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Podcast: China's uphill battles, from Putin to COVID: Newsweek's Melinda Liu

Listen:The relationship between Putin and Xi is a "marriage of convenience," journalistMelinda Liu tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. Russia's war in Ukraine has put China in an awkward spot: they condemn the invasion, but not the invader.

Liu, who has been Newsweek's Beijing bureau chief for decades, believes that Xi is likely as isolated and surrounded by sycophants as Putin, which makes predicting what he'll do next very hard. Chinese coverage of the war hasn’t been consistent, and neither is China’s historical relationships with Ukraine and Russia.

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Russia-Ukraine war: Where China stands and why it matters

Russia-Ukraine war: Where China stands and why it matters

The West is in a cold war with Russia. No matter what happens on the ground in Ukraine, the relationship between Russia and the West is irrevocably broken. Even if we were to see a peace settlement stipulating a full Russian retreat (a massive if), so long as Russian President Vladimir Putin is in power, this genie is not going back in the bottle.

Thankfully, this new cold war does not extend to China. Yet.

Despite its warming ties with Russia, China still has a functional and stable (if deteriorating) relationship with the United States and Europe. Unlike with Russia, there is no significant economic and diplomatic decoupling taking place.

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China’s Place in the War in Ukraine | Quick Take | GZERO Media

China’s place in the war in Ukraine

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, from New Orleans of all things. I have a little bit of work down here and I thought I would bring you an opening to the week, our Quick Take.

So much going on with the war. I haven't talked much yet about China and its relations to what's going on in Ukraine, but it is coming a bigger and a bigger deal because at the end of the day, no matter what happens on the ground in Ukraine, the relationship economically between Russia and the West is broken. It is not coming back as long as Putin is there. The Europeans are going to spend more on defense. Structurally, they will end their energy dependence and much of their trade with Russia. That is, I mean even if you were to have a peace settlement and the Russians all leave Ukraine, which is not about to happen, you would still break that relationship.

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