Will Biden Win? Ask Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping, leader and dictator of China, read the tea leaves this week, met with Joe Biden, and just like that things changed in China’s attitude towards the US. It’s a remarkable thing and the Biden campaign people need to figure out how to talk about it.
They are not very good at tooting his horn, but that’s a whole different rant.
The short version here is that media attitude in China shifted abruptly from anti-US to friendly, literally overnight, after Xi met with the President this week.
This is a huge deal because the Chinese are very tuned into the subtleties of diplomacy. They’ve had thousands of years of practice. But this change is not subtle. However, it does build on a series of events in China and the world that should have been signals that a thaw might be coming.
Their economy is in the toilet after their draconian response to the Covid Pandemic paralyzed the country. The huge real estate bubble that had been inflating for years finally burst. It was an estimated 30% of their economy.
Unemployment is around 24% and many college educated youth are not even bothering to try to find a job.
Senior leaders representing harsh policies towards the West started disappearing without explanation. But the big shift may have been about Putin.
It appears that Xi has realized that his alignment with Putin’s disastrous Ukraine war and autocratic policies was drastically unbalanced. Yes they are both autocratic leaders of large totalitarian economies. But Putin’s economy has been shattered by his inability to admit he made a huge miscalculation, a miscalculation that has made him a global pariah.
The reality is he brings nothing to the table for China. Yes, he has oil, but as his economy fails further he will become a more and more desperate seller, and the Chinese know exactly how to exploit that.
But their economy needs them to be a major global player and the alignment with Putin just makes that more difficult. So they are abandoning him, or so this weeks’ action are signaling.