IZO Events

Jul 6 2022

IZO Online Discussion

China-Russia Relations in Light of the Ukraine War | 19 July, 18.30-19.45 | Recording available on Youtube!

"True love or a political marriage of convenience? China-Russia relations in light of the Ukraine war"

As we are approaching the end of the summer semester, the IZO is looking forward to our last event before the summer break: On 19 July, 18.30-19.45 CET,  Marina Rudyak will join Maria Repnikova and Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova to look behind the curtains of the China-Russia partnership, which has been repeatedly celebrated diplomatically over the past months.

The entire online event was recorded and is available on Youtube.


China and Russia have declared a friendship “without limits" and with “no forbidden areas". Chinese official rhetoric appears largely supportive of the Russian legitimisation of the war on Ukraine. But does China really support Russia unconditionally? What can we read between the lines, and how are Russia and the Russian-Ukrainian war discussed in inner-Chinese spaces (in Chinese, not directed at foreigners?) And what role is there to play for Europe?

The IZO is glad to host a virtual conversation on these questions between IZO member Marina Rudyak (Goethe University Frankfurt/Heidelberg University), Maria Repnikova (Georgia State University) and Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova (Riga Stradins University). While observing China-Russia relations from Western Europe, the United States and Eastern Europe, respectively, what all three have in common is that they were born in the former Soviet Union. Their knowledge of both Chinese and Russian political discourses gives them a rare and unique perspective on analysing current China-Russia dynamics.

About the speakers

Maria Repnikova is an Associate Professor in Global Communication at Georgia State University. Her research focuses on China's political communication, Chinese soft power, China-Africa relations and China-Russia comparisons. She is the author of two books, Media Politics in China: Improvising Power Under Authoritarianism (2017) and Chinese Soft Power (2022). Since the eruption of the Russia-Ukraine war, she has been a regular commentator on China-Russia relations.

Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova is a political scientist, China scholar, Head of Riga Stradins University China Studies Centre and Head of the Asia program at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. Her research focuses on PRC political discourse, contemporary Chinese ideology, EU-China relations, as well as Belt and Road and other transcontinental interconnectivity initiatives. She is the author of the book Perfect Imbalance: China and Russia (2022).

Marina Rudyak is an Interim Professor for Chinese Politics at Goethe University Frankfurt and Assistant Professor for Chinese Cultural Studies at Heidelberg University. Her research focuses on China's international development cooperation and the Chinese foreign policy discourse. Her 2020 completed doctoral Dissertation Becoming a Donor traced the formation of China's foreign aid policy. She is the co-creator of the Decoding China Dictionary.


The discussion will take place virtually via Zoom. We kindly ask for registration in advance.

Image credit: Reuters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet in Denpasar, Indonesia (G20, July 5, 2022)