23 February 2023

Are we witnessing the emergence of Madman Xi?

 If reports that the Chinese government is considering sending lethal aid to Russia to help it continue its war of aggression in Ukraine are true, I would venture to say we are witnessing the biggest strategic mistake in Xi Jin Peng's career. China, throughout its history, has generally played the long game, biding time when invaders' strength was overwhelming, maintaining tense but nonetheless productive relationships with neighbors. In a long history there have been many setbacks and poor policy choices, of course, but in general Chinese leaders have done a better job of basing policy on their grandchildrens' interests rather than the immediate short term than have most nations' leaders. And the recent past is mostly exemplary of this generalization. But this move, if it's true, will be a foolish reversal. Xi may see Putin as an ally in its resistance to Western domination militarily and even to some extent economically, but if he looks beyond the immediate concerns, he should see that Russia is in danger of becoming a failed state, and has really nothing to offer China other than raw materials which it will probably get anyway in the long run. But engaging with them in their revanchist imperialist war thousands of miles to the West, in a region critical to Europe but of scant importance to China, will carry a huge cost in terms of debased trade relations and destabilization of a global order that has, for the most part, operated to their advantage since Tian An Men. Another area where he could be about to throw away China's future is Taiwan. It had seemed, until recently, that the sabre rattling was mostly just show: it seemed likely that the Chinese had correctly calculated that they would end up in control of Taiwan eventually anyway and triggering a crisis now would not serve anyone's interests. But there are at least hints that Xi has, like many "presidents for life" and other autocrats, become drunk on power and delusional, believing his own personal power can overcome the drawbacks, from a global power politics perspective, of the present situation. It is mania, delusion, and narcissism of individuals that have attained outsize power and stopped listening to the accurate information others are trying to bring to them that have caused most atrocities in human history. It certainly is what happened to Putin. Are we watching something similar unfolding in China's new Great Emperor? The whole world had better hope the hell not. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.