China to Welcome Belarusian Leader, Raising Concerns Over Ukraine

The article reports that China is set to welcome Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for a visit, which has raised concerns over China’s support for Lukashenko’s regime amidst the ongoing political crisis in neighboring Ukraine.

The article highlights Lukashenko’s controversial leadership and the fact that Belarus has become increasingly isolated from the international community due to its crackdown on opposition figures and human rights abuses.

The article also notes that Lukashenko’s visit to China may be an attempt to strengthen ties between the two countries and potentially seek support from China in the face of mounting international pressure.

As officials in Ukraine anxiously watch evolving diplomatic overtures between Moscow and Beijing, China’s top leader will host the president of Belarus — a staunch Kremlin ally — with the pomp of a state visit next week.

On Saturday, China announced the visit, to take place over three days starting on Tuesday, for President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus, who a year ago allowed Russian forces to use his country as a staging ground for their full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The presence in Beijing of such a close partner of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is likely to increase international attention, and pressure, over China’s straddling position on the war.

The announcement of Beijing’s latest high-profile official visitor comes a week after the Biden administration accused China of considering sending lethal military assistance to Russia, a claim that Chinese officials have denied. If the Chinese send arms and ammunition to Moscow’s formations in eastern Ukraine, the supplies would come at a time when both sides are running low on much-needed artillery rounds.