Summit in Jeddah shows growing differences between China and Russia over war in Ukraine – ISW

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has pointed out that the talks in Jeddah witnessed the growth of China and Russia’s different views over the war in Ukraine.

Source: ISW

Details: ISW said China's growing disagreement with Russia over a settlement to end the war in Ukraine was evident at talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 5-6 August.

ISW noted that "The Financial Times reported that the Chinese representatives at the meeting were ‘constructive’ and ‘keen to show that [China] is not Russia’".

The Financial Times cited a European diplomat present at the talks, saying that the "mere presence of China shows Russia is more and more isolated".

The Chinese delegation is reported to have expressed its willingness to participate in the next similar-format meeting. Russia will probably not be at this meeting either.

A Russian insider source claimed that Russia has rejected China's 12-point peace plan for the war in Ukraine [re-presented by the Chinese delegation during the talks in Saudi Arabia – ed.] made on February 2023, and that some Chinese elites are secretly expressing that they are dissatisfied with the Russian leadership’s actions regarding a peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine.

"These reports from the talks in Saudi Arabia and insider allegations, if true, align with ISW’s previous assessments that China is not fully aligned with Russia on the issue of Ukraine and that Russia and China’s relationship is not a ‘no limits partnership’ as the Kremlin desires," ISW concluded.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 7 August:

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least two sectors of the front on 7 August.

  • Russian forces and occupation administrators continue to seek to mitigate the impact of recent Ukrainian strikes on logistics nodes along key Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) connecting occupied Crimea with occupied Kherson Oblast.

  • Russian opposition media outlet Verstka suggested that the Russian Investigative Committee and its head, Alexander Bastrykin, are directly involved in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and the forced placement of Ukrainian children into Russian military training programs.

  • China's increasing misalignment with Russia on any settlement to end the war in Ukraine was reportedly evident at the talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 5-6 August.

  • The Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Saudi Arabia presented a 10-point peace plan that reportedly included calls for global food security, nuclear safety, environmental security, humanitarian aid, and prisoner releases.

  • Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted a prisoner-of-war (POW) exchange on 7 August.

  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, along the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast on 7 August and made advances in certain areas.

  • The Kremlin continues efforts to portray itself as adequately mobilising the Russian defence industrial base (DIB) for a protracted war effort.

  • Russian occupation authorities continue to use maternity capital benefits to coerce Ukrainian civilians in occupied territories to accept Russian citizenship and increase social control in occupied areas.

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