Ever since the war between Russia and Ukraine started, continuous propaganda has been propagated by both sides, making it increasingly difficult to ascertain the truth. Two significant investigative reports have emerged regarding China and these reports were published by Western media outlets and likely sponsored, aiding their narrative. However, the data presented in these investigation reports cannot be disregarded.
The first report focuses on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), revealing China’s purchases of LNG at various times. Considering the report and data, China started buying and stockpiling ninety-three percent of the world`s LNG shortly before the start of the war, indicating that China was aware of Russia’s impending attack. It also notes that China had never purchased or stored such a substantial amount of gas before. It suggests that China requested Russia to postpone the war until after the Winter Olympics, as China was hosting the Games and feared the consequences of engaging in the conflict. By doing so before the war and establishing wartime reserves, China demonstrated its anticipation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Essentially, Russia had placed its trust in China from the beginning.
The second report pertains to China’s purchase and storage of wheat, exceeding its allocated quota for the second time in history. Previously, China had acquired wheat from the international market below its allotted quota, prompting criticism and even attacks from the United States. However, this time, China has purchased more wheat than its quota permits, leading to the depletion of reserves. In the 1990s, China’s navy bought 12.5 million tons of wheat, the reason for which remains unclear. Presently, China has stored 140 million tons of wheat and purchased 12 million tons from the international market. China’s annual quota is nine million tons, and it has acquired over three million tons beyond that limit. With an annual wheat production of 120 million tons, the report suggests that China might have foreseen the potential breakage of an important dam in Ukraine during the conflict, which would flood significant wheat-growing lands and result in a shortage and subsequent high prices worldwide.
Russia accuses Ukraine of breaking this dam to defame Russia, claiming that Russia is turning into a terrorist state. Conversely, Ukraine asserts that Russia has damaged the dam to block Ukraine’s access to the region, demonstrating a lack of concern for the region’s security while fortifying its military presence in the North-Eastern regions. Consequently, Ukraine’s intended attack was effectively prevented.
One wonders if Ukraine’s reasons seem stronger than Russia’s. It is more likely that Russia was responsible for the dam’s destruction. Therefore, the second report implies that China was aware of Russia’s role in breaking the dam, prompting China to close its doors in advance. As mentioned earlier, the ongoing propaganda from both sides makes it challenging to ascertain the truth. A significant incident occurred in the early months of the war when gas pipelines from Russia to Europe were sabotaged at sea.
At the same time, America accused Russia, while Russia blamed America. However, it is essential to analyze who benefited from the situation. The destruction of those pipelines undeniably favored America. First, Europe was under constant pressure from Russia, but this pressure diminished as Russia’s empire weakened. Consequently, Europe swiftly entered the war and assisted. Second, America was able to sell its LNG to Europe at a higher price. This war instilled a perception of Russia as a threat within Europe, leading to increased defense budgets and a surge in purchases of defense equipment from America. Hence, America significantly benefited from this conflict.
Since the beginning of the war between Ukraine and Russia, several countries, including America, China, India, and the Arab nations, have benefited. America has capitalized on the situation by selling weapons, oil, and gas at high prices globally. Similarly, Arab oil and gas have become more expensive. China has taken advantage of the conflict by purchasing oil, gas, and other resources from Russia at lower prices using the Chinese currency. Additionally, China has acquired coal. India, too, has procured oil from Russia, paying in its currency, and selling it to the world.
The war has inflicted the most significant losses on Ukraine, which has become the battlefield. Russia, in turn, has suffered extensive damage, affecting both its economy and defense capabilities. After these two countries, Europe faced substantial losses. That said, the supply of affordable gas from Russia has been halted, forcing European nations to purchase gas and oil at expensive rates. As a result, many European livelihoods have crumbled, and the region is grappling with an economic downturn.
[Photo by Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons]
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
The author is a Research Officer at Baluchistan Think Tank Network (BTTN).