Good evening. The situation in Ukraine is changing daily, but so far one thing has remained fairly constant: China’s insistence that it’s not getting involved. Our cover story this week set out to both understand this position and ask how much longer it can last. Elsewhere, we have infographics on state-backed battery maker CALB; an interview with Craig Allen about U.S. business confidence in China; an op-ed from Rogier Creemers on the importance of China’s new digital policy; and an op-ed from George Magnus on the risks of pursuing “Common Prosperity” during Putin’s war. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
Want this emailed directly to your inbox? Sign up to receive our free newsletter.
For a month now, China has tried to stay out of the Russia-Ukraine war — insisting that it is “not a party” to the situation. But, in many ways, Beijing is smack dab in the middle of things. How can we make sense of China’s involvement, or lack thereof, in the Ukraine crisis? This week, The Wire reached out to 13 experts in an effort to understand how China views the conflict, what options it has when it comes to its relationship with Russia, and what might happen next.
Thus far, private electric vehicle battery companies have dominated production in China. But now, through CALB Co., the Chinese state is looking to muscle its way in. This week, The Wire’s infographics by Eliot Chen look at the state-backed battery maker’s ambitious plans.
Craig Allen is president of the U.S.-China Business Council, a non-profit organization that aims to help expand the commercial relationship between the two countries. Prior to taking on the role in 2018, Allen served in various diplomatic roles, including three postings in Beijing and stints in Taipei, Tokyo and South Africa. In this week’s Q&A with Andrew Peaple, he talks about U.S. business confidence in China, staying competitive, eschewing loyalty tests and inching toward a conflict of law.
Illustration by Lauren Crow
At the end of last year, Beijing released a collection of policy plans for the entire digital environment. Although it was mostly met with silence in Western media, it’s worthy of a closer look. Beijing, argues scholar Rogier Creemers, is leading the way in setting out a comprehensive strategy for a world in which governments prioritize reducing their vulnerability to external pressures over optimizing their value chains.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” campaign takes aim at the market-oriented policies that have enabled China’s rise. As scholar George Magnus argues in this op-ed, at a time when Covid-19 border controls and perceived complicity in Russia’s aggression are already threatening to isolate China, the risks of pursuing such a campaign should not be underestimated.
Subscribe today for unlimited access, starting at only $19 a month.