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Hu Xijin: Why Russia Is Strategically Very Important to China

Hu Xijin, the former chief editor of the CCP’s mouthpiece Global Times, published an article explaining China’s position in the Russia-Ukraine war. Below is a translation of the article:

“Some people in China have always advocated that we should follow the West in condemning and sanctioning Russia as a nice gesture to improve relations with the United States. This claim is very naive. Let me explain here plainly and clearly why Russia is crucially and strategically important to China.

“The most obvious reason is that China and Russia are mutually supportive diplomatically. This, however, is only the most superficial reason. I don’t need to say more about Russia’s support for China on Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and other issues. The most important thing is the ‘back-to-back’ mutual strategic relationship between China and Russia.

“Let me ask you, who is the number one strategic adversary of the United States today? It is China, not Russia! Now that Russia is in the whirlwind, the United States is putting most of its pressure on Moscow. In the Trump era, Washington wanted to improve its relations with Russia.” Pence once said, “Forget Russia. Please believe that, over time, the primary edge of American pressure will definitely turn back to China. At that time we will feel how valuable it is to have the support of Russia, even just a neutral Russia.”

“Even now, Russia has suddenly taken away a large part of the pressure from the United States. Russia and the United States will be dead (worst) enemies to each other for a long time into the future. Since the trade war began, China has been at the forefront of fighting against U.S. hegemony. Now it is happening that Russia is standing at the forefront. Isn’t it equally significant for China to accumulate power? It is a completely different geopolitical situation for the two countries, China and Russia, to resist U.S. hegemony than for one country to face the U.S. alone.

“The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the 21st century is very special and its ‘no upper limit’ connotation is a deterrent to the United States. For example, if the United States carries out extreme strategic coercion against China, with Russia as a partner, China will not be afraid of the United States’ energy blockade and our food supply will be more secure, as will many other raw materials. It will be even harder for the United States to make up its mind to have a comprehensive strategic showdown with China.

“In the event of a war between China and the United States in the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea, China’s conventional forces will increasingly have the power to overwhelm the U.S. military. With Russia as a super-nuclear force hostile to the United States (regardless of whether Moscow supports China at that time or is neutral), it will be more difficult for the United States to deal with China using nuclear blackmail. Because China itself is a feared nuclear power, the United States must also be wary of Russia’s leap from nuclear parity with the United States to nuclear superiority.

“The strengths of China and Russia have strong strategic complementarity. The geopolitical potential formed by the two countries is boundless. For example, the Sino-Russian strategic relationship has a certain potential effect containing Japan. It also has a certain influence on India. Also, importantly, China and Russia together are powerful enough to strategically stabilize Central Asia.

If China and Russia are successfully divided by the United States, today’s Russia will immediately face a strategic dead chess fate. In the future Sino-U.S. conflicts, China will also face a dead chess fate. Today we are facing many challenges and uncertainties in the east and south. If Russia is pulled away by the United States, and China and Russia return to the hostility of the 1970s, China will be back to the 1960s’situation of ‘anti-American imperialist’ and ‘anti-Soviet (revisionist)’ at the same time. Fighting on both fronts, is that conceivable?

Some people suggest to abandon Russia in exchange for reconciliation with the United States. How naive it is to make such a claim. The ultimate goal of the United States on Russia is only to make it no longer a ‘nuclear threat,’ whereas its goal on China is to make China completely lose its development ability and its competitiveness. It is best to divide China into several pieces. Each piece becomes a parallel piece next to Japan, South Korea, and the ASEAN countries so that every individual one is controlled by the U.S. They will buy its weapons, and produce cheap goods for the U.S.

“Those naive Chinese people should stop dreaming. China should not take the initiative to challenge the United States and should try to avoid Sino-U.S. confrontation, but we must use our own strength to make the United States accept peaceful coexistence with China. Russia is China’s most important partner to achieve this goal. Therefore, China can’t do anything against Russia, i.e., against China-Russia relations today. The Chinese government’s balanced stance on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is most in line with China’s actual and long-term national interests.”

Source:, March 20, 2022