Intelligence Reports Indicate China Asked Putin to Hold Off Ukraine Invasion Until After Olympics

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Western intelligence reports indicate that Chinese President Xi Jinping became aware of Russia’s planned invasion of Ukraine prior to the recently completed Winter Olympics and asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay the invasion until after the Olympics in Beijing were completed.


The games ended on February 20. The next day, Russia announced they were moving troops into Eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces are fighting a civil war against the Ukrainian government. Russia began a full-scale invasion on February 24. But reports indicate that the Russian army was ready to go as early as February 12. It was that week that White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned that Russia could invade by the end of the week.

Instead, Putin held off for more than a week in order to allow no distractions from the Chinese Olympic triumph.

President Xi adopted the Russian narrative that NATO was threatening Moscow prior to the invasion.

New York Times:

Since the war began, Chinese officials have consistently sided with Russia. They have expressed support for Russia’s concerns about NATO and spoken of “sovereignty” in ambiguous terms. A Chinese government readout of a telephone conversation last Friday between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin reiterated those points. Spokespeople for the Chinese Foreign Ministry have refused to call Russia’s actions an “invasion” and blamed the United States for inflaming tensions around Ukraine.

China has not joined most of the rest of the world in imposing economic sanctions on Russia. And recent Chinese statements have suggested the relationship with Moscow is getting closer.


Days after President Biden spoke to Mr. Xi in a video summit on Nov. 15, senior American officials decided to present intelligence on the Russian troop buildup around Ukraine to senior Chinese officials to try to get them to persuade Mr. Putin to stand down. The Americans talked to Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador in Washington, and to Wang Yi, the foreign minister. In a half-dozen meetings, including one in Washington between U.S. officials and the Chinese ambassador just hours before the Russian invasion, Chinese officials expressed skepticism that Mr. Putin would invade Ukraine, American officials said.

After one diplomatic exchange in December, U.S. officials received intelligence showing Beijing had shared the information with Moscow, telling the Russians that the United States was trying to sow discord and that China would not try to impede Russian plans, American officials said.

China is critical to sanctioning Russia because of its vast wealth and its experience in helping other nations like Iran and North Korea evade crippling sanctions. How far China would go to anger the West in helping Putin and keeping the Russian economy from collapsing is unknown.

American and European officials are watching China to see whether it will help Russia evade sanctions or salvage the Russian economy. Before the invasion, Beijing and Moscow announced a 30-year contract for China to buy gas through a new pipeline. China has also lifted restrictions on the import of Russian wheat. But U.S. officials expect Chinese state-owned banks to avoid openly violating the sanctions for fear of jeopardizing their global commerce.


While it might appear China and Russia are joined at the hip, their cooperation will only go so far. Both countries have interests in Asia and they share a 2,000-mile border that has erupted in military confrontation several times over the last 70 years.

But both countries share a hatred for the United States and will do everything they can — individually and together — to thwart the U.S. and threaten its interests.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member