NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
One military expert says that China is walking a “very slender path” in terms of how it’s approaching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and is predicting it will be very difficult for the country to stay neutral in the conflict.
Since the beginning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to wage war against Ukraine, Chinese government officials have attempted to make the appearance that they are understanding of each side and haven’t taken a hard stance.
China’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Fan Xiangong, told officials in Lviv on March 14 that the country has the “sovereign right of every nation.”
“We will always respect your state, we will develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians, because this is the sovereign right of every nation,” Xiangong said, according to the Lviv regional government.
Xiangong added that “we will act responsibly” in the “situation” which Ukraine is facing.
“In this situation, which you have now, we will act responsibly. We have seen how great the unity of the Ukrainian people is, and that means its strength,” Fan said.
However, weeks before Xiangong’s comments in Liviv, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his “support” for Putin amid Russian troops beginning their war against Ukraine.
Xi said that it’s important to reject a “Cold War mentality” and said he takes “seriously and respect[s] the reasonable security concerns of all countries.”
Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security advisor said on March 13 that China would “absolutely” face consequences if it economically supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Seth Cropsey, founder and president of the Yorktown Institute, former naval officer, and former Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy told Fox News Digital that China is walking a “very slender path” that will continue to shrink.
“They’re walking a very slender path, and on either side of the precipice, they’re walking a ridge with steep sides and the ridge is getting narrower. And as the war continues, it will become like a razor,” Cropsey said.
He added that China is in an “uncomfortable position” and is not experienced in international mediation.
Ultimately, Cropsey said that if China took action to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine, it would lead to a “rift” between it and Russia, which isn’t in their interests.
“I think that if China wanted Russia to stop doing this and took action, that it would lead to what the Chinese do not want, and that is a rift between them and the Russians,” Cropsey said. “So I think the prospect of China throwing its weight against Russia for the purpose of ending the conflict in Ukraine is low.”
He also said that there’s a major difference between Russia and China’s long-term goals, which cannot be ignored when thinking about the Ukraine issue.
“It’s absolutely clear that where Putin seeks revenge, this kind of resolution of what he of what he called the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, namely the end of the Soviet Union. That means restoring Russian borders to something like what they were when the Soviet Union existed,” Cropsey said. “But I think that China has a much broader ambition and that it’s not regional, it’s global. And those two, I think Chinese leaders understand very well will come up against each other, whether it’s now or sometime in the future.”
“But I think you cannot think about this usefully, the Ukraine issue, without understanding the difference between Russia and China’s long-term goals,” he said.
Fox News’ Paul Best and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report