Is it possible? What would it take?
For one, Putin seriously threatening the West with nuclear weapons, since it would imply China allowing the Russian to set the agenda, thus leaving China open to retaliation from the West.
But there’s another reason a split between the two is possible.
Internal dissension in China over Xi Jinping’s ambition to rule until his death.
Xi has miscalculated.
He has assumed that the remainder of the high ranking Communist party officials will be content bowing to his highness until the end of their lives.
The days of Mao Zedong and ruling forever are gone.
‘What about me?’ will ask the very ambitious in the politburo who are forced to suppress their aspirations. ‘I would like to govern, too, and be at the pinnacle for at least a term. Why should Xi get all the goodies for ever and ever? There are other deserving people, too, so we should get a chance to compete for the top post.’ But Xi has said to them, ‘no, I’m top dog and you lick my paws.’
And these ambitious and pushed aside Chinese, filled with resentment for the overbearing Xi, will think about the virtues of parliamentary systems in the West wherein mistakes in leadership are punishable by ousting. You’re in one week but make a bad mistake the next and you’re out the following (i.e, Liz Truss in England recently).
These same ambitious Chinese in the Politburo will think again about democracy in America, a system riddled with problems, a system they love to bad mouth, but where Trump could not stay in power. A system that has investigated the man publicly and where his chances of regaining the presidency are now gone.
These same ambitious Chinese in the Politburo are now looking at Russia and seeing how Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has left a horrible impression in the world, with China clearly viewed as his main accomplice.
But while Putin has domesticated the majority of citizens, hundreds of thousands of Russians found the nerve to tell him ‘go screw yourself, Putin, we’re out of here, we’re leaving because you’ve gone mad and you want us to sacrifice our lives for your inflated ego. But we will not, for we can clearly see through your crap.’
And just like that, a vital section of the most productive members of that society have left the nation and chosen to make their contributions elsewhere.
The sad and tragic spectacle of Putin ordering the butchering of Ukrainians, day after day, is telling the ambitious Chinese in the politburo, that it’s bad business to have so much power concentrated in one person because, inevitably, that person will make decisions without the feedback of other people’s expertise, and some of those decisions will be disastrous.
And the ambitious Chinese in the politburo will not feel good bowing to his highness Xi, certain that sooner or later he will screw up just like Putin has.
Xi’s Zero Covid Policy’s failure is a telling reminder of how much can go wrong.
And does an ill timed invasion of Taiwan not seem a possibility?
How forgiving will the Chinese people be if an invasion of Taiwan results in fierce resistance by the Taiwanese with thousands and thousands killed day after day, all because Xi thought it was the right time to take over the island and underestimated the commitment to freedom of the islanders?
Putin’s enormous failure in Ukraine may be bringing the ambitious Chinese in the politburo to their senses.
Power concentrated in one person without the benefit of feedback is bad business.
Power that doesn’t get to rotate is not good.
Competition is important in every human endeavor. Only through competition is the best selected. And because influencing the affairs of human beings is a complex affair, rulers need to be exposed to a great deal of feedback.
Which is why free speech is critical.
The ambitious Chinese members in the politburo will think these thoughts even if they will be hesitant to propose needed reforms for fear of upsetting his highness Xi.
But they will resent Xi Jinping’s power grab.
And they need only look to Russia and the disaster in Ukraine to realize it could happen to China, too.
So why wait?
Why not start working to remove Xi Jinping – the usurper – from power as soon as possible?
PS – After leading Britain to victory with the rest of the allied forces in WWII, Winston Churchill ran for office again and lost. The Brits said, ‘Thanks, brother. We appreciate it. Now let’s get someone else.’