A leading Russian senator has vowed that Vladimir Putin will come to China’s aid if it goes to war over Taiwan.
But Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy chairman of the international committee in Russia’s Federation Council, said the Kremlin’s backing would be offered on the understanding that Beijing would show support in kind for the war in Ukraine.
‘I see no grounds to refuse to help China,’ the politician declared.
‘But I would like to see a two-way movement with China.
‘It means that we should have some benefits from this cooperation.’
Putin and China’s president Xi Jinping have seemingly fostered close ties in recent years, but there is concern in Moscow that Beijing has thus far declined to openly support the Kremlin’s ‘special military operation’ launched on February 24.
It comes amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan after US house speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced diplomatic visit to the self-governing island nation which Beijing claims as its own.
Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy chairman of the international committee in Russia’s Federation Council, said the Kremlin’s backing would be offered on the understanding that Beijing would show support in kind for the war in Ukraine
Putin and China’s president Xi Jinping have seemingly fostered close ties in recent years in what some have dubbed an anti-Western alliance
A handout photo made available by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (R) shaking hands with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (C), before her departure at the Songshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug 3
The 69-year-old Dzhabarov, a former FSB officer, was in 2018 awarded the prestigious Alexander Nevsky order ‘for services in strengthening Russian statehood’
Close Putin ally Dzhabarov made it clear that Russia is ready to back China in any conflict over disputed island Taiwan – a move which would consolidate its anti-Western alliance.
‘I am convinced that in this case China hopes for a certain assistance from Russia… because it will be difficult for China to confront the United States without Russia’s support,’ he said.
‘Sometimes it is a game of chance and a conflict may grow into a big war.
‘But I think that China is behaving very cautiously in this sense, in a very restrained manner, while continuing to build up its defence potential,’ Dzhabarov concluded.
The 69-year-old Russian lawmaker and former FSB officer was in 2018 awarded the prestigious Alexander Nevsky order ‘for services in strengthening Russian statehood’, thanks to a presidential decree from Putin.
Dzhabarov made his claim as China strongly condemned Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and launched a massive military exercise that will see air and maritime traffic cut off due to extensive live-fire drills which infringe on Taiwanese waters.
China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, branded the speaker’s trip a ‘complete farce’ and repeated the much-used phrase by Chinese diplomacy that ‘those who play with fire will perish by it.’
Last week, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping used the same expression in a phone call to US President Joe Biden.
Early on Wednesday, the Chinese foreign ministry slammed Pelosi for ‘brazenly’ going ahead with the trip that was still unconfirmed as late as Monday, claiming it ‘maliciously infringes on China’s sovereignty and blatantly engages in political provocations.’
‘It proves once again that some US politicians have become ‘troublemakers’ of China-US relations,’ the statement said.
Nancy Pelosi accused China of ‘standing in the way’ of Taiwan’s participation in international affairs and cautioned that America’s commitment to preserving democracy ‘remains ironclad.’ She is pictured with Taiwanese President President Tsai Ing-wen during a meeting in Taipei on Wednesday
Pelosi spent several minutes talking to officials and workers at the airport before climbing the steps of the jet and waving to the crowd of supporters ahead of her departure from Taipei earlier today
China is holding six days of military drills around Taiwan that will cross into its territorial waters in what Taipei has called a serious breach of international norms
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office weighed in, threatening ‘criminal punishment measures’ targeted at ‘die hard’ Taiwanese supporters of independence.
Beijing’s military exercises meanwhile kicked off Tuesday with live-fire drills in and around the Taiwan strait set to continue until Sunday.
The large-scale drills are taking place in six locations around the country – three of which cross into its territorial waters in what Taipei today called a serious breach of international norms.
Shipping and air traffic will also be closed in those areas in what amounts to a blockade, as experts say Beijing is rehearsing its ability to cut the island off from the outside world in the event of a war.
In a short speech during a meeting with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen this week, Pelosi said: ‘Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy.
‘America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.’
Ms Ing-wen added that the island of 23 million would not be cowed.
‘Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will… continue to hold the line of defence for democracy,’ Tsai said.
She also thanked the 82-year-old US lawmaker for ‘taking concrete actions to show your staunch support for Taiwan at this critical moment’.