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China will not join the sanctions against Russia and a plethora of Western companies are leaving Russia.

This creates some sort of "economical vacuum" which might increase Chinese investments and influence in Russia.

Do any Western government take into account such a scenario?

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  • I don't have a rigorous proof for this, but I do believe China alone will not save Russia's economy should the sanctions continue for a long time. Meanwhile, it seems to me that India is also not sanctioning Russia (India cancelled orders of Russian jets and weapons but this looks a little weird to me...) and may also invest in Russia later...
    – No One
    Mar 4, 2022 at 18:21
  • @user24711 : Western Europe won't be able to continue the sanctions at this level indefinitely either. Strong feelings about the plight of Ukrainians might help now, but when gas prices increase by 2x or 3x, the voters won't like it.
    – vsz
    Mar 4, 2022 at 18:24
  • @vsz Nor do I believe U.S. will be able to continue the sanctions for a long time. U.S. have elections this year and a bigger one two years later... many things could change then...
    – No One
    Mar 4, 2022 at 18:38
  • The sanctioning countries are pretty much the "have" countries and the rest, the "have nots". Dividing the world in this way will inevitably reduce USUK influence. Mar 4, 2022 at 19:16

2 Answers 2

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They can't.

Pushing back against Russia hard was always going to run the risk of realigning them even more towards China. In terms of military technology transfers, in terms of increased pipeline capacity.

On the other hand, letting Russia have its way would signal to China that the West is a pushover.

You can ask the question, it's a good one. But I doubt there is a good mitigation strategy. The only one that comes to mind is that if Russia makes enough of a mess that even China does not want to associate with it, but the level of Russian atrocities likely required makes that not something to wish for.

p.s. I am sure that was part of Putin's calculations: given the same Russian-NATO power ratios but no China or more friendly China-West relations his actions may very well have differed.

p.p.s Not sure how successful this would be, likely not. But one thing to do is to make it very clear the current disagreements are about Ukraine and Putin, not about the Russian people in general. After all the current White, Christian, ethno-nationalism pushed by Putin is hardly served by being the junior partner with China's entirely different civilization. And... no, that is not the same thing as espousing said worldview, just that it's not a great bedfellow with China's elevated opinion of its own civilization.

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  • 1
    Could you please provide some evidence of Russian government (or Putin himself) pushing "White, Christian, ethno-nationalism", especially in his own country consisting of dozens different nationalities with almost all colors? I'm especially curious how it works with the most ethno-national party being forbidden and prosecuted in Russia for years.
    – ixSci
    Mar 5, 2022 at 8:22
  • @ixSci It is far from the main point of my answer, but Russian can certainly be interpreted that way. This is after all a war to reunite the Great Russian Nation, making it nationalistic. Russia is 80% ethnic Europeans and by your logic, the US could not possibly have had a president pushing White ethnonationalism with its own ethnic constituency. Last, Putin has provided a number of red meat measures to the Orthodox Church such as prosecuting gays or critics of religions (Pussy Galore). Mar 5, 2022 at 19:11
  • They must be "doing something right", judging by their fanbois. Like I said, not a core part of my answer, you're free to disregard it if you wish. I am merely voicing an opinion that, if there were such a tendency to xenophobia within Russia, that was driving international policies, it does not naturally lend itself to be the junior partner of an assertive Asian nation. Mar 5, 2022 at 19:12
  • "White, Christian, ethno-nationalism pushed by Putin" One of the most popular polititians in Russia after Putin is chechen leader Kadyrov and defence minister is defenetly not an ethnic russian, so how this is asociated with ethno-nationalism?
    – convert
    Apr 9, 2022 at 17:03
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IMHO the fact that the West actually acted mitigates the growing influence of China. Ignoring the invasion of Ukraine by Russia would convince China that it could invade Taiwan with impunity.

Unfortunately, the reaction against Russia were half-measures that probably failed to dissuade China. For example, disconnection from SWIFT affected only 7 banks over 300+, and Germany keeps importing Russia's gas and oil. I'm not sure that such half-measures would have the sufficient effect.

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  • No just Germany. I think most countries haven't banned Russia's oil and gas at this moment.
    – No One
    Mar 4, 2022 at 23:22
  • Full measures will surely crush Russia, but may also backfire and hurt the Western countries.
    – No One
    Mar 4, 2022 at 23:24
  • 1
    The more important seizure of assets affected their Central Bank, which all others depend upon. These are not full measures, but like 70% measures, just leaving a bit of room to make more on a daily basis. Mar 5, 2022 at 18:19

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