Xi Jinping’s alliance with Putin is making them walk. Picture: Getty

For Chinese President Xi Jinping, the initial response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine must have seemed a no-brainer. It is almost inconceivable that these two self-proclaimed kindred spirits had not discussed Putin’s invasion plans at their early February meeting in Beijing, just before the start of the Winter Olympics. After all, had Putin duped Xi, what would that tell Xi about the Kremlin’s dependability as an ally, and what would it ...