Russia suffers from Islamic terrorism. China suffers from Islamic terrorism. The USA is involved in two lethal and expensive wars against Islamic terrorism. It seems that the Obama administration is connecting the dots and beginning to deal with China on this matter. I think the same should be done with Russia. If the most destabilizing threat to our security is Osama Bin Laden´s successors armed with nuclear devices why not collaborate with nations with whom we have much more in common, than say with the Taliban, to avoid this threat. Moreover these nations are geographically much closer to the epicenter of Islamic violence than USA and in the case of Russia have fought the same enemies as the USA. And there many other reasons to collaborate beyond the real, yet not probable threat, of massive nuclear terrorism. Russia and China were communist dictatorships. Now they are capitalist and autocratic – not yet democracies in our sense of the word, but certainly much closer to us than in the 70s. This evolution alone seems to be a move in the right direction and reason enough for closer ties. With Bush, I had the feeling that the old hawks running foreign policy just could not accept that Russia and China had greatly changed for the better. With Obama and Clinton, we may realize that the era of forcing others to be like you is over and a new year of “we both have our flaws but we can still be friends” is here. Moreover, in the “terrible abuses” competition, the USA is up there as well. As far as human rights are concerned, with the death penalty, Guantanamo, Abu Gharb and air bombings of civilian populations, there´s more harm that has been done by the USA than Russia and China combined in the last 20 years. So let´s be friends.
Thirty years ago in China there was no competition. Even in 1988, when I first visited China, there was very little competition. But after a failed experiment with Marxism, the Chinese started in the late 80s a much more successful trial of Ricardean economics and…it worked. China as we all know has been growing at a sustained of over 8% per year for 15 years in a row and is now the main consumer of most of the world´s commodities. Now that the Chinesehave experimented with competition in business with such enviable results I believe that it is a matter of time until China experiments with competition in politics.