Chinese international relations scholar Dingding Chen on Beijing’s position in the Russo-Ukrainian War


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This week on Sinica: Chén Dìngdìng 陈定定, professor of international relations at Jinan University in Guangzhou, offers his perspective on how Beijing views the war in Ukraine that began on February 24 with the Russian invasion. He concludes that while Beijing’s short-term alignment with Russia is fairly locked in and unlikely to shift soon, the long-term prospects for the partnership are far less certain. Kaiser and Dingding discuss where Russian and Chinese worldviews are congruent, the unlikelihood that China will put itself forward as some kind of mediator in the war, and China’s domestic considerations in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

4:37 – China’s assessment of Russia’s comprehensive national power

8:09 – Has the course of the war and Russian underperformance caused Beijing to recalibrate?

10:37 – When did the Sino-Russian convergence really happen?

24:47 – India and Vietnam as complicating factors in the Russo-Chinese relationship

27:26 – Does Xi’s personal relationship with Putin matter?

29:16 – The leaks of alleged intel showing Russia asked for Chinese military assistance

38:23 – The significance of the Hu Wei essay calling for Beijing to break with Moscow over the war

46:38 – Domestic considerations

A transcript of this interview is available on


Dingding: The late Ezra Vogel’s Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Kaiser: Kingdom of Characters: the Language Revolution That Made China Modern by Jing Tsu