WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the war in Ukraine continues, there’s a growing fear that other global powers like China could get involved. Military researchers said China’s enhanced involvement could potentially lead to a new Cold War.
First responders and locals are picking up the pieces in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk following a Russian strike which killed one person, according to reports. As the fighting continues and intensifies in the eastern part, Russia is trying to court other countries like China for help.
“The fact that they’ve turned to the North Koreans shows just how desperate Moscow must be,” said Dr. Timothy Heath, Ph.D., with the RAND Corporation. “China is no doubt the most attractive potential partner for Russia.”
Heath’s research with the RAND Corporation focuses on China and their military. The US and allies have helped Ukraine with military support, like sending weapons and ammo to the Ukrainians. Unlike the US, China has mostly stayed out of the conflict, but have helped Russia in other ways:
“Political support, China’s government has echoed Moscow’s talking points and narrative about the conflict,” said Heath. “China has also provided economic support in the sense that China has not imposed sanctions.”
However sympathetic Beijing might be towards Moscow, Heath said China depends heavily on the US, Europe and Japan for it’s trade. So, while the possibility of an increase in China’s involvement in the conflict is unlikely, Heath said if the Chinese provided weapons to Russia, it could result in a dramatic worsening of relations with the US and Europe.
“Maybe the US and its allies would find themselves potentially in a new Cold War,” said Heath. “If China and Russia aligned on one side and the US and its allies aligned on the other, that would move the world into a much scarier direction.”