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Sheena Chestnut Greitens analyzes China’s tightrope walk amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Beijing with General Secretary of the Communist Party and President China Xi Jinping on February 4, 2022.
Presidential Executive Office of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
Sheena Greitens, the former first lady of Missouri and an associate professor in the LBJ School Of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, teaches foreign policy with a focus on East Asia, authoritarian politics and American national security.
LBJ School Of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
Sheena Greitens is an associate professor in the LBJ School Of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

U.S. officials report that Russia is turning to China for financial and military assistance, as sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies continue to hit Russia’s economy.

Is this a moment with potential for the Asian superpower? Or will there be ramifications for China if the country does not soon distance itself from Russia?

Sheena Chestnut Greitens joined Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss these and other questions. The former first lady of Missouri teaches foreign policy as an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Her focus is East Asia, authoritarian politics and American national security.

She also shared her perspective on how events in Ukraine are being analyzed by leaders in China and Taiwan, as the two consider their own potential for conflagration.

Sheena Chestnut Greitens joins St. Louis on the Air

“Unfortunately, one lesson that China could be taking from this is, ‘How do we bring more force to bear to force an end to a conflict faster if we choose to initiate one?’” Greitens said. “On the Taiwan side, they'll be thinking about, ‘How do we keep that from happening?’

“It’s too early to say how a lot of it is going to play out, but the stakes are obviously very, very high,” she added.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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