The War in Ukraine has taught its observer’s many lessons- perhaps the most important of these is the value of having a network of partners who can be depended on for both political and material aid during difficult times. A country never knows when it will be in need of help in todays interconnected world. It is better to have allies than enemies right now. Ukraine has done a good job fighting against one of the most powerful nations in the world, Russia, and that has been possible with the help of foreign countries. Russia has its own set of partners, including Hungary, Iran, and Belarus, that have served as launch points for attacks, provided lethal aid, or offered political cover for the invasion of Ukraine. These partnerships -just as they will be for the Ukranians- will be tested as the conflict continues and things progress.
Into this already messy conflict comes China. Offering a terribly one-sided partnership in which China supplies Putin with the resources he needs to maintain pre-2022 conditions in the disputed regions surrounding Donetsk, Melitopol, Luhansk, and Crimea. In exchange, Putin makes economic and security agreements with Xi that allow China to influence Russian politics for decades to come. Beijing benefits by securing even more preferential access to Russian weapon and energy exports, and Russia gets the financial aid it needs to keep its country afloat. The new trend under new leadership for China is to offer developing nations short-term resources in exchange for long-term debt. This shows trends of imperialism that the world and governments have worked to get rid of. China and Xi have an agenda and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish it. Another reason China may be involved with Ukraine and Russia is to work to de-link Taiwan and Ukraine to have access and control over Taiwan as well. The China and Russia partnership is a powerful one that the United States should be keeping an eye on.