As China moves cautiously to ease the tension between the US and North Korea, I am beginning to wonder if the Chinese hold the key to world peace.
President Xi Jinping (photo) is restrained and cerebral – a rarity in a world where the likes of Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump are surprisingly popular.
And the Chinese system of government – despite the suppression of dissent and absence of personal freedom – is designed to produce long-term stability.
China is unlikely to act in a self destructive manner. As a rising global power, it has too much to lose. With their strategy of taking the long view and following a pragmatic course, China’s leaders will be likely to achieve their goals without violence.
Russia is far more volatile. And Trump’s America seems to be spinning wildly out of control. It’s anyone’s guess who Trump will blast next.
But in their recent meeting, Xi was able to talk sense to Trump, explaining that China is not a currency manipulator after all and enlightening the American president on the reasons for North Korea’s belligerence.
On the other hand, China is a ruthless player in global power politics. China’s leaders are focused entirely on China’s interests. They are not subject to humanitarian impulses or committed to political idealism.
Personal freedom is not among the objectives on their agenda.