Friday, March 13, 2015

What is Moscow's Assessment of China's Stability?

While I wouldn't be shocked if China fell apart politically and became a geographic term rather than a political term, I've given up trying to read the entrails about whether it will happen. But is the end approaching? And what do the Russians think about China's stability?

This author--long doubtful that China's decline could be predicted--is now saying he sees signs that point to a crisis (eventually) of the Chinese Communist Party's control of China:

In the decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the upper reaches of China’s leadership have been obsessed with the fall of its fellow communist giant. Hundreds of Chinese postmortem analyses have dissected the causes of the Soviet disintegration.

Mr. Xi’s real “China Dream” has been to avoid the Soviet nightmare. Just a few months into his tenure, he gave a telling internal speech ruing the Soviet Union’s demise and bemoaning Mr. Gorbachev’s betrayals, arguing that Moscow had lacked a “real man” to stand up to its reformist last leader. Mr. Xi’s wave of repression today is meant to be the opposite of Mr. Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost. Instead of opening up, Mr. Xi is doubling down on controls over dissenters, the economy and even rivals within the party.

China's crackdown on dissent sure doesn't speak of confidence, you must admit.

Granted, this isn't saying that China will collapse. But if the central authority of the huge Chinese state collapses, isn't fragmentation possible?

Which, if possible, makes Russia's policy of appeasement to China a little more understandable.

I've been doubtful that Russia can rebuild their military power in time to face China with this policy.

And alienating us as a potential ally against China is added folly, right?

But is Moscow placing a bet that appeasing China is an acceptable risk if it keeps China from threatening Russia until China itself is no longer a threat because of internal problems?

Is that the bet Russia is making?