Editor’s note for March 20, 2023

A note for Access newsletter readers from Jeremy Goldkorn.

My thoughts today:

Uneasy is the head that wears a crown: That’s a line from Shakespeare’s play Henry IV Part 2 that may animate the waking nightmares of Vladimir Putin and Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 over the next two days.

Xi is visiting Moscow right now.

Imagine how awful this trip must be for him, and also for Putin: They will have to pretend they like and respect each other. They will have to tread around each others’ sensitivities. They will have to offer mutual support without crossing red lines that have been set for them by other countries.

Meanwhile, if you want to know what informed people in China really think of Moscow, read these pieces: Feng Yujun on Russian History, Culture, and Contemporary Development, and A Damning Critique of Putinism and Russian Foreign Policy by Feng Yujun and Wen Longjie.