Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Historical Insanity

Dangerous Games in Beijing

Recent events show Chinese President Xi Jinping does not understand history or international relations.

To explain, Xi is emphasizing his dangerous and stupid relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Worse, Xi is taking Putin’s side in the insane dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

Xi’s stand is stupid because it does nothing for China and offends China’s most important ally, the United States. For example, the United States is China’s largest trading partner. The US imported $434.7 billion worth of Chinese products in 2020, the Office of the President of the United States estimates.

Xi Jinping’s Russian Madness

Hence, Xi risks offending the country his nation needs most. Worse, Xi is allying himself with a dying power that can offer China little. For example, Russia is the world’s 11th largest economy smaller than Italy and South Korea, Investopedia estimates.

Thus, Russia offers China little or nothing, yet Xi is siding with it. Notably, Xi is emphasizing his relationship with Russia at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Okay, US President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) and other major world leaders are partially responsible for this nonsense. Biden refused to attend the Olympics to protest China’s human rights violations.

Biden’s absence is dumb because there’s no evidence his boycott will free a single prisoner from a Chinese concentration camp. Yet the president’s presence could defuse a dangerous war scare.

 That’s a stupid move that only benefits Putin. I think if Biden, or Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or even French President Emmanuel Macron, was at the games, Xi would ignore Putin’s presence. Instead, Putin gets to play the big man.

History Shows Xi’s relationship with Putin is dangerous

Worse, Putin feels emboldened enough to make military moves against Ukraine because of his relationship with China. Putin thinks the Chinese have his back.

Somebody needs to give Xi a history lesson because he is repeating some of the lunacy that led to World War I. To explain, World War I broke out because Europe’s great powers allied themselves with weak and declining nations.

For example, in 1914, the Russian Empire allied itself with the comic opera Balkan Kingdom of Serbia. The Russian alliance encouraged the Serbian government to support terrorist organizations fighting the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s occupation of Serb territory.

Eventually, one of the Serb terrorists assassinated the heir to the Austrian throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Predictably, the assassination caused the Austrians to attack Serbia.

Austria-Hungary was a declining power, but its leaders felt free to attack Serbia because they had an alliance with Imperial Germany. Hence, Russian Czar Nicholas II felt honor bound to defend Serbia, while German Kaiser Wilhelm II felt obligated to defend Austria-Hungary.

Moreover, the tottering Russian Empire could have backed down in the face of Germany. The Russians did not back down because they had an alliance with France. Furthermore, the French backed the Russians because they had an alliance with the British Empire, the most powerful entity on Earth.

Hence, World War I broke out because the great powers allied themselves with smaller and weaker nations. The smaller and weaker nations became aggressive because they thought the big boys had their backs.

Word War I was catastrophic. It led to 40 million deaths and the destruction of the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman empires. Additionally, World War I cost German Kaiser Wilhelm II his throne, he died in exile in Holland. Nicholas II paid a higher price. Bolshevik thugs murdered the Czar and his family after the Russian Revolution.

Xi should ponder Wilhelm and Nicholas II’s fate. Instead of securing the Russian and German empires, the Kaiser and the Czar’s alliances destroyed them. I think Xi’s alliance with Russia threatens China’s future. If Chinese leaders are smart, they will put Xi out to pasture and tell Putin to get lost.

Why China needs to dump Putin and Russia

The rational course of action for China’s leaders is to abandon the Russian alliance. World War I shows that the Russian alliance threatens China’s future.

Whenever a weak and declining power allies with a rising great power, the weak power is in the driver’s seat. Hence, Xi is putting Putin in charge of China’s foreign policy. That’s stupid and dangerous.

Dumping Putin would put Xi and China in an enviable position. For example, a nonaligned China could negotiate a settlement between the United States and Russia or Ukraine and Russia.

Similarly, Xi could make the Chinese look like heroes by signing an alliance with Ukraine and sending some Chinese troops there. Instead of big bad imperialists, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would be the heroes defending Europe from Russian fascism. I suspect one PLA soldier in Ukraine would cause Putin to back down.

Furthermore, China siding with Ukraine would expose Russia as the fourth rate power it really is. Meanwhile, Xi would be the statesman who preserved peace. My guess is they would give Xi the Nobel Peace Prize if he negotiated a settlement between Russia and Ukraine, even at gunpoint.

Why China will Fight Russia

If the US and Russia go to war, I think China will ultimately side with the United States.

The Chinese have a strong historic reason to go to war with Russia. To explain, an enormous area of Russia; including the Maritime Provinces and Southeastern Siberia, was part of China until 1860.

Between 1858 and 1860, Czar Alexander II seized the Amur region. The Russians could seize Amur because the Chinese armies were busy fighting the Taiping rebels.

If the US was fighting Russia, the Chinese would have a perfect opportunity to seize Siberia and occupy all of Central Asia. The US would have no choice but to go along.

Strategically, a US-Chinese alliance makes far more sense than a Chinese,-Russian alliance. The US and China have a trading relationship and Russia has resources and land Chinese industrialists want.

Why China Needs America

Moreover, the destruction of Russia could make China the most powerful nation on the Eurasian landmass. Destroy Russia and China will control everything between the Pacific and the European Union. Meanwhile, there are many Americans who will welcome the idea of China policing the old world, allowing us to bring the troops home.

Moreover, the destruction of Russia could make China the most powerful nation on the Eurasian landmass. Destroy Russia and China will control everything between the Pacific and the European Union. Meanwhile, there are many Americans who will welcome the idea of China policing the old world, allowing us to bring the troops home.

No matter what his motivations are, Xi Jinping is playing some dangerous games with Vladimir Putin. By allying with Putin’s Russia, Xi is putting China in danger and making the international situation far worse. By staying away from the Olympics and angering the Chinese, Biden is driving Putin and Xi closer.

Hopefully, American and other leaders will wake up and try to break up the Xi Putin bromance before it leads to disaster. Or Chinese leaders will wake up and realize that Xi leading the People’s Republic into catastrophe.