China's President Xi Jinping, center, is caught between a rock and a hard place. Any military assistance for Russian President Vladimir Putin would aggravate international tensions, but he also does not want to bow to threats from U.S. President Joe Biden. (Nikkei montage/Getty Images/Reuters)
Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.
After the recent U.S. downing of a Chinese spy balloon over American airspace, a new diplomatic tug-of-war is playing out between Washington and Beijing. This time over the possibility of China providing lethal support to Russia for its war in Ukraine.