Background Briefing: March 14, 2022


How Far Will Xi Jinping Go in Supporting His Fellow Dictator Putin?

We begin with talks between The U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Rome after leaks from the Biden administration warning that Russia had asked China for military support in Ukraine and that China was considering sending drones. This prompted an angry and defensive response from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and we get an assessment of today’s negotiations from Zack Cooper, co-director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. He previously served in the Pentagon and White House under the George W. Bush administration, first as special assistant to the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy and then as assistant to the deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism on the National Security Council. We discuss Sullivan’s warning that if China supplies weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, it will be an historic mistake and a turning point in global politics.


Possible Blowback Against China’s Support of Putin

Then we examine further the possible cost of China’s support for Putin if sanctions are extended to China and what kind of blowback there could be against Chinese products as much of the world is outraged by Russia’s brutal attack on a civilian population. Joining us is Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, researcher, and senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations who is currently writing a book about how history is used to legitimize and challenge Communist Party rule in China. He closely follows China’s efforts to bolster its soft power around the globe and previously worked as a news correspondent in China before being expelled in 2020 as part of worsening tensions between China and the United States.


Why is India’s Modi Siding With Putin?

Then finally we look into why India’s leader Modi is tacitly siding with Putin by avoiding criticism of his attack on Ukraine and speak with Dr. Sumit Ganguly, who holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University. His books include Fearful Symmetry: India and Pakistan Under the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons, India Since 1980, India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia and his latest book is The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security and we examine the accidental firing of an Indian missile at Pakistan.