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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: China faces double disaster, caught between virus and Putin

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Friday, April 29, 2022

China should abandon all illusions that the West is in terminal decline, or that a new world order of authoritarian regimes is dawning.

It should ditch Vladimir Putin immediately. The country should not be tainted by the retrograde adventurism of a loser. Beijing should instead seek a new concordat with Washington, acting as a conciliatory stakeholder power.

So concluded a sizzlingly cogent essay by Chinese foreign policy guru Hu Wei in March after Russia’s blitzkrieg failed to take Kyiv. Prof Hu heads the Shanghai Public Policy Research Institute, linked to reformers at the State Council.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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The essay circulated for several days in China before being expunged, a sign of powerful dissent against the pro-Putin policies of President Xi Jinping. The Carter Centre ran an English version.

Prof Hu says the Ukraine war will be a watershed moment, but not in the way that Xi imagined when he issued his Sino-Russia manifesto for the new world order in February, proclaiming "no limits" to China's bond with Putin's Russia -- the green light for the invasion of Ukraine.

"The power of the West will grow significantly, NATO will continue to expand, and U.S. influence in the non-Western world will increase," said Prof Hu.

"The West will possess more 'hegemony,' both of military power and in terms of values and institutions; its hard power and soft power will reach new heights."

He even expects a resurrection of Francis Fukuyama's Hegelian dream of democratic liberalism as the end-state for mankind, though Fukuyama himself (spooked by Trump) has since lost faith in the End of History.

Xi ignored the warnings and now faces a grave strategic reverse. ...

... For the remainder of the analysis:

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