Thursday, June 14, 2018

Putin Bends the Knee to Xi

So Russia is eager to forge closer ties with China as a junior partner to China which has dormant (for now) territorial claims on Russia; all while using that relationship to "resist" a NATO that has no interest in Russian territory? Somebody needs to send Putin the latest issue of Geopolitics for Dummies.

Okay, that's the Russian plan to cope with Russia's policies that alienate the West?

Just a month after beginning his new term in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin is heading to China for a state visit, underscoring how mounting U.S. pressure is drawing the two countries increasingly close.

Russia and China have responded to the U.S. national security strategy describing them as America's top adversaries by vowing to further expand their economic, political and military cooperation. They have also sought to strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional grouping they created.

China will use this cooperation to supplant Russian influence in Central Asia; and increased Russian raw material exports will just make China remember that if China still owned all that Far Eastern territory that Russia took from China, China wouldn't need to buy the raw materials from Russia.

Russia can only be a junior partner to China and Xi rubbed that subordinate status in by awarding Putin a "participation ribbon" for working with China:

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin China's first friendship medal on Friday, calling him his best friend, underscoring the close ties between the two despite deep reservations many Western nations have of Putin.

My goodness, that's embarrassing. At least it wasn't a bracelet.

Good grief, Putin isn't playing a poor hand brilliantly, as so many Westerners claim. He's playing a poor hand poorly. Or does he think sharing vodka and sausage with Xi makes Russia special when the Chinese have territorial claims on a country?

Seriously, will somebody explain to Putin that he's screwing things up royally?