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Why is China supporting Russia on Nato?

President Putin and President Xi issued a statement pledging friendship with 'no limits'.

This month President Putin of Russia was the star guest at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. But his trip to China was not just about showing support for the host country. He and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping issued an unexpectedly long statement pledging friendship with 'no limits' and no 'forbidden areas of co-operation'. Beijing and Moscow have maintained a stable relationship since the 2000s, a far cry from the bitter days of the Sino-Soviet split during the Cold War.

China has increased its gas imports from Russia and Russia has in turn allowed more Belt and Road investments in its territory. The two conduct joint military exercises, co-operate in exploring Arctic sea routes, and support each other on the world stage. Now, breaking with its previous ambiguity, China has expressed support for Russia's concerns over the potential future expansion of Nato, giving Moscow a significant boost in its border standoff with Ukraine. Russia meanwhile backs China's claims over Taiwan. Even though no formal alliance has been announced, experts see the new Sino-Russia pact as a clear challenge to the United States.

So how important is the agreement between Russia and China and what are the countries' longer term goals? Does Russia risk being dominated by China, which is soon to become the biggest economy in the world? And how will the evolving relationship between the two powers impact the future of the democracy-based world order envisioned by President Biden? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.

Producers: Junaid Ahmed and Paul Schuster

Available now

49 minutes

Last on

Sat 19 Feb 2022 04:06GMT


Sergey Radchenko - Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and author of Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962-1967

Bonny Lin - A senior fellow for Asian security and director of The China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Robert Daly - A former US diplomat in Beijing, now director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center in Washington DC

Also featuring …

Victor Gao - A former Chinese diplomat, now Vice President of Beijing-based think tank The Center for China and Globalization

Oriana Skylar Mastro - Fellow, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; Non-resident Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute


Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping meet in Beijing ahead of the Winter Olympics. Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/Tass/Getty Images


  • Fri 18 Feb 2022 10:06GMT
  • Sat 19 Feb 2022 00:06GMT
  • Sat 19 Feb 2022 04:06GMT

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