China Asked Russia to Postpone Ukraine Invasion Until After Olympics: Report

China Asked Russia to Postpone Ukraine Invasion Until After Olympics: Report
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk toward a hall in the Kremlin to hold talks, in Moscow on June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)
Andrew Thornebrooke
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials allegedly knew of Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine in advance, and requested that the war be postponed until after the Beijing Olympics had concluded, according to Western intelligence obtained by the New York Times (NYT).

The NYT report said that the information, which was collected by Western intelligence agencies, was classified but that Senior Biden administration officials and one European official confirmed their authenticity on the condition of anonymity.

The information was allegedly collected and studied in the lead up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but those involved did not agree on how far up knowledge of the impending invasion spread among CCP officials.

As such, the intelligence does not directly implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin and CCP General Secretary Xi personally. The NYT report said that it was likely officials from both nations briefed their higher-ups, however.

If the report is credible, it could vindicate earlier warnings that China and Russia are working closely with one another to undermine the rules-based international order and to facilitate one another’s plans for Taiwan and Ukraine, respectively, behind the scenes.
Putin and Xi met on Feb. 4 in Beijing on the opening day of the Winter Olympics, which ran until Feb. 20. The meeting culminated in the release of a lengthy statement declaring a partnership between the two nations that had “no limits,” and expressing their shared opposition to the further expansion of NATO, a key justification of Russia’s invasion.

The statement came even as Putin moved massive numbers of troops to western Russia and Belarus to prepare for the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin ordered troops to be moved into eastern parts of Ukraine one day after the end of the Olympics.

Putin initially described the invasion as a “special military operation” to secure the independence of breakaway provinces in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, and to “deNazify” its government.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish.

The truth quickly made itself known, however, when Putin demanded that Ukraine overthrow Zelenskyy, and brought former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych into Belarus, suggesting that his real goal is regime change to ensure a Ukrainian government favorable to Russia.
Yanukovych fled Ukraine during the Maidan Revolution of 2014, after signing an agreement that would return Ukraine to a parliamentary-presidential form of government.
In the week since the beginning of the war, Russia has carried out mass fires on civilian infrastructure including schools and hospitals, and has been accused by the international community of committing war crimes.
The CCP has censored information about the war within mainland China, and does not acknowledge the conflict as an “invasion.”
Andrew Thornebrooke is a national security correspondent for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.
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