China’s Response to the Escalating Military Actions in Ukraine

This article was last updated on October 11, 2022

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China’s Response to the Escalating Military Actions in Ukraine

While the West has condemned Russia’s most recent missile attacks throughout Ukraine in retaliation for the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, a key piece of infrastructure which links Crimea with the mainland, the Western media has paid little attention to how China has interpreted these actions.  In an October 10th, 2022 article, we find China’s response to the escalation of the conflict in this article:




Here are some key quotes with my bolds throughout:


Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for the Crimean Bridge explosion and calling the blast “a terrorist act,” several Ukrainian cities came under missile attacks. Chinese experts believe the bridge blast may free Russia from targeting only military facilities and that Moscow may extend its attacks against important Ukrainian administrative and political objects and important infrastructure, which will escalate the conflict to another stage.


Mao Ning, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Monday at a routine press briefing that China noted relevant reports (of blasts in Ukrainian cities) and hopes the situation will de-escalate as soon as possible. China hopes all parties will properly address their differences through dialogue and consultation. China stands ready to continue to play a constructive part in de-escalation efforts, Mao said….


Despite Russia’s fierce reprisals after the bridge blast incident, observers believed that nuclear weapons are off the table for Moscow. However, they said that because of the suddenly intensified tensions, the US and other Western countries should slam on the brakes and not fan the flames of the crisis. The current situation is on a knife edge and any provocative move at this time will set off a powder keg, while Western countries have exhausted much of their military resources….


Chinese observers predicted that a full-blown escalation of the Russia-Ukraine crisis would follow after the Russian authority’s recognition of the incident as an “act of terrorism,” as well as the attacks on Ukraine cities. 


After identifying Ukraine as being behind this incident, Russia probably won’t confine itself to attacking only military targets, Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Monday.


According to the article, potential non-military targets include Ukraine’s administrative and political figures, objects and important infrastructure including Ukraine’s traffic system.  The article quotes Cui Heng as stating that Russia is unlikely to unleash its nuclear arsenal in reprisal for what has fortunately turned out to be a relatively minor attack on the Kerch Bridge.  The article also stated that Western military support for Ukraine may dwindle as United States stockpiles of the equipment that is essential for Ukraine’s offensive actions against Russia are reaching minimum levels needed for war planning and training and that the military stocks of most European NATO states have been highly depleted as well with restocking to pre-crisis level potentially taking years to complete.


Also on October 10th, this Opinion piece which points the finger at the nation that China views as responsible for this escalation also appeared on the Global Times website:



 Here are some interesting quotes:


The conflict itself seems to have gone from being a powder keg to becoming a nuclear reactor, due to certain forces which have been fanning war flames. Among them was US President Joe Biden’s radical rhetoric of so-called threat of Armageddon….


The US enjoys seeing the escalation of the war. The development of the conflict does not at all depend on whether Ukraine is really determined to fight to the last Ukrainian, but on whether the US needs the war to continue. Otherwise, it could be another story now if the US ever makes effort to promote negotiations between the two sides. 


But the US has its calculations – gaining interests comprehensively from the conflict, including making Europe much more reliant on it in terms of both energy and security; exhausting Russia’s strength, until Moscow will no longer be able to pursue its previous glory; and further driving a wedge between the international community and Russia, drawing in more countries to US anti-Russia camp….


An ally should be dependable. Unfortunately, a US that keeps stirring up tension is not a qualified one. Biden’s “Armageddon” comment not only met with Russian refutation, but also made some allies dissatisfied. “We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters,” Macron said on Saturday, adding, “I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially when speaking of nuclear weapons.


I always find it interesting to look at the global geopolitical reality through the eyes of non-Westerners.  Given that China is now one of the pillars of the new multipolar global reality, the West, most particularly the United States, and its leadership would be wise to pay attention to China’s views on the evolving situation in Europe, particularly given the close economic, political and military ties between Russia and China.

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