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Beijing may be 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, but the geopolitical stakes for China in the escalating crisis over Ukraine’s fate could not be higher.

If Russia invades Ukraine and precipitates a drawn-out conflict with the United States and its Western allies (though a direct military confrontation is unlikely), China obviously stands to benefit. America will need to divert strategic resources to confront Russia and its European allies will be even more reluctant to heed U.S. entreaties to join America’s anti-China coalition.

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