Did Xi ask Putin not to steal China's Olympic thunder by invading Ukraine?

Online reports citing an anonymous Beijing diplomat have speculated that Chinese president Xi Jinping, during a recent phone call, may have asked Russian president Vladimir Putin not to invade Ukraine during the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.  A Russian attack incursion would steal Xi's thunder and take the spotlight off of his glorious nation's peerless hosting ability, thereby depriving him of the opportunity to showcase the superiority of the Chinese Communist Party.  If Putin were to sack Ukraine during the Olympics, it would create a highly negative backdrop for the Olympic Games.  In other words, it would be a bummer for Xi.

China's Foreign Ministry highlighted the importance Beijing attaches to the issue at a recent news briefing.  It stated that countries should observe a traditional U.N. Olympic truce resolution "from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games," according to a spokesman.

That would span the time from January 28 to March 20.  Unfortunately for an eager Putin, mid-late March is precisely the time when eastern Ukraine's frozen landscape usually begins to turn to cloying mud, making a rapid Russian incursion much more difficult.

I can clearly hear the conversation between the two dictators presidents.

Xi: "Vlad, promise me you won't invade the Ukraine during our Winter Olympics!"

Putin: "I will if you promise not to attack Taiwan while we are invading Ukraine."

Xi: "Agreed, if you don't annex Estonia while we are absorbing Mongolia."

Putin: "What?!  I was going to ask you not to take Nepal while we were absorbing Mongolia!"

Xi: "Vlad, let's relax and have a couple of baijius.  We can work this out."

Putin: "Nyet, nyet...but make it a couple of vodkas, and you've got a deal."

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

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