With speeches and gestures in recent weeks, Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken the most important steps to create space between Beijing and Moscow since Putin invaded Ukraine nearly nine months ago. Bloomberg writes about it.
The latest signal came at the Group of 20 summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where China signed a communiqué on Wednesday saying "the majority of members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine."
"The Russian president is almost alone in the world with his policies and does not have a strong alliance partner," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who met Xi in Beijing earlier this month, told reporters in Bali on Wednesday. He noted that the statement contains "surprisingly clear words."
The show of solidarity followed a series of relatively warm meetings between Xi and world leaders who have led a campaign to punish Moscow, including his first meeting with US President Joe Biden on Monday. During those talks, Xi reinforced his opposition to the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, a position that draws China's red lines without abandoning Russia altogether.
Xi is looking to re-establish himself on the world stage after avoiding foreign travel during the first two and a half years of the pandemic, a period during which opinion of China deteriorated in most developed countries. During his meeting with Biden in Bali, Xi sought to present himself as an adult in a world divided by divisions.