China doesn't want Russia to 'go down in flames' in Ukraine because they need Putin to 'foil' US power, White House official says

  • China doesn't want Russia to "go down in flames" in Ukraine, a White House official told MSNBC.

  • John Kirby said China needs Putin to help "push back" against US leadership and power.

  • Xi visited Putin this week in Moscow, with both parties praising each other as a "dear friend."

China doesn't want Russia to "go down in flames" in Ukraine because it sees President Vladimir Putin as an ally to "push back" against US leadership, a White House official told MSNBC on Tuesday.

"China's in a difficult spot. They would like to see this war end, too," John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications for the National Security Council in the White House, told MSNBC. "They don't want to see Russia go down in flames over Ukraine."

Kirby added that Chinese President Xi Jinping's "only reason" for forming a closer relationship with Putin is to "push back" against the US and West.

"They see Russia as a useful foil for American leadership elsewhere around the world," he said. "That's the only reason why this relationship is persisting the way it is."

"We don't view this discussion or this burgeoning closeness of these two countries as anything more than a marriage of convenience," he added.

Xi is currently in Moscow for a high-stakes, three-day meeting with Putin. Analysts have suggested that Xi is in a difficult position and could use the state visit to either escalate its support for Russia in the war or reaffirm itself as a peace broker between Putin and Ukraine.

According to Reuters, Xi and Putin spoke for more than four hours on Monday. They later enjoyed a state dinner at the Kremlin, which The Telegraph reported included a fancy meal of roast venison in cherry sauce, a Far East Russia seafood platter, and two wines from Putin's estate.

Russian media said Xi and Putin warmly praised each other as a "dear friend," Reuters said.


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