Xi’s ill-advised support for Moscow on the eve of Russia’s disastrous military campaign is not his first major foreign policy misstep.
And the Chinese military’s 2020 clash with the Indian army in the Galwan Valley galvanized hard-line opinion in New Delhi.
As Putin’s reckless gambit in Ukraine has proved, an autocratic leader surrounded by sycophants and fueled by historical grievances and territorial ambitions is a menacing prospect.
Xi is not Putin, and China is not Russia, but it would be unwise to ignore the growing parallels.
To say that Xi has consolidated power in China is to state the obvious.
Yet the implications of this reality are insufficiently appreciated, especially its impact on the behavior of the Chinese party-state.
To compensate, the United States and its allies must prioritize direct communication with Xi to ensure that alternative ideas puncture his leadership bubble. »