Russia-China rivalry in U.S. election

While it was obvious that Russian President Vladimir Putin is openly supporting President Donald Trump in his re-election campaign, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is not evident, which is typical of China’s secretive ways.

With the U.S. presidential election just 80 days away, the outcome of the election would determine the geopolitical direction of a multipolar world order. Or should I say “world disorder”?

With three authoritarian leaders – Putin, Xi, and North Korea’s Kim Jung-on –serving lifetime terms, the U.S. President’s role as a world leader is limited to four or eight years. Every four years, the Americans elect a new president with one shot at being reelected. So come January 20, 2021, when either Trump or Biden would assume the presidency, they have to deal with the three headstrong dictators armed with nuclear weapons, ready to play ball with either Trump or Biden in a nuke-laden field who’d walk around with their nuclear football, which the president uses to authorize a nuclear attack while traveling.

Multipolar world disorder

Presumably, if Biden wins in November, the nuclear football would be passed from Trump to Biden with the secret pass code, ready to operate in a moment’s notice in the event that Putin, Xi or Kim would decide to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. at the precise moment of presidential power turnover. Does this sound ridiculously funny or scary? Not in today’s multipolar world disorder. With Putin and Xi positioning themselves to take advantage of the presidential transition, I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin or Xi would call Trump or Biden to congratulate – and warn – them of things to come. That soon? Why not? That would be the most vulnerable time particularly if Biden won the presidency. Test his mettle and see how fast he reacts.

Just imagine, at 12:05 PM on January 20, 2021, the red phone rings and Putin is on the line. “Hello,” Putin says, “Congratulations Joe. This is Vlad. I just want to call and wish you good luck on your assumption of the presidency.” “Oh, hello, Mr. Putin. Thanks for your congratulatory call. What can I do for you?” Biden said. “Well, first of all I want to meet with you to discuss the geopolitical situation in the world. With what’s going on in Southeast Asia, North Korea, Middle East, and Africa, I think we need to meet, the sooner, the better. How’s March 1 for our first summit?” Putin said. “That might be too soon Mr. Putin…” “Call me Vlad,” Putin interrupted. “Okay Vlad. First, I have to convene my national security team, which I don’t have right now.” “Aha! That’s what I thought! Joe you’re not prepared on Day One!” This caught Biden by surprise. Biden said. “But what I’m prepared of right now is to press the Doomsday Button on my nuclear football and that would send 5,000 nuclear warheads to targets in Russia.” Putin said, “Now, now, Joe, my man. I was just kidding. I’ll call you in a few days and we’ll talk geopolitics. Okay?” “Fine with me,” President Biden said and hang up. Whew!

Which reminds me that Putin is supporting Trump against Biden. And Xi is supporting Biden against Trump. And whoever wins in November would greatly influence the White House.

Of course, Putin wants Trump to win re-election in November. Putin and Trump are like Siamese twins joined at the head. They think like one. But more so in favor of Putin who had taken advantage of Trump’s puppy dog adoration of Putin.

With the prospect of Biden winning the presidency, Trump would lose a great deal of influence over Russia. But what else would Putin wants from Trump? Why not? Consider that since 2016, Putin has gotten much of what he wants from Trump: delegitimizing of western democracies, disrupting NATO unity, a pass on bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany, withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, and cover for Putin’s interference in 2016 U.S. elections.

So, why stop now? The ground is already laid for Russia to stay on top of Trump in his next administration if he wins in November. Certainly, there is a lot more than Putin could extract from Trump’s puppetry to Putin. To put it bluntly, Putin has got Trump by his cojones. A little squeeze here and there would keep his loyalty.

If Trump wins

Indeed, a second Trump term could lead to the disintegration of NATO and Russian military expansion in Africa and the Middle East. Citing a secret German Foreign Ministry report, Daily Bild reported that Russia’s new Africa ambitions, which says Putin had made “Africa a top priority.” According to the report, Russia’s strategy is to build bases in six countries. “Since 2015, Russia has concluded military cooperation agreements with 21 countries in Africa,” according to the leaked document.

Meanwhile, Russia is already a major arms supplier to the African continent.

With a market share of 37.6%, Russia is the top weapons supplier to Africa, followed by the US with 16%, France with 14%, and China with 9%.

Algeria reportedly remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan, and Angola. The question is: How is Trump going to react to Russia’s new African strategy?

China prefers Biden

But while Russia is actively working to elect Trump, China prefers Biden to Trump. However, in a recent interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Newsmax TV, Pompeo said that reports that China is trying to influence American elections by ousting Trump in favor of Biden come as no surprise.

Pompeo noted recent intelligence has shown Iran, Russia, and China all appear to be engaged in influence operations in the upcoming presidential elections.

Trump’s actions against Chinese spying efforts, including expelling diplomats from the Houston consulate and threatening to ban the popular app TikTok have
shown the communist leadership the United States is “no longer tolerating their misbehavior and the risk they’re creating to the United States,” Pompeo told Newsmax TV host Sean Spicer.

But while Putin is clearly supporting Trump, Xi, on the other hand, is non-committal, which is typically how Chinese politics work. The Chinese tend to show support on both sides of the political divide. So, whoever wins, China wins.

At the end of the day, Russia-China rivalry is taking center stage in the U.S. election. As Trump has said, “If I don’t win the election, China will own the United States. You’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese, you want to know the truth.” Believe it or not, when Trump says something, his cult followers believe him.