Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Natali Sevriukova reacts next to her house following a rocket attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo At the Communist Party’s 19th Congress in 2017, Xi Jinping told the assembled cadres that China was ready to “enter the center stage of global affairs.” With the U.S. and its Western allies now imposing harsh economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, China’s time may have come. As generations of Chinese leaders had envisioned, China’s economic prowess now provides it with the capacity to backstop any major country that faces financial sanctions put in place by “imperialist” G7 countries. This ability to support a major international pariah with billions of dollars unambiguously places China as one of the two superpowers in the world. Any such move to support Russia would help both countries and their leaders in different ways. It would also drive these countries toward an increasingly autarkic Eurasian economic bloc, albeit one which large segments of their respective entrepreneurial and creative elites would find undesirable. WSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.