By Bryan Corliss
March 23, 2023, © Leeham News – Chinese leader Xi Jinping flew into Moscow this week for a three-day summit with accused Russian war criminal Vladimir Putin.
They wined and dined. They talked publicly about economic accords and oil pipelines and pledged mutual support. In private, Putin almost certainly made a plea for stepped-up Chinese support for his faltering invasion of Ukraine. They made bold statements about banding together to oppose the hegemony of the West, which has united against Russia with sanctions including bans on providing Russia with the basic technology it needs to build weapons.
And at the end of it all, on Wednesday, Xi walked up the jet stairs to his Air China 747, built by Boeing in Everett, America. He turned and waved, and then flew back to Beijing.
That moment, with Xi standing in front of the massive American-made jet, may just illustrate China’s conundrum right now: Xi, by all accounts, wants nothing more than to shove aside the post-Cold War order that has confined his nation from global Great Power status. An alliance with Putin’s Russia could be a key step toward that.
And Xi, as he looks around the interior of his jumbo jet, has to be acutely aware that China remains dependent upon the Western democracies for software, computer chips, and – critically – aircraft.