From Walter Russell Mead:
‘Those are classic gangster euphemisms coming out of Don Putin’s mouth. And Russia’s capo should be feeling confident: he has triumphed in Ukraine, and is now pushing his advantage in yet another area. In Moldova, Russia has the all-important lever of a frozen conflict that could conceivably be thawed should the need arise’
Putin’s ethno-nationalist, thuggish plan to isolate and freeze former satellites, foment and support conflict and strong-arm them into submission is continuing apace. From Georgia to Ukraine to possibly Moldova…
Meanwhile, Xi’s cohort in Beijing is drawing Hong Kong further into its orbit, as Hong Kong still fights to maintain many of its political and economic freedoms…realizing how easy it is to see them whittled away…as though they were never there.
On that note, Michael Totten has been visiting the still Communist regimes:
‘Vietnam’s middle class travels on motorbikes for the most part rather than in cars, but in the 1970s almost everyone got around on a bicycle. Cuba hasn’t even reached the bicycle stage yet. Its streets and highways are more bereft of traffic than anywhere in the world except North Korea.’
That economic liberalization and rapid change away from a Communist regime is partly what’s going on in China: Copy the patents and ideas while building basic infrastructure, as Peter Thiel pointed out, and get up to speed over the next few decades. Keep the economy blistering ahead by hook or by crook.
This is creating all sorts of other contingencies.
Related On This Site: Kissinger says our relations with China are incredibly fragile, and that due to its own past, it may not fit as easily into the Western models of statecraft as some would think: From The Online WSJ: ‘Henry Kissinger on China. Or Not.’
Obama’s Decision On Missile Defense And A Quote From Robert Kagan’s: ‘The Return Of History And The End Of Dreams’…A Kantian raft?: Daniel Deudney On YouTube Responding to Robert Kagan: Liberal Democracy Vs. Autocracy