The Beijing Winter Olympics is showing an unexpected side of China’s circle of friends

By early February, more than 2,870 athletes from 91 participating countries had arrived at the Olympic Village and other facilities in Beijing, while nearly 30 heads of state or senior officials and leaders of other international organizations were also planning to travel.

Female athletes ratio reaches record high at 2022 Winter Olympics - CGTN

Guests who came along for the ride
According to the list announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry for the first time on January 28, the outside world can find for the first time the 25 countries circled by Beijing.

The list includes Russia, Cambodia, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Serbia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Argentina, Ecuador, Mongolia, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Azerbaijan and Thailand. The leading figure is Russian President Vladimir Putin. This seems to mean that Beijing can still invite some influential countries to the event despite the “boycott” wave of European and American powers led by the United States.

Coronavirus: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to skip Beijing Winter Olympics  opening ceremony to supervise anti-pandemic fight; 92 new cases confirmed |  South China Morning Post

But a closer look at the list quickly reveals something special about the list, because six countries – Cambodia, Singapore, Egypt, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Papua New Guinea – are not among the 91 countries participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics. However, the heads of these six countries are all the top heads of their respective countries who are going to Beijing. In this regard, the outside world can certainly explain this move by saying that the heads of these six countries are going to Beijing to attend “the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and related activities”, but this kind of diplomatic action unrelated to the Winter Olympics is still noteworthy.

In terms of the specific distribution of these six countries, the outside world can find several directions of Beijing’s diplomacy, first of all, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is still the traditional diplomatic direction of Beijing. As Cambodia has become the chair of ASEAN in 2022 and Singapore is the economic center of the ASEAN region after the establishment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the relationship between these two countries, plus Thailand and Beijing, has been brought closer.

Secondly, Arab countries have also become the key point of Beijing’s recent strategy. In fact, from January 10, the Middle East powers suddenly took intensive diplomatic actions with Beijing: the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, as well as the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), visited China collectively. This was followed by visits to China by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran between 12 and 14 days. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held a telephone meeting with Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, on the 13th. In a short period of time, Beijing and the Middle East powers have quickly exchanged notes and made agreements with each other, which seems to indicate the confidence of the Middle East powers in Beijing.

Almost all of the snow at the Beijing Winter Olympics will be fake

Furthermore, China has also shown more than usual interest in Oceania, especially the South Pacific region, which is part of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative centered around Papua New Guinea and moving toward Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. This part of the operation focuses on poverty alleviation and training for agricultural demonstration projects, with Papua New Guinea being the center of China’s efforts to promote not only edible mushrooms and other agricultural technologies in the direction of Oceania, but also the recent promotion of the new crown vaccine. In late January, Beijing even sent two transport planes, the Yun-20, to deliver emergency supplies to Tonga within 72 hours.

Unexpected Absence of North Korea
In contrast to the list of 25 countries that Beijing plans to list on February 4, the absence of another country is also saddening, and that absence is North Korea.

The reason for North Korea’s absence from the Beijing Winter Games was certainly related to the IOC’s almost “absolute” punitive treatment, as the North Korean delegation was absent from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 despite the IOC’s “promise to the DPRK Olympic Committee to host the Games safely” and “with a serious warning”. As a result, the IOC suspended the DPRK Olympic Committee until 2022 on the grounds that “North Korea has violated the Olympic Charter and has not fulfilled its participation obligations under the Olympic Charter”. Therefore, despite Pyongyang’s support for the Beijing Olympics, Pyongyang is no longer able to send members.

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Of course, the countries going to Beijing do not necessarily have to be Winter Olympics participants, as six of the 25 countries confirmed to attend the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics did not have athletes there: after all, there are always other international events to attend in Beijing, and for Pyongyang, its intentional avoidance of Beijing may be useful in another way: to avoid falling into Seoul’s atmosphere of creating a “Winter Olympics final battle” in the diplomatic arena, and to further preserve Pyongyang’s dominant position in the diplomatic arena.

Since late November 2021, Seoul has been releasing a smokescreen of “plans to use the Beijing Winter Olympics as an opportunity to issue a declaration on the end of the war”. Considering that the Chinese ambassador to Korea at the time had made a statement that “China is open to this”, and that by December 2021, the South Korean side had even released the news that “the U.S., China and North Korea have agreed in principle to formally declare the end of the war in Korea”, Seoul is still in a mood of expecting a miracle to send North Korean personnel to the Beijing Winter Olympics.

North Korea missile tests: What does Kim Jong-un want? - BBC News

There is no denying that there has been a near miraculous diplomatic breakthrough on the peninsula before, when former US President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and since then, Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met several times. But the international situation in 2021 is not what it used to be, and with the establishment of the Joe Biden administration, the US and South Korea are becoming increasingly conservative towards North Korea, and by December 2021, the Biden administration will even begin to impose sanctions on North Korea, making it difficult for Pyongyang to get its act together. At this point, the options left to Pyongyang may be simple: while the channels of contact between the North and the South are not blocked, the North Koreans are afraid to wait until the change of authorities in Seoul on March 9, 2022 before taking further action, and until then, Pyongyang’s absence from the Winter Olympics has left another unexpected sight in China’s circle of friends.


Why did the Soviet Union lose the Cold War?

The disintegration of the Soviet Union was an inevitable event, but the loss of the Cold War by the Soviet Union was an inevitable event. Ancient Russia, like China, is a typical representative of a large number of people. This kind of country is characterized by its huge size. As long as it is united enough, it is almost impossible to lose an overall battle. This is a typical case whether it is the Soviet Union’s resistance to the mustache or the Republic of China’s resistance to Japan. As long as countries of the size of China and Russia are united enough, it is impossible for them to be defeated by external forces. Even if it is as fragile as the Republic of China, it can rely on its size advantage to carry a small Japan.

Soviet Union: Stalin, Cold War & Collapse | HISTORY - HISTORY

However, the characteristics of this kind of country are that it has a huge amount of resources and may have a high international status, but most of the time, its people are not doing well because the per capita resources are not much. Russia’s situation is more special. Its per capita resources are absolutely worth a lot, but limited by the difficulty of development and traffic conditions, it is difficult to ensure that everyone can enjoy these resources. (For a counter example, you can look at the United States. There are many people in the same land, but the superior climate and transportation conditions make the economic foundations of the United States and Russia very different.) In the era when Tsarist Russia was called the European military police, Tsarist Russia was still engaged in serfdom. When the First World War broke out, European countries had already entered a civilized society. The soldiers of Tsarist Russia were also called “gray animals”, and there were a large number of bandits and blood relatives in the territory. As a country, no monarch in Europe dares to despise Tsarist Russia, but as a commoner, living in Russia is vastly different from living in Western Europe. At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union counterattacked into the German mainland. After visiting the German homes, the Soviet soldiers were puzzled from the bottom of their hearts-they already lived in such luxury, why did they come to invade us?

File:Map-Flag of the Soviet Union.svg - Wikimedia Commons

The same is true of the Qing Dynasty. As the representative of China’s humiliating dynasty, the Qing Dynasty was full of martial arts in most of the time. Asian countries have few rivals, and the Nepalese, who cannot be beaten by the British, can handle the Qing Dynasty. With an agricultural country, it can deploy its forces into the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and win the war. This reflects the overall war power of a big country like China. After the Opium War and Shimonoseki, Xin Chou, in the final analysis, there was a problem within the Qing Dynasty. If the Qing Dynasty was a Han Dynasty, China would be so miserable in modern times. But the people of Qing Dynasty lived like slaves. When Macartney visited China, he was surprised at such a powerful country in Qing Dynasty. How did the people live like this? Thanks Dade even for some leftovers. This is the embarrassment of a country like China and Russia. In terms of material production, both countries are undoubtedly extremely rich. However, the population has greatly leveled these resources, making it difficult for the people of the two countries to live a richer life even in the prosperous times. It is normal for the country to be strong and the people to be weak. The situation of the Soviet Union is even more special. Although the population density of the Soviet Union is much lower than that of China, its climate and traffic conditions are also far worse than those of China, and the degree of development is far less than that of China. Although Russia’s territory is large, its natural conditions cannot be called superior (otherwise, it would not have such a large territory for him to monopolize). The Slavs have always been considered aliens by Europeans, mainly because of their poor living conditions.

What Was the USSR and Which Countries Were in It?

If you look at the Soviet Union as a nation-state, what he is good at is total warfare, not living a good life. The living standard of Russians has never surpassed that of Western Europe, and the Soviet Union has played an extraordinary level. Therefore, what the Soviet Union can win is a hot war, not a cold war. Among all the ways of confrontation, the Soviet Union had to choose the worst path – the Cold War. Not only to engage in an arms race, but also than living standards. The biggest problem with the Soviet Union was that the tone was too high. The Soviet Union was a typical “savior” regime, which did not exist as a nation-state from the very beginning. Trotsky’s soul has never left the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union has always claimed that it should be the arsenal of world revolution, burning itself to save mankind. In the official declaration of the Soviet Union, the happiness of the Soviet people has never been the ultimate goal of struggle. Their ultimate goal is to swept the world’s global opposition and realize the great unity of mankind.

How collapse of the Soviet Union still weighs on Chinese leaders' minds 30  years on | South China Morning Post

The slogan sounds hot, but it costs money. Objectively speaking, with the level of science and technology and material resources of the Soviet Union, if they are properly deployed, if only one is chosen to solve the arms race and the lives of the people, they can handle it. There is no problem. Not to mention the capability of the arms race, everyone can see it. Under the Soviet Union’s policy of using military force, the level of armament of the Warsaw Pact has never been lower than that of NATO. If the Soviet Union is willing to maintain such a situation, it can continue to support the military confrontation with the United States, no problem. What if you don’t engage in military competition, but only in the lives of the people? In fact, it is also possible, at least it will not be left behind too much by Europe and the United States. Cut off more than half of the Soviet Union’s five million troops, cut two-thirds of the 140,000 tanks and armored vehicles, withdraw the troops from all over the world, and stop the huge amount of aid to Asia, Africa and Latin America. The resources are totally astronomical. According to Gorbachev’s recollection, when he took over, the Soviet Union’s military expenditure accounted for 40% of the fiscal budget and 20% of the total output value, which was even close to the level of a wartime country. If it can be rationally allocated, even if it is a planned economy, the living standards of the Soviet people can go up a lot. Kosygin’s reforms and Andropov’s reforms proved that the planned economy of the Soviet Union has not yet reached the point of exhaustion, and it is very possible to gradually reform with reasonable measures and to prosper again. However, if you do both of them, you won’t be able to do it.

The end of the Soviet Union — Adam Smith Institute

The Cold War is such a struggle – you can’t relax militarily, you can’t fall behind in technology, and your people’s living standards can’t be poor, otherwise your social system will be backward! So the Soviet people’s sense of disparity is very strong. On the one hand, oneself is a first world country, the big brother of the proletariat, the core of the world. Domestic rockets go to the sky and aircraft carriers go to sea, aircraft carrier nuclear submarines run across the ocean, 60,000 tanks crush Western Europe, and tens of thousands of nuclear bombs are the ballast of the world’s proletariat. However, right now you are struggling to even buy some good toilet paper, the color TV will explode as soon as you use it, no one will repair your sewer pipes, and your family of five is crowded into an old building of 60 square meters, sharing the bathroom and kitchen with others. At this point you must be thinking – why is all this? If liberating human beings is to live a life like mine, then what is the point of liberating human beings? Every time I see imported goods from Japan and Western Europe, I get the feeling that they don’t need our liberation.

China and the Collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Europe

In fact, whenever I look back at the history of the Cold War, I feel the richness of the Soviet Union’s material resources. A large number of Asian, African and Latin American countries such as North Korea, Vietnam, Yemen, and Angola are all blood-letting tanks of the Soviet Union, and Afghanistan is a super-gold-eating beast. However, under this circumstance, the Soviet Union can still maintain armaments on a terrifying scale, and under such corrupt conditions of the CPSU, the common people are still living a decent life, and I have to sigh that Big Brother has a solid foundation. The disintegration of the Soviet Union, for the Soviet people, is a large-scale “Dragon Yingtai”-style carnival – we don’t want the rise of a big country, but only the dignity of the small people. Although it was later proved that without the rise of a great power, the Soviet people did not gain the dignity of a small citizen. But this was an afterthought, and for the Soviets at the time, they definitely expected change more than the status quo. Many people say that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, more than 70% of the Soviet people agreed to keep the Soviet Union. But what they didn’t say was that the vast majority of them agreed to maintain a new Soviet Union, not a socialist one. The Soviet Union regarded the Soviet people as the fuel for the world revolution, and the common people were burned to ashes and disheartened.