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Jeddah summit showed China's growing disagreement with Russia on war

Aug 8, 2023

At the summit in Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) on August 5-6, it became apparent that Beijing's disagreements with Moscow over the settlement of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, in particular in the interests of the Kremlin, were growing.

Such conclusions were reached by analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in a recent report.


The publication notes that The Financial Times reported that Chinese representatives at the meeting in Jeddah were "constructive" and “keen to show that [China] is not Russia”. The newspaper quoted one European diplomat who attended the summit as saying that " mere presence of China shows Russia is more and more isolated".

The Chinese delegation reportedly stated its readiness to participate in the next meeting in a similar format, which will likely also be held without Russian participation.

A Russian insider source claimed that Moscow had rejected China's February 2023 12-point "peace plan" for Ukraine (the Chinese delegation re-presented it at talks in Saudi Arabia), and that some Chinese elites "secretly express their dissatisfaction with the Russian leadership's actions" to resolve its war in Ukraine.

According to the summary, the reports of the Saudi talks and the insiders' claims, if true, are consistent with ISW's previous assessments that China does not fully support Russia on the Ukraine issue.

In addition, it also points to the opinion of analysts that relations between Moscow and Beijing are not a "partnership without limits," as the Kremlin would like them to be.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 08/08/2023

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