Xi Jinping will treat Russia like North Korea in the future, according to a leading US national security expert. David Sanger, who is the White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times, told CNN that the Chinese President will make Russia “dependent on the Chinese”. He warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will hate” his country becoming a vassal state under China but there is little he can do to stop it after his stalled invasion of Ukraine.
The opportunity for China to dominate Russia comes after the West united to cripple the Russian economy, with broad packages of sanctions introduced in response to President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Vivian Salama, a national security reporter for the Wall Street Journal, told CNN: “The Chinese want to work with the United States, they want to have a trade relationship.
“But they like playing both sides. For them to have Putin coming out there with his hands out, saying ‘please help us,’ it actually puts them in a very strong position.
“That dual-hat, where they say they want to work with Washington on one hand, and on the other hand, they don’t completely slam the door in Russia’s face.
“That will be very beneficial to them in the long run.”
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Mr Sanger responded by saying that North Korea is “the model” for how China will treat and dominate Russia in the future.
He said: “If you want the model here, look at how they deal with North Korea.
“At various moments they have cracked down about the nuclear programme and then slowly they have resumed trade.
“They believe that staying engaged with them gives them some level of control and leverage.
“And who hates being dependent on the Chinese? Vladimir Putin.
Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang today denied these claims, saying: “There’s disinformation about China providing military assistance to Russia. We reject that.
“What China is doing is send foods, medicine, sleeping bags, and baby formula – not weapons and ammunition to any party.
“We are against a war, as I said, you know, we will do everything to de-escalate the crisis.”
He also rejected demands for China to condemn Russia’s invasion, saying it was “naive” to think “Russia will back down by condemnation”.