Friday's Top 5 Stories From Putin's War in Ukraine

Regarding China, Blinken commented:

We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence with President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support.

Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter – and we’re concerned that they are considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.

President Biden will tell Xi Friday that active Chinese support for Russia will result in U.S. retaliation. The phone call is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. in the morning. The call follows a report on Thursday that China has supplied some military assistance to China and is “co-ordinating with Moscow to spread disinformation about US biological weapons labs in Ukraine,” according to a Financial Times op-ed by Evan Medeiros, the Penner Family Chair in Asia Studies in the School of Foreign Service and the Cling Family Distinguished Fellow in U.S.-China Studies.

Medeiros writes that China “openly expresses sympathy and support for Moscow’s actions, avoids any responsibility, denies the contradictions in its position, blames the US and Nato and calls for diplomacy.” He calls Europe the “key geopolitical swing vote” now that China has aligned itself with Russia and concluded that “the US-China relationship has transitioned to a long-term rivalry.” Medeiros says European leaders should argue that Putin’s actions “will create global disorder and a new type of cold war” that “undermines the international structures that facilitated China’s rise.”

The Chinese apparently are not convinced. Medeiros concludes:

Chinese officials are reportedly telling European diplomats in Beijing: “You have lost Russia, you can’t lose China, too.” Europe should reply that if China has lost the US and is shackled to Russia, then it can’t afford to lose Europe as well.

Russian missiles hit the western Ukraine city of Lviv on Friday morning. The shelling reflects a widening of Russia’s tactic of besieging and reducing Ukrainian cities. Lviv had been a relatively safe haven for citizens fleeing cities like Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol that are being destroyed by Russian missiles and artillery.

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