Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 29, 2022

China, Where Everything Vanishes

Editors and headline writers in the 'western' press seem to have certain cliches about certain countries.

It is why one can make lists with 111 headlines which say that Russia is weaponizing this or that.

Another one is that whatever happens in China must have come at a cost.

China is also the place where everything vanishes.


Note that the vanishing of long slow train journeys are under 'threat'. That of course means that modern fast train rides come at a cost. This is like China curing cancer faster and cheaper than anywhere else but is going too fast with that. Pure nonsense.

So for the heck of it here is a list of all the stuff that is vanishing in China, mostly because it develops 'but is going too fast with that'.

Posted by b on January 29, 2022 at 17:32 UTC | Permalink


Wow! :)

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jan 29 2022 17:45 utc | 1

How about doing an article about the vanishing homes in America. The vanishing bridges in America. The vanishing hospital beds in America. etc. etc.

Posted by: Ike | Jan 29 2022 18:07 utc | 2

How about the vanishing professionalism of Western journalists?

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 18:09 utc | 3

Cliches are the "bread and butter" of any hack journalist.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 29 2022 18:14 utc | 4

b ended with
So for the heck of it here is a list of all the stuff that is vanishing in China, mostly because it develops 'but is going too fast with that'.

This reminds me of words from the Bob Dylan song Its Alright Ma, that is one of my mantras

Those not busy being born are busy dying

Change is a constant and one hopes for positive evolution but we are stuck in a patriarchal/monotheistic paradigm that started during the Sumerian period

I keep hoping the shit show they created and we are living dies soon.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2022 18:39 utc | 5

The Western corporate media is ridiculous.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 29 2022 18:52 utc | 6

The West are utterly clueless, China strides ahead, the west falls behind ever faster. Good riddance.

Posted by: Geraldo | Jan 29 2022 18:57 utc | 7

That can't be vanishing simply because it's never been there to begin with.

Posted by: Sumguy | Jan 29 2022 19:16 utc | 8

They didn't mention the vanishing poverty, or the vanishing deaths in childbirth, or the vanishing illiteracy, or the vanishing ...

Posted by: Roger | Jan 29 2022 19:21 utc | 9

b says:

"That of course means that modern fast train rides come at a cost. This is like China curing cancer faster and cheaper than anywhere else but is going too fast with that"

I have a debate with someone in unz about China's green efforts. I cited China's achievements in de-desertification: how much deserts have been converted to green lands. The anti-China clown started arguing the "importance" of having deserts to the world, and how much "destruction" the green efforts will create.

Like what b says, if China cures cancer tomorrow, they will complain that China has killed too many cancer cells too fast, i.e. the "vanishing" cancer cells in patients.

Posted by: d dan | Jan 29 2022 19:28 utc | 10

b, putting up the article on Liangzhu civilization is quite the stretch, but I am glad you did. It gives me an idea for a sequel to Dune.

Posted by: Platero | Jan 29 2022 19:34 utc | 11

The vanishing credibility of Western corporate media.

The vanishing command of the Almighty Dollar.

The vanishing foundations of global hegemonic empires.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 29 2022 19:39 utc | 12

Love this--good find! Western media's story-lines comes straight from the virtual Central Committee that is the Deep State. It is impossible, in the "liberal" press to do anything else. This started as a response to some dissent during the Iraq War build up when the DS decided "never-again."

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Jan 29 2022 19:49 utc | 13

These 'media cliche' posts are always entertaining. Good job "Vanishing in China" "Russia is weaponizing" -- looking forwards to anything else Mr. Alabama can find.

Posted by: Cathryn Mataga | Jan 29 2022 19:57 utc | 14

and so the olympics present a potentially catastrophic problem:

what does a lifetime of propaganda do when faced with evidence that those dirty, sneaky, illiterate peasants are actually the leaders of human society?

Posted by: Rae | Jan 29 2022 19:57 utc | 15

I recall the day that I finally lost my last remaining shreds of respect for the BBC. It was a couple decades ago when I was perusing the articles on their website. Two articles about China featured on the BBC homepage caught my eye because I happened to be living in China at the time. One article harshly criticized the CPC because of overcrowding in Beijing, where families were doubling and tripling up in cramped and dilapidated old homes that didn't even have individual toilets. The main article on the BBC homepage, on the other hand, harshly criticized the CPC because Beijing was allowing traditional (that is, dilapidated) old neighborhoods to be demolished to make way for modern high-rise apartment buildings.

WTF beeb? Vanishing private living spaces or vanishing beat-up old courtyard houses to make way for more private living spaces? Which is the CPC most evil for, beeb?

In case the reader is curious there are still literally hundreds of thousands of the traditional Chinese courtyard homes in Beijing, even decades after the BBC bemoaned how they are vanishing. As well, the high-rise construction boom has given Beijing residents more breathing space and living options. Don't hold your breath waiting for the BBC to publish anything positive about the successes and achievements of Beijing, though. There is something fundamentally wrong with the sLimeys in Britain and how they look at the world.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 29 2022 20:14 utc | 16

lol b! those are called 2 for 1s....

he vanishing of long slow train journeys are under 'threat'. and ..."modern fast train rides come at a cost. " they continue on with the same theme! hilarious... they have got russia and china covered in the negative implications in the words threat, and cost... this propaganda is wearing very thin!

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2022 20:27 utc | 17

This happens so often, increasingly I wonder if this isn`t just always the same person. I mean, in the press there is a different person person writing the headlines than writing the article, right? The name of the person who wrote is usually given at the top of the artice. But who is the person who writes the headline? Could this be somebody from a news agency, Associated Press for instance?

Posted by: m | Jan 29 2022 20:32 utc | 18

No headlines about vanishing snow. This will be the first Winter Olympics where 100% of the snow used will be artificially created using ten quadrillion Olympic-size swimming pools of waters. The last Winter Olympics (2018) in Pyeongchang, South Korea used 90% artificial snow while the one before that, Sochi (2014), used 80% artificial snow. Soon, we'll see Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, or perhaps even Furnace Creek, Death Valley vying to hold the Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile, the UK Telegraph has reported that Princess Anne has vanished from this years Winter Olympics.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 29 2022 20:38 utc | 19


Freud and Jung would have a field day with those two projections of western psychosis

Posted by: Les7 | Jan 29 2022 20:47 utc | 20

They sent the virus to China and it vanished. Totally stamped out.
Apologies for the sensitive virus talk. I know some jeer at the mention.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jan 29 2022 20:58 utc | 21

The vanishing FT?
Is it just me or do you also have problems resubscribing to the FT? I can't use your first link and that you have put up a substitute suggests that happens to you too.
Payment "has failed", but subscriptions to other journals and by using the same Bank/method work. I assume I am being cut out (vanished?).

Vanishing rivers. Nearby, we have a river that "disappears" when it goes from France into Switzerland. (and reappears under a different name). Must be the fault of the ........ chinese?
However the "Doubs" (river in france) really did vanish during a season as it suddenly went underground for many kilometres.

(*re;- National Science Review, Feb 11 2019, article above)

The Li people vanished at the same rate as their tattoos. Mustn't feel too bad as apparently in older times they kept the heads of their unwelcome neighbours as a means to ward off evil spirits. Or was that a case of vanishing neighbours?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 29 2022 21:02 utc | 22

Talking of things vanishing, what has happened to the White Helmets? Did moving to Idlib made it so obvious that the White Helmets were intimately involved with HTS and other terrorist groups that Washington and London decided to remove them from the pages of history perhaps to resurrect them for some future conflict involving Russia or China?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 29 2022 21:21 utc | 23

Well, I can assure readers that China had not vanished as at 4 years ago when I last visited. And yes, I did see rivers, and countryside (sometimes in the same location!), and did not bother counting the plethora or courtyard homes I visited or walked past.

I do admit that I have no interest in travelling on the slow trains. The high speed trains are very comfortable for this 1.9m/6'3" individual, and at 320kph they get me places fast. Why would I want to travel at 1/4 of that speed? I have also observed the train stations and airports are modern, and designed to move large numbers of people very efficiently, quickly. We should of course criticise the Chinese for the vanishing time spent in transit ;-) /s.

I agree with William G - the residential developments are in many cases a very marked improvement in living conditions on the housing they replaced. I have been shocked in the past at the poor state of the pockets of traditional housing I have passed in some cities.

Now the Chinese just need to disappear the pollution - and I see they are starting to enforce environmental regs. I had noticed some improvement, but there is a long way to go (India would benefit from that too).

Posted by: Cantab | Jan 29 2022 21:30 utc | 24

This is proof MSM is controlled from a center.

Posted by: Arata | Jan 29 2022 21:41 utc | 25

The center from which the MSM are directed has a name: the Trusted News Initiative. Just like Goebbels's old Ministerium fuer Propaganda and Volksaufklaerung.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 22:04 utc | 26

:):):):):):)...the vanishing country...

Posted by: notlurking | Jan 29 2022 22:07 utc | 27

Damn Autocorrect insists on "correcting" und into and.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 22:09 utc | 28

China is killing field

Posted by: Jan | Jan 29 2022 23:36 utc | 29

Another thing that is bound to vanish is air traffic controllers. Two days ago b reported on the disappearance of the controller at the Minsk airport who had informed the Ryanair flight of the bomb threat. Another vanisher was the air traffic controller in Dnepropetrovsk, who directed flight MH17 to its faith. Even more mysterious was the Spanish air traffic controller @spainbuca at the Borispol airport in Kiev who tweeted live on the downing of MH17. RFE/RL thinks he was a hoax, but he may actually have been a time traveler, as soon after vanishing he reappeared in an interview with RT several months before the MH17 incident.

An equally dangerous profession may be university professors. The Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud is still vanished. Some say he is dead. Maybe he never existed.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 29 2022 23:59 utc | 30

Fowdy shows how this idiocy operates by using the recent F-35 crash as an example:

"Several days ago, a US F-35 fighter jet fell into the South China Sea during a military exercise. Despite the current geopolitical tensions, you would imagine this would be considered relatively insignificant as fighter jet accidents [of this type] are not uncommon.

"However, because the incident occurred in territory effectively claimed by Beijing, the media reaction has been predictably hysterical, with a narrative framing the aftermath of the crash as a race to who can retrieve the plane first.

"The implication is clear: China wants to ‘steal’ the aircraft and harness its technology before the US can salvage it itself. It’s important to point out that at this stage, there is no evidence of China seeking to do so, and any media claims of this nature are based solely on insinuation and speculation.

"Yet, immersed in this hyperbolic coverage is a deeper, darker narrative. It embodies a set of assumptions and prejudices about how China is likely to behave, and in turn feeds into legitimation of hostile policies against the country through the promulgation of rampant paranoia and irrational fear.

"China’s portrayal as an inherently ravenous, dishonest technology thief encompasses age-old racism. But now it’s wrapped up in a fresh coating of anti-communism, as the theory is put forward that Beijing is determined at all costs to get its hands on American technology."

I'm reminded of the little known fact that it was Chinese engineering knowledge and abilities that got the Union Pacific Railroad across the Sierra Nevada mountains for the Anglos and Irish didn't have a clue. One of the few places you'll learn that is at the Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California; but you won't find it in US History texts.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2022 0:03 utc | 31

Petri Krohn
Well that sure was a powerful faith:) sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 0:04 utc | 32

Ghost Ship "Talking of things vanishing, what has happened to the White Helmets?"

They will probably ditch their helmets but I assume they will resurface as Canadian or UK diplomats and politicians.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 0:08 utc | 33

China has also lost:
>It's ‘century of humiliation’ where from the mid-19th century until the Chinese Revolution in 1949, it was successively raped and plundered by the Western, Japanese, and Russian imperial powers.
>Its CIA presence, since China decimated the local US intelligence apparatus years ago.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 30 2022 0:15 utc | 34

While I know it is off topic I could not resist this. Just ask the Irish how to deal with Russia. They know.

Posted by: Hutch | Jan 30 2022 0:27 utc | 35

When you're jealous of a neighbor, some create stories to elevate their own status by denigrating their neighbor.

Grade school tactics.

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 30 2022 0:31 utc | 36


your funniest headline ever, b

hahaha :):):):):)

the western presstitutes (to borrow a word from paul craig roberts) never lack in insults for other countries, peoples and cultures

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 30 2022 0:33 utc | 37

I doubt my good friend and mentor Edward Snowden has the kind of clout to force his host to help me.

So you can add me to the list.

Guess where I pop up like some rabid Canadian beaver? There will be prises.

≤Brought to you by The Association of Assasinated Canadian Scientists≥

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jan 30 2022 0:36 utc | 38

Also vanishing - Chinese American science and engineering talent from the US, as they reverse brain drain back to China with the latest cutting edge STEM research and skills because they've all been painted as spies and turncoats despite a stunningly low conviction rate and clear evidence of US evidence tampering and entrapment.

Posted by: Handsome Man | Jan 30 2022 1:43 utc | 39

U.k.- vanishing healthcare, vanishing social safety benefits and totally vanished…the Skripals.

Posted by: Kate | Jan 30 2022 1:48 utc | 40

As the Chinese man, standing on the podium in SF Chinatown said to me:

“No good fo China! No good fo nobody!”

He looked right at me, and had a shaking, fist full of papers.

That was 30 years ago, and I’ll never forget it.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jan 30 2022 3:10 utc | 41

A real article vanished in China sea was F35C!

Posted by: Arata | Jan 30 2022 3:47 utc | 42

Peter AU1 | 32
What happened to the White Helmets
Well, mi6 housecleaned their man. Wikipedia no link.

James Le Mesurier
James Gustaf Edward Le Mesurier was the British co-founder of the White Helmets, a volunteer civil defence organisation in the Syrian Civil War, founded in southern Turkey in 2014. Le Mesurier was a British Army officer and worked as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the former Yugoslavia.
He was the director of the non-profit Mayday Rescue Foundation, headquartered in the Netherlands.
Le Mesurier died in a fall from the balcony of an Istanbul building where he kept an apartment and an office.

>Died. Istanbul 11/11/19 (nice amnesty armistice/y feeling to his dead date.)
>Known for. Founder of White Helmets

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 30 2022 3:49 utc | 43

what has happened to the White Helmets?
Apologies to Ghost Ship.
But the answer remains:
Mi6 deleted a no longer useful asset.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 30 2022 4:00 utc | 44


Speaking of the "crash of the F-35C"...

[1] There's no such thing as a "leak". When ever you see anyone refer to a "leak" you can bet your sweet bippy that it's intentionally planted disinfo.

[2] The photo "leaked" is remarkably similar to that of an earlier crash in the Atlantic.

[3] The crash COULD be used to cover a large scale undersea rescue operation of a missing submarine. Not a recovery effort of wreckage.

[4] The location of the search is questionable. This is within Chinese claimed territory. Are we supposed to believe that the aircraft carrier was intentionally sailing inside the Chinese territorial waters?

Posted by: Rufus Arrr | Jan 30 2022 4:01 utc | 45

Don Bacon 33

>Its CIA presence, since China decimated the local US intelligence apparatus years ago.

Wasn’t the identification of the CIA assets linked to the security flaws in SoS HRC homebrew bathroom offbooks server?

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 30 2022 4:06 utc | 46

Don't forget China's vanishingly small number of covid casualties.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 30 2022 4:10 utc | 47

Rufus Arr
> Are we supposed to believe that the aircraft carrier was intentionally sailing inside the Chinese territorial waters?

Open source marine trackers can (possibly) show the location of the US AC.
Was it engaged in FONOP ?
Anyway in US terms “all your oceans / seas belong to us = FONOP”

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 30 2022 4:13 utc | 48

Cadence Calls / 40

Any chance that was “Happy, Happy, Happy!”? He was a regular in Berkeley Sproul Plaza in the 90s. On Sept. 12th, 2001 he was out there on his soapbox with his literature and sandwich boards as usual...laughing out loud and yelling “Chicken come home to roost! HAHAHA!! Happy, happy, happy!” I thought enraged frat boys were going to attack him but they seemed too stunned and were genuinely jaw agape. Here he is in action...

Posted by: HD | Jan 30 2022 4:17 utc | 49

44 "This is within Chinese claimed territory."

As far as I know, the incident was in the south china sea. From everything I have seen, China has simply staked a claim as being part of that area.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 4:36 utc | 50

@PeterAU1, #49:

That's correct, China staked a claim as being part of that area. It's the 200+ shoals, small islands, and atolls in the South China Sea that China staked claim on. The claim was based on historic records, written ones, since Zhen He's well-known journeys as well as local records of fisherman working the area using these atolls for rests and anchoring. China alone among Asian countries of that time had the technology and skill to build the ship large enough to explore and harvest the blue waters and ventured that far from land in South China Sea which is known for prolific typhoon breeding ground. Those claims were never disputed until the 1970's when the Empire found it fit to challenge China on these claims.

China never claimed to own the whole South China Sea, just the 12-miles encirclements around each shoal, island and atoll.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 30 2022 5:16 utc | 51

@ 19 / Ghost Ship

Atrifcial snow at Beijing Olympics, but that comes at a cost: the vanishing natural reserves in China.

Doesn't that make me a qualified journalist; I put two cliches in one article!

Posted by: Man | Jan 30 2022 7:38 utc | 52

"Despite the current geopolitical tensions, you would imagine this would be considered relatively insignificant as fighter jet accidents [of this type] are not uncommon."

During the 1960`s the air forces of the world both in the West and in the East introduced a new generation of supersonic fighter jets and innitially experienced horribly high accident rates. One of the major reasons was that the engines - operating at the edge of what is technicly possible at a time - did just occasionally went off during flight.

All Eastern and most Western air forces subsequently switched to fighter jets with two engines so that in the case of a malfunction of one of the engines the pilot can still safely land the jet with thrust of the other one.

The F-35 being a single engine machine is one of several design flaws of this type. One has to expect higher losses during peace time due to accidents in comparison to other fighter jet designs.

Posted by: m | Jan 30 2022 8:51 utc | 53

I still remember how in the seventies and eighties some train rides seemed to take longer time than "a slow boat to China". A German now famous sinologist used four days from Guǎngzhōu to Bĕijing on one single train and having to stand in an overcrowded carriage most of the time. The passengers took turns in stepping back a few feet so people could lie down to sleep now and then. Food sold from stands and kiosks on the station platforms when the train stopped -- and was shared among the passengers in solidarity. Standard operating procedure was to bring a bottle of 150 proof alcohol and some water to imbibe on the voyage, and also shared liberally with others -- just like all those cigarettes that have now also mostly vanished.! I envied the prisoners that were tied up by handcuffs to the toilet or to the gangway between the carts.
But i miss the vanishing charm of it all. Now only to be experienced on chiep long.distance bus rides.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jan 30 2022 9:36 utc | 54

@Ghost Ship | Jan 29 2022 21:21 utc | 23

Talking of things vanishing, what has happened to the White Helmets?

Germany just sent 5000 helmets to Ukraine, not sure which colour.


Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 30 2022 9:47 utc | 55

Maybe there will be an article soon about the vanishing number of articles about things vanishing in China.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 30 2022 9:54 utc | 56

There are heaps of misinformation in tha article about the "vanishing slow trans of China": Strange for a newssheet that focuses on economic matters and analyses:
First this:"....from frozen Beijing to China’s warm southern province, Yunnan. It was a journey of 35 hours."
That is no longer a "Slow train": I have had to use more than 60 hours on that stretch.
Then "..baijiu — strong rice liquor":
"baijiu" is often called "báigànr. And almost everyone travelling out of Bêijing would have used that phrase, especially because "báigàn" is also the more common appellation in SW Sìchuan and Yünnán dialects of Chinese.
Báijiŭ/bái'gàn is almost never produced from rice, but from other hardier and cheaper grains.
It is no longer a particulary "strong" licuer. By the nineties, it had been ordered watered down to only 100 proof (ca. 36% c2h5ohOH MY") , which makes the preservation of those exwquisite fumes smelling like French cheeses that make Báijiŭ/báigàn so enjoyable!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jan 30 2022 10:06 utc | 57

With so much vanishing: does China still exist, or is it just a figment of the imagination?

Posted by: PeterM | Jan 30 2022 10:37 utc | 58

Perhaps New China TV follows this website? They have just posted a new train video to YouTube.

GLOBALink | How to drive a Fuxing bullet train on the plateau

Posted by: too scents | Jan 30 2022 10:46 utc | 59

Followup on #58

From slow train to bullet train, German restaurateur experiences New Year trip in SW China

Posted by: too scents | Jan 30 2022 10:57 utc | 60

There are a number of rail options available in China. For example, if traveling from Beijing to Harbin, the biggest city in the far Northeast, one could choose high-speed rail. The shortest high-speed rail train is 5 hours and a second class seat costs 81 euros. There is an overnight K-train which takes almost 18 hours. The cheapest available option is 22 euros but hardly anyone chooses the seat option for an overnight train. The hard sleeper option (more crowded sleeper option) costs 44 euros. For half of the population in China, 81 v. 44 euros is a big difference. So keeping enough slow trains available is a good idea.

Posted by: notlightly | Jan 30 2022 13:58 utc | 61

An interesting take on digital yuan (vanishing cash)

China could vanish the burden of centralized banking. US Too Big To Jail crooks must be worried.

I didn't really think about it as to local details but I wonder if using digital yuan could be as easy as downloading a program and setting up an account in China, one day. Freedom for Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua.......

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 30 2022 14:06 utc | 62

b, how about an article on 'Amid tensions'. Tensions that never relent.

Amid tensions with Ukraine, Russia, China and Iran carry out naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jan 30 2022 14:48 utc | 63

Vintage Red | Jan 29 2022 19:39 utc | 12

The vanishing faith in NATO's willingness to fight the Russians.
The vanishing belief in the truthfulness of the MSM.
The disappearance of suitable recruits for the US Military. (See Jordan B.Peterson.)
The Lost Civil Liberties of the Western World.
Informed Consent - a Lost Cause?
The Indomitable Australian - An Extinct Species?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 1 2022 20:36 utc | 64

Gell-Mann amnesia - look it up.

It is quite frustrating to see people who - with good reason - don't believe a word their government or its media are saying about domestic issues turn around and repeat the nonsense they've read or heard from those same people about China or Russia.

Posted by: Zweckpessimist | Feb 1 2022 21:04 utc | 65

re: Sakineh Bagoom | Jan 30 2022 14:48 utc | 63

Xi to meet Putin as tensions rise with West
AFP 25 mins ago

China's President Xi Jinping is poised for his first face-to-face meeting with a world leader in nearly two years on Friday when he hosts Russia's Vladimir Putin, with the pair drawing closer as tensions grow with the West.

Xi has not left China since January 2020, when the country was grappling with its initial Covid-19 outbreak and locked down the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.

He is now readying to meet more than 20 leaders as Beijing kicks off a Winter Olympics it hopes will be a soft-power triumph and shift focus away from a build-up blighted by a diplomatic boycott and Covid fears.

Xi and Putin will meet in the Chinese capital before their nations release a joint statement reflecting their "common views" on security and other issues, a top Kremlin adviser said at a Wednesday press briefing.

The two strongmen will then attend the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday evening.

Spiralling tensions with the West have bolstered ties between the world's largest nation and its most populous, and Putin was the first foreign leader to confirm his presence at Friday's opening ceremony.

He hailed Russia's "model" relations with Beijing in a December phone call with Xi, calling his Chinese counterpart a "dear friend".

- Article by Putin -

China's state-run Xinhua news agency carried an article from Putin on Thursday in which the Russian leader painted a portrait of two neighbours with increasingly shared global goals.

"Foreign policy coordination between Russia and China is based on close and coinciding approaches to solving global and regional issues," Putin wrote.

He also hit out at US-led western diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Olympics that were sparked by China's human rights record.

"Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicise sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified," Putin wrote, calling such moves "fundamentally wrong".

For its part, China has become more vocal in backing Russia in its dispute with NATO powers over Ukraine.

Last week, China's foreign minister Wang Yi called Russia's security concerns "legitimate", saying they should be "taken seriously and addressed".

Moscow is looking for support after its deployment of 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine prompted Western nations to warn of an invasion and threaten "severe consequences" in response to any Russian attack.

China enjoyed plentiful support from the Soviet Union -- the precursor to the modern Russian state -- after the establishment of Communist rule in 1949, but the two socialist powers later fell out over ideological differences.

Relations got back on track as the Cold War ended in the 1990s, and the pair have pursued a strategic partnership in recent years that has seen them work closely on trade, military and geopolitical issues.

Those bonds have strengthened further during the Xi Jinping era at a time when Russia and China find themselves increasingly at odds with western powers.

Other leaders set to enjoy Xi's hospitality during the Games include Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman, Kazakhstan's Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Poland's Andrzej Duda.

In total around 21 world leaders are expected to attend the Games.

A majority of those leaders rule over non-democratic regimes, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, with 12 labelled either "authoritarian" or a "hybrid regime".


Posted by: tucenz | Feb 4 2022 5:02 utc | 66

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