The CEO of Tesla warns that the prolongation of the Russian war in Ukraine risks leading to an alliance between the two communist regimes.
Is the world on the brink of a new Cold War?
A war in which, this time, we will have on one side the West led by the United States and its NATO allies, and on the other side a bloc headed by China and Russia?
Even if he does not go that far, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report, who has acquired influence and global geopolitical power thanks to the Russia-Ukraine war, believes that we are inevitably moving towards a Russia-China alliance, as President Vladimir Putin becomes increasingly isolated on the international stage.
The billionaire issued this warning in a thread on Twitter. David Sacks, a tech investor and friend of Musk, expressed concern that US support for Ukraine through NATO would bring China and Russia closer together, which, he said, would be the complete opposite of the U.S. strategy during the Cold War. At that time, Washington had managed to avoid an alliance between the two communist regimes.
“During the Cold War, the US made an effort to keep Russia and China divided, despite both being murderous communist regimes,” Sacks posted on Twitter on Feb. 23. “Now we’re pushing them closer together as a result of Biden’s war on autocracy. This is dangerous and foolish.”
China Might Sell Drones to Russia
The investor’s criticism was the response to an article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, which reported that Russia was in talks with a Chinese manufacturer for the purchase of 100 drones.
Der Spiegel asserted that “Beijing and Moscow are said to be negotiating the purchase of 100 strike drones, which could be delivered as soon as April.” Chinese drone maker Xian Bingo Intelligent Aviation Technology is ready to manufacture 100 units of its ZT-180 drone, which could carry a 35-50kg warhead.
“I have told the representatives of China that this cannot be accepted,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told public television ZDF on Feb. 23, when asked about possible Chinese aid to Russia.
“We are very concerned that China is considering providing lethal support to Russia in its aggression against Ukraine,” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told NBC during the Munich Security Conference mid-February. “And I made clear that that would have serious consequences in our relationship as well.”
The United States and Germany are among several countries that have warned China in recent days, urging it not to sell arms to Russia. While North Korea and Iran have been accused of selling weapons to Moscow, which is grappling with harsh Western sanctions, China has so far stayed away.
Musk, who has long advocated for a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine war, was quick to comment on Sacks’ harsh criticism of the Biden administration. He shares his friend’s concern and even believes that the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing is now inevitable.
“A Russia-China alliance is inevitable,” the billionaire said. “It will grow much stronger over time.”
Peace v. Long War
This warning is the latest in a series launched by the billionaire and his friends, who believe that the Russian war in Ukraine, which has entered its second year, risks degenerating into World War III, with disastrous consequences for Ukraine and the world.
“Most probable outcome by far is a horrible war of attrition that destroys Ukraine & severely damages Russia, with massive body count on both sides. And, in the end, the same outcome. So why?” the billionaire warned on Oct. 20.
This pessimism, even despair, had led the tech mogul to propose a controversial peace plan, which incorporated many of Putin’s demands. The proposal, one of his first big mistakes on the world stage, brought him severe criticism from all sides.
On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. This unprovoked invasion mobilized sentiment among NATO and its partners alongside Kyiv.
The conflict was presented as the clash between autocracies and democracies. Russia and President Vladimir Putin were the autocrats, while Ukraine and its allies symbolized the democracies.
The idea, according to the Ukrainian camp and its supporters, was to avoid signaling to autocrats that they could invade a free and independent country with impunity.
For Putin the war had to be fast. What he called the “special military operation” in Ukraine was intended to bring about regime change in Kyiv, and then what he called the “denazification” and demilitarization of the country. The war objective would evolve toward “liberation” of the entire Donbass and finally the annexation of the occupied regions.
But this offensive, expected to last a few days, faced strong resistance from the Ukrainian army. The Russian army progressed rapidly in the first weeks, but a year later it occupies only a sixth (16.7%) of Ukrainian territory (of which 6.45% had already been occupied since 2014, the year Russia occupied Crimea, according to official data.
The exact number of victims on both sides of the conflict is extremely difficult to assess. No official figures are available. But surely the conflict has killed thousands of people and displaced millions.
In a statement issued on Feb. 17, the UK’s ministry of defense said that “Russian Ministry of Defense and private military contractor forces have likely suffered 175,000 to 200,000 casualties since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.”