NOTE: I now write for Aporia Magazine. Please sign up there! Since the start of Russia’s invasion, China has maintained its “strategic partnership” with Russia, but has refrained from providing any military assistance. What explains this strategy? At the end of President Xi’s March visit to Moscow, the following
This is a good article which makes many interesting and relevant point but you fail to consider a fifth possibility, that Xi Jinping is not a human, but more of a simian, probably not a macaque like Putin, but perhaps baboon level or a bit lower.
They are exchanging ultimately narrow commercial gains in terms of trade with Russia and the very fleeting, shallow relative goodwill from Europe (because of course opinion polls suggest Europeans and many other countries want to have nothing to do with a brutal Communist regime that as per the narrative is committing genocide against Uyghurs and building a society-wide panopticon) that will evaporate as soon as there are any real clashes over Taiwan, and allowing the US to test out its weapons systems at basically zero added cost and upgrade its production capacity while denying the same option for itself (supplying weapons to Russia could ofc serve as plausible cover for a military buildup of its own as well as fulfill a live testing function).
The ultimate bad scenario for China and one that cannot be excluded at this stage is one in which it ends up surrounded on literally all sides by American allies or vassals (Japan, Vietnam, India, a post-color revolution Russia). But perhaps they wish to make this Civilization game more challenging for themselves, in which case this is a perfectly respectable policy.
Good article, however, it assumes China driven by logic, and not Xis ego.
Consider. Two terms should be enough to make your mark. Xi has demanded three, which means IN HIS OWN EYES has failed.... or not yet succeeded.
What makes a good Communist? Victory! Defeating Enemies of the People!
He and Putin are like Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Putin's done his (Ukraine). But Xi? No-one in the west cares about (or can even spell ) Uighurs.....
So Taiwan looms. An obvious target. Casualties will be high. But a good Communist is happy to spill blood as if it's water.
US had better organise a new source of chips .....