Source: Gao Yusheng’s speech at an internal forum of the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, according to The Washington Post, citing an article by Hong Kong-based Phoenix media
Details: The publication ran a story on Tuesday about the speech delivered by Gao, who served in Ukraine from 2005 to 2007, but the piece was soon removed, WP says. However, an archived version is still available.
The former ambassador described Russia’s war effort as headed toward defeat, undermined by the failures of Putin’s economic, military and political policies.
“Every day the war continues to extract a heavy cost on Russia,” he said.
Not only is Russia on the back foot on the battlefield, it is also losing the economic, diplomatic and publicity fight, meaning that “it is only a matter of time before Russia is ultimately defeated,” Gao said, according to an archived version of the article.
According to the diplomat, Putin’s desire to dominate the region of the former Soviet Union had led to Russia “repeatedly infringing upon others’ territory and sovereignty.” He believes that this is the greatest threat to Eurasia’s peace, security and stability.
The Washington Post points out that the 75-year-old ex-envoy’s account is a rare departure from China’s usual official position of not criticizing its close diplomatic partner.
- On March 13, The New York Times reported, citing its sources, that Russia had asked China for military and economic aid amid the setbacks in Ukraine. According to US intelligence, China allegedly expressed willingness to provide such aid.
- On March 18, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a video call with US President Joe Biden that Russia’s war against Ukraine is in no one’s interests.
- China did not refer to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine as “war” until March 10, the fourteenth day of full-scale hostilities. Before that, China urged restraint after Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons.
- On March 20, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said that China was not providing military assistance to Russia and that his country called for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution.
- On May 3, the US Department of Defense said that they saw no indications of arms supplies to Russia from third countries, including China.