Understanding China’s Position Towards the War in Ukraine: Lessons for a ‘Superpower to-be’

This policy outlook examines the positioning of China in the Russia-Ukraine War with a particular focus on its rise as a regional hegemonic power.

China’s position reflects a multidimensional learning process geared towards adjusting its strategy towards long-term objectives such as the integration of Taiwan into the body politic of the Chinese mainland. As part of this learning process, Beijing will have an opportunity to continue developing its economic and military power, challenge Western hegemony on ideological and informational grounds, and test the waters regarding a potential invasion of Taiwan. As complicated as its possible ramifications may seem now, the Russia-Ukraine War has the potential to increase China’s prospects of becoming a regional hegemon par excellence if it successfully accomplishes this learning process in the sense of observing Russia’s shortcomings and superiorities and making necessary adjustments and transformations of its own.

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