Senior Chinese officials reportedly told senior Russian officials last month to hold off on invading Ukraine until after the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The information is based on a Western intelligence report that indicated senior Chinese officials had some degree of knowledge about Russia’s intentions to go to war with Ukraine, according to The New York Times.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and China President Xi Jinping met just prior to the official start of the Olympics on February 4, and shortly after a lengthy statement was released declaring the breadth of the countries’ partnership had “no limits,” and denouncing any further expansion of NATO.
There had been speculation within the news media that the invasion would come after the international games in Beijing.
The day after the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Putin ordered more Russian troops to enter areas of insurgent-controlled eastern Ukraine. Just four days later, the Russian military began a full-scale invasion of the country.
Since the invasion, Chinese officials have shown broad support for Russia and its ongoing concerns about NATO’s purported efforts to . The Chinese Foreign Ministry blames the United States for escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia that led to the current circumstances, and likewise has criticized the sanctions leveled against Russia by the U.S. and European nations.
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