NüVoices Podcast #73: China’s stance on the Russian war in Ukraine with Elizabeth Wishnick

China’s perspective on the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been what experts call a “checkered response”. While Chinese authorities maintain they are neutral in the war and encourage peace negotiations, state media remains sympathetic to Russia, a significant ally for China. 

Why is Russia an important partnership for China? Why have Chinese officials declined calling the conflict a war or an invasion? Where is the Russia-Chinese relationship going and how will neighboring countries respond in the region? Luckily, we have Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick, Sino-Russia relations and Chinese foreign policy expert, to break it all down for us. Sophia Yan, China correspondent for The Telegraph and NüVoices Board member, hosts this week’s episode.

About Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick: She is a Senior Research Scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division at CNA, on leave in 2022 from her position as Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University.

Dr. Wishnick also is a Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, and an Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Arctic Resilience in the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 

Dr. Wishnick is known for her research on Sino-Russian relations, Chinese foreign policy, and China’s Arctic strategy. Her book project, China’s Risk China’s Risk: Oil, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming Columbia University Press) addresses the security consequences of energy, water and food risks in China for its Eurasian neighbors, a topic she explores in a related policy blog, www.chinasresourcerisks.com

She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a B.A. from Barnard College.  She speaks Chinese, Russian, and French and spent five months in Vladivostok, Russia and Shanghai, China as a part of a Fulbright Global Scholar award in 2018-19. 

About Sophia Yan: Sophia Yan is China Correspondent for the Telegraph, based in Beijing, and has covered East Asia for a decade.


Elizabeth recommends China Goes Green, by Yifei Li and Judith Shapiro and the mystery novels of Ovidia Yu, a Singaporean writer.

Sophia recommends Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


Elizabeth recommends bird watching (even in NYC, she has seen cranes, crows, and more!)

Sophia recommends Viloma breathing, from yoga. Sophia became a certified yoga instructor last fall, and demonstrates the breath exercise with Elizabeth on the pod.