China intends to restore diplomatic relations with Western countries after a period of isolation caused by the country's support for Russia after February 24. The Financial Times writes about this with reference to Chinese officials and its own sources in the leadership of the People's Republic of China.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chinese officials repeatedly reported that the Russian president had not warned Beijing of his plans. According to sources, during a meeting with the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, on February 4, 2022, Putin announced that the Russian Federation is ready to take "any possible measures" if there is a threat to Russia's security. This was understood by China as an opportunity for limited military intervention.
According to FT sources, China today recognizes the possibility that the Russian Federation will not be able to win in Ukraine and will come out of the war weakened "economically and diplomatically on the world stage."
At the same time, a number of Chinese officials admitted that they distrust the Russian president because of what is happening.
At this stage, Beijing convinces the EU that it is ready to influence Moscow to prevent Putin from using nuclear weapons. To restore relations with Europe, China plans to position itself as a peacemaker and a participant in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.
As evidence of the change in China's diplomatic vector, the FT cites as an example the frequency of visits by Western leaders. For example, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU President Charles Michel visited Beijing at the end of 2022, and a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is expected.