×

The Autocrat’s Achilles' Heel

Could Putin and Xi Undermine Their Own Rule?

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, September 5, 2017. Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Great power competition is back. Russia and China—two great powers with autocrats at their helms—are actively testing the durability of the international order as the West seemingly retreats. Russian President Vladimir Putin, unfazed by Western sanctions, not only led a disinformation campaign in Western democracies to disrupt major elections, but continues to maintain Russia’s occupation of Crimea and the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, is projecting China’s military power into the South China Sea and its economic might across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Both countries also seek to influence democratic states through the use of “sharp power.” Aware of Russia and China’s growing reach, the Trump administration made the right decision to identify the two nations as U.S. competitors in its recently released National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. For the first time since September 11, 2001, great power

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue