Photo: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping (Getty Images) Author: Dmitry Levitsky
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin warned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Russia's war against Ukraine could last five years.
This was reported by RBC-Ukraine with reference to the Nikkei Asia publication.
Military Five Year Plan
Such a warning, sources told Nikkei, was voiced by Putin during Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow in March this year. Then the Russian dictator said that Russia “will fight for at least five years,” but assured the head of China that the Russian Federation will win in the end.
As Nikkei writes, regardless of whether Xi Jinping believed in Putin’s words, this could affect further relations between Russia and China, which, in particular, was reflected in the sending of a Chinese peacekeeping mission to Europe and the dismissal of the Chinese Foreign Minister.
In addition, according to Nikkei, China has revised its strategy as the protracted war in Ukraine will significantly affect the plans and ambitions of Xi Jinping during his third term as head of the PRC, in particular the annexation of Taiwan.
Taking into account the statement of the head of the Kremlin, Nikkei notes, reports of alleged signals from the Russian Federation about openness before the ceasefire and negotiations should not be taken “at face value.” Putin probably just wants to create an illusion on the eve of the presidential elections, believing that this will help him.
Putin did not warn Xi Jinping
Putin met with Xi Jinping shortly before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. This happened during the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February 2022, the opening of which was attended by the Russian dictator. However, as Nikkei writes, Putin did not warn Xi Jinping about his large-scale plans, which offended the Chinese leader.
Beijing believed Russian troops would only invade eastern Ukraine but did not expect a full-scale attack, especially four days after the Beijing Winter Olympics closed and a week before the Paralympics began.
Given this, Nikkei explains, China has questioned Putin's words about a “five-year war” and has begun to think about protecting its own interests, regardless of how events in Ukraine might end. In particular, China created its own “peacekeeping mission,” which, according to Nikkei, demonstrated a slight change in Xi Jinping’s pro-Russian position and angered the Kremlin leader.
Xi Jinping's visit to Putin
Let us remind you that the head of China visited Moscow on March 20 for a two-day visit. During an informal meeting with Putin, which lasted four hours, the topic of the war in Ukraine was also raised.
China noted that leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is aimed at “calling for peace and promoting negotiations.” They stated that Beijing would defend its supposedly “objective and impartial position” on international and regional issues, including the war in Ukraine.
Read more about Xi Jinping’s visit to Putin in the RBC-Ukraine article.