China’s discontent & the Russia distraction: Beijing bureau chief Melinda Liu
April 11, 2022
The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping is a "marriage of convenience," Newsweek's Beijing bureau chief Melinda Liu tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview. "They've known each other a long time, so it's not entirely awkward, but it's not entirely comfortable either. There's ... not a lot of trust."
But according to Liu, Xi's biggest problem right now is not Putin, but China’s zero-COVID policy - which now has 26 million people under lockdown in Shanghai. China is facing a challenge they never saw coming — and that "hits right to the soul."
Russia's war in Ukraine has put China in an awkward spot: they condemn the invasion, but not the invader. Chinese coverage of the war in Ukraine hasn’t been consistent, and neither is China’s historical relationships with Ukraine and Russia. Many Chinese media outlets have “an outstanding capability to maintain a state of denial, to say things that are clearly not true” — but not all have spread propaganda about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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