China’s Historic Error On Ukraine
By Thomas Duesterberg
28 February 2022
China has little to gain economically from an entente with Russia and much to lose from Western sanctions. China’s economy is threatened by a severe real estate crisis and crackdowns on digital sectors. The Russian incursion into Ukraine, and the Western response to that aggression, will make Chinese economic recovery even more problematic. U.S. sanctions against China would be considerably strengthened by a joint approach with Europe, especially in matters like access to bank clearing procedures, capital markets and sensitive Western technology. Energy policy on both sides of the Atlantic can help deepen cooperation on meeting the challenge to the postwar economic order, which Xi’s mercantilism and support for Russian aggression has crystallized. Xi’s decision to back Putin, in short, will weaken China’s near- and long-term economic outlooks, which in turn could have domestic political consequences for Xi’s attempt to remain ruler for life.