|"That hug", cartoon by António on Expresso|
Last week, in an interview with PSB, Mr. Erdogan, the Turkish Pasha, resoundingly dropped support for Mr. Putin, the Czar of All Russia, but a week earlier Mr. Xi, the Emperor of the Middle Kingdom, had already done so with Chinese circumspection and perhaps that inspired Mr. Erdogan.
In fact, on the 15th, at the meeting with Mr. Putin, Mr. Xi, who was supposed to reiterate his support for the so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine, didn't say a word on the matter and Mr. Putin felt obliged to guarantee that he would respond to Chinese “question and concerns”, thus showing that Mr. Xi had asked him questions hitherto ignored, considered China's position "balanced", that is, revealed that support was not unconditional, and guaranteed that it would contribute to peace, surprisingly declaring that he and Mr. Xi "stand for the formation of a just, democratic and multipolar world order based on international law and the central role of the United Nations", he who all days since 24 February violated the UN charter and even fired a missile when the UN Secretary General was visiting Kiev. Furthermore, without any statement of support from China on the invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Putin declared his unconditional support for China in an eventual invasion of Taiwan.
Worse would have been difficult.