Select Page

Will Xi Jinping end Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. The Redhawk


  2. frank stetson

    Good article, Larry. I hope you are right. I think you are.

    Have been very involved in China during advent of Internet telephony. One of my first trips there. was as Hong Kong re-entered China when the green suited soldiers first entered the streets. But even though we have one of the world’s experts in our family, I know very little about the country. From the Olympics, though, I learned that you can fly to Beijing., stay there, and be within two hours of the ski slopes via fast train. That sounds like something I’d love to try.

    One of my favorite ways of thinking about things is to follow the money. Putin has a lot personally, but his country has very little. And what they have is centralized in the hands of a few oligarchs. But he does have is the number two oil producer status. Which he thinks will save him. But it is not enough to fuel their GDP beyond the level of, say, Spain or Italy. Especially in a field that has over 50 players which is the oil business. If it wasn’t for the nukes., he wouldn’t be a world megapower. And that’s why our sanctions hurt him more than they hurt us.

    China, on the other hand. Is the world Number 2 economy. As such, they have a lot more to risk by world instabilitydisrupting. Further, if they disrupt their number one economic partner, the US, their economy will be radically different. And suffering. A massive downturn. I believe much of that will be in play as they think about their next move in Taiwan.

    • larry Horist

      The Redhawk … Taiwan is a completely different issue than Ukraine. It is NOT an independent nation. The world of nations recognizes Taiwan as part of China. It is called the “one China policy.” That creates a very different international legal issue. It is a bit like Hong Kong that was officiall “leased” to Great Britain and the lease ran out and Beijing took control. Here is from online:

      “Does US recognize Taiwan as part of China?
      In the Joint Communiqué, the United States recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.”

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … I was involved in the development of a ski resort in Heilongjiang Province. As far as I know there are no high speed rails from Beijing to Harbin — unless the build one in recent years. Putin’s money is in the hands of oligarchs. He does not have those bank accounts in his name. Basically he offers to put them in business for a share of the profits. It is similar to old Mafia operation. Finally .. the economic relationship between China and Russia is miniscule compared to the China and the west. The have every reason to NOT respond to Putin’s demands. It is the old .. what is said and what is done. It is the same problem Ukraine has with Biden and NATO. Zelenskyy is getting a lot of “attaboys” but not the help he needs.

  3. Poorgrandchildren

    “Our democracy” is a lie that has been repeated often enough that it’s believed. Read Article 4, Section 4, U. S. Constitution and the vast important differences between a de-mob-ocracy (which failed the ancient Greeks) and our republic.