Several senior Biden administration officials and one European official reported that senior Chinese officials told top Russian officials in early February not to attack Ukraine before the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics, The New York Times reported.
The intelligence report noted that senior Chinese officials had a degree of knowledge of Russian war plans or intentions before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping in Beijing before the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4. On the same day, Moscow and Beijing issued a 5,000-word joint statement declaring that their partnership had “no limits.”
Putin ordered more Russian troops to be stationed in the separatist-held regions of eastern Ukraine on Feb. 21, just before the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
New York Times quoted the U.S. and European officials saying that they find it hard to believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine immediately after the Beijing Winter Olympics was purely coincidental.
New York Times also pointed out that the information on the talks between the Chinese and Russian officials is classified. A Western intelligence unit, in a way, collected this information. The officials who inspected the intelligence believe it is reliable.
According to the daily newspaper in New York City, senior U.S. and allied government officials passed on the above information when discussing when Putin might attack Ukraine.