China’s diplomatic shilly-shallying in the war against Ukraine has pushed its western partners to the edge of their patience. G7, EU and NATO made very clear during the summit marathon in Brussels at the end of March 2022 what they expect from China: Stay clear from Russia, do not circumvent sanctions. Even though China has more or less continued its balancing act of “pro-Russian neutrality,” it also has its reasons for treading cautiously in a situation that has reinforced and welded together the transatlantic alliance to an unexpected degree. This situation, especially in regard to common western sanctions, is undoubtedly unnerving from a Chinese perspective, and China’s possible take-aways from it will shape future relations with the EU and other western nations. At least five are ready at hand.
Dr. Cora Francisca Jungbluth
Senior Expert China and Asia-Pacific