The USA is framing a visit to China by President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus as an indication of Beijing’s assist for the warfare in Ukraine and an try by two of Russia’s closest allies to strengthen ties.
The three-day journey, throughout which Mr. Lukashenko is predicted to satisfy with China’s chief, Xi Jinping, “is simply one other ingredient of the P.R.C.’s deepening engagement with Russia, with all of those that are engaged with and supporting Russia’s brutal warfare towards Ukraine,” Ned Value, the State Division spokesman, mentioned on Monday, utilizing an abbreviation for the Folks’s Republic of China.
China is making an attempt to current itself as a impartial observer within the warfare whereas sustaining shut strategic ties to Russia, a part of a need to be a world counterweight to Washington. Simply earlier than President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia invaded Ukraine final yr, Moscow and Beijing declared a “no limits” partnership.
Belarus is one in every of Russia’s staunchest allies. Mr. Lukashenko allowed Russian forces to make use of Belarus as a staging floor for assaults towards Ukraine at the beginning of the warfare final yr. Analysts say that financial assist will probably be a precedence for Mr. Lukashenko’s China go to, with Belarus changing into extra remoted by sanctions.
Mr. Lukashenko, in remarks broadcast on Belarusian state media, mentioned Tuesday that the USA was searching for to stir anti-China sentiment in Europe. Chinese language state media praised his go to as demonstrating China’s respect for powers of all sizes and criticized the view that it signaled a troubling function for Beijing within the warfare.
“Western media shops nonetheless view this go to by means of a biased lens, describing Belarus as Russia’s ‘little ally’ and suggesting that China’s ‘increasing affect’ ought to be a trigger for concern,” learn a Global Times editorial.
Mr. Lukashenko’s journey follows different latest visits by authoritarian leaders together with President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran and Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia. Iran has supplied unmanned drones that Russia makes use of to assault Ukraine, one thing the Biden administration has tried to thwart.