Alice Green | Aug 6, 2022 | 3
Will Xi Jinping end Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?
The world’s democracies are throwing ALMOST everything they have at the Mad Murderer of Moscow, Vladimir Putin. It is a shame that they are not doing more – especially after President Biden promised to hit Putin with every tool in the American toolbox. Instead, he is meting out various sanctions on a too slow schedule. He was often behind other NATO nations in ramping up sanctions.
The fact that the Biden admission is still saying there are more “tools” that they can use is a bloody shame – and I meant “bloody” more in the literal sense of the word. Nothing has yet even slowed down the Putin genocidal war. He is increasing the carnage and is now clearly a war criminal.
Short of supplying the jet fighters, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has requested – and imposing a no-fly zone over the war zone – the most effective response against Putin’s dirty little war could come from China. To understand how that can happen, one needs to understand the Chinese mindset – specifically President Xi Jinping’s mindset.
I have been observing China closely for more than 30 years – and have met municipal, provision and central government officials in more than a dozen visits to the Middle Kingdom. I have hosted more than 30 United States visits by Chinese business and government officials. I once was retained by the City of Harbin to be a Foreign Investment Advisor – bringing free-market advice to that evolving nation.
Of course, under Xi things have changed drastically – and not for the good. But there are still some things that make the reign of Xi different than the days of Mao. There is a return to oppression of personal freedoms – but no return to the days of the bloody Cultural Revolution.
Xi is convinced that he can make China the number one economic and military power in the world without war. He believes that he can compete with the best of the free-market economies – even if it takes unfair trade practices, industrial espionage, and theft of intellectual property to do so. In fact, major wars work against Xi’s strategy.
With regard to Taiwan, I do not see a military invasion – not in the past and not now. Taiwan is not an independent nation. It is recognized by the world – including the United States — as a separatist province of China. That is why the island is not in the UN and participates in the Olympics under China sponsorship. The citizens of Taiwan have rejected independence in past referenda.
Taiwan is also the number one trading partner with mainland China. Travel between the mainland and the island has been restored. Long separated families are being united.
The Beijing government maintains a long-term strategy that believes Taiwan will be re-united with mainland China through evolutionary policies – without war. The quasi-independent Taiwan is no threat to the regime in Beijing.
So, How can – and will – China play a role in putting Putin back in his box?
It was not long ago that Xi stood alongside the Moscow Madman and promised solidarity in opposition to the United States and western leadership and values. However, Xi was not thinking of a military alliance in support of an insane war.
I am convinced that behind that poker face, Xi is VERY upset with Putin at this moment – furious, in fact. In the first place, Putin has made a mockery of that unity meeting. Putin has made it impossible for Xi to align with Russia. To the extent he even appears to support Putin’s inhumane lunacy, Xi looks bad among the world of nations.
We saw the schism between the two major Communist leaders when China abstained in the UN Security Council’s resolution to condemn Russia. It failed only because Russia had the veto. A similar resolution passed the UN General Assembly because in that body Russia does not have a veto.
Since the start of the invasion, Xi has not given any indications of support for Putin – other than increasing China’s oil purchases. And that can be easily reversed. Recently, China made a much bolder move. It suspended the shipment of military replacement parts to Russia.
The war is going badly for Putin. He has made himself an international pariah. He is suffering inconceivable military losses on the ground. He has created the worse humanitarian crisis in Europe that the world has seen since World War II. He has disrupted the world economy. The war has negatively impacted every nation on earth – including China.
And yet, Putin could take Kyiv and topple the Ukrainian government – leaving behind a long guerilla war by patriotic forces. That would mean that “the Putin problem” would go on for years.
A failure to act more decisively against Putin would tarnish Xi’s reputation, undermine China’s public relations efforts and disrupt Xi’s competitive strategies. In many ways, China would look like another Belarus – but on steroids.
And if China withdraws support from Russia – North Korea would follow.
No one sees an off ramp for Putin – and neither does Putin, himself. But if China were to take up sanctions against Putin – give him a diplomatic fiat accompli – Xi could force Putin onto an off ramp against his will.
Thanks to Putin, Russia is teetering on the brink of collapse. China could be the last straw. Strong Chinese opposition would force Putin to retreat from Ukraine or create the real possibility that he would have to be removed from power by those upon whom Putin depends for support and protection.
China – more than the United States, NATO, the UN and the world of democratic nations – can end the war In Ukraine. And they have every reason to do just that.
I believe that process has already started. Just how far Xi will go is the mystery. But if Xi were to force an end of the war – and even bring Putin down – he would have the best international reputation ever. That should be tempting.
So, there ‘tis.