Xi turns on Putin: China ‘will not’ risk relations with West over Ukraine crisis

Ukraine: Xi Jinping 'feels misled' over Russian invasion

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The West is looking to completely scupper energy ties with Russia to cripple its economy as it continues to unleash hell on Ukraine. The EU’s new energy strategy lays out plans to phase out Russian oil and gas imports by two thirds by the end of the year. Britain has also committed to stop importing Russia’s oil by the end of the year, while the US has imposed a ban on imports of oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal.

As these moves are likely to deal a devastating blow to Russia’s energy empire, experts tipped that Putin would look to China as an alternative partner to help soften the impacts.

With a planned gas pipeline, Power of Siberia that could double Russia’s exports to China by transporting up to fifty billion cubic metres more natural gas every year, it seemed as though Putin had come up with a master plan.

And as China had been hesitant to criticise Putin for invading Ukraine, it seemed as though Mr Jinping was open to further deepening Russian ties.

But now, the tone in China appears to have changed.

It comes as Chinese media has started to report Russian causalities in the Ukrainian war, after its earlier coverage appeared to align closer Moscow’s coverage.

CGTN, a state-run TV news channel in China, tweeted footage of a Russian tank firing on a civilian in Mariupol realised by Ukrainian forces.

The People’s Daily, a state-run newspaper, reported that 14,000 Russian troops after Ukraine’s foreign ministry made the information public

Danil Bochkov, from the Russian International Affairs Council, has said that Beijing may be distancing itself from Moscow to avoid risking its relations with the West.

He tweeted: “One more point to the debate that China will not risk its relations with West.

“China increased purchases of corn from US due to over Ukraine.

“China bought 200,000 tons of corn from US last week, the highest since December. China fears that war will affect its exports.”

But this also comes after China relaxed its restriction on imports of Russian wheat.

Experts said the move would bring a boost to both countries.

The agreement provides Russia with a secure buyer when exports to other countries are impacted by sanctions, while China would get a boost in agricultural production and could diversify its imports, something Mr Jinping is keen on.

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Analysts from Goldman Sachs wrote in a research report: “Uncertainty around potential sanctions is beginning to create a potential supply shock.

“In our view, until the uncertainty around the rapidly escalating situation is resolved, commodity price risk remains skewed to the upside, with further escalation likely to send European natural gas, wheat, corn and oil prices higher from already-elevated levels.”

The analysts said that because of this, Russian commodities and raw materials will likely be “redirected to China” as the West stops importing from Russia.

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