By Rick Manning
Almost $60 billion. That’s how much money the United States has poured into Ukraine this year, once the latest $4 billion the Biden administration is sending gets included in the mix.
The seeming blank check into a black hole is driven by the incessant “Putin must be stopped at all costs” narrative followed by the threatening “You must be a Putin apologist” attack for anyone who dares question the narrative.
This weekend changes all of this.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly invited Red China to help rebuild Ukraine once the Russian onslaught is ended. In doing so, Zelensky has spit in the face of the U.S. and the European Union who have been providing the weapons and training that have kept his tottering country afloat. He has also, perhaps unwittingly, raised the stakes for Russia in driving his government from power in Kiev.
The latter point is a geopolitical one. The Chinese don’t invest and go home. They take over management of ports and transportation systems that they build under the guise of their “Belt and Road” initiative. It is one thing for Putin to have the Russian’s historic enemy on their expansive eastern shared border, it is quite another to have the Chinese operating ports on the Black Sea and using these ports of call for China’s new blue water Navy.
Putin’s worst nightmare is China ensconced in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa less than 800 miles by air from Moscow, creating a second China front west of the Ural Mountains. In fact, my bet is that if forced to choose, he’d rather have NATO missiles aimed at Moscow from Ukraine than their Chinese counterparts. Both are known entities and Putin knows who he fears most.
But Zelensky’s Beijing play is just as ominous to his “allies” opposing Russia’s takeover of Ukraine.
Russia is a known, China is an unknown. Russia seeks historic restoration of influence, China seeks worldwide hegemony. Russia has an objective, China has a goal with a strategy to achieve it.
In essence, Russia is dangerous, but China is an existential threat to western thought and the U.S. and Europe as sovereign entities.
The fact that Zelensky would even talk to China’s Xi about opening his doors to their influence is either naïve or conniving. He has a responsibility to his country to do what he believes is in their interest, and that should be respected, but America has a responsibility to do what is in our interest.
Right now, we have China firing missiles over Taiwan. China is conducting live fire war games in Taiwanese territorial waters effectively creating a blockade. A Chinese missile landed in the ocean just 80 miles south of Japan. China has engaged in a massive cyber-attack against Taiwan.
And it should not be forgotten that China declared war against the United States going back more than a decade ago.
China is the enemy, and Ukraine just opened their doors to them.
It is no secret that China has conducted a long war designed to both weaken U.S. influence around the world, stolen our military secrets to build a Navy and Air Force to defeat ours, and imbedded their technology hardware (Huawei) into communications systems threatening our ICBM nuclear response. It is China which is creating psychological profiles on young Americans through Tik-Tok with the intent to manipulate behaviors and create facial recognition identification capacity in the future, and China is also busily collecting genetic profiles on Americans with the likely intent of developing diseases which would be particularly deadly to us.
The Ukrainian leader knows this. Yet, he has invited China into his country once the destruction is over.
Afghanistan after Joe Biden’s disgraceful withdrawal, is now working with China in their consolidation of control over the copper and rare earth mines within their borders.
With Zelensky’s Beijing gambit on the table, the reality of seeing U.S. treasure spent to save Ukraine from Russian domination only for control of the country’s resources to become dependent upon Chinese infrastructure.
It is safe to say right now, that there are no guarantees where a post-invasion Ukraine’s loyalties would lie. But in a world where the enemy of your enemy is your friend, Congress needs to have the courage to force the Biden administration to justify every dollar spent to date, and deny additional Ukrainian expenditures until we can be certain that we aren’t being played for suckers with China being the net winner in a war they encouraged Russia to enter.
China is at war with us, and it is time we recognize it and put our interests first. Zelensky’s outreach to Xi brings into question whether the equipment spent on Ukraine would be better off being focused on a different, more powerful enemy.
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