With Putin and Xi moving into an ever closer alliance, Joe Biden’s untested US administration may be pushed to the brink

It may just be coincidence that Russia was piling military pressure on Ukraine last week at the same time as China noisily rattled sabres around Taiwan. Spring, to mangle Tennyson, is when a young man’s fancy turns to war – and that twisted maxim may even apply to ageing thugs such as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

Russia and China are moving into ever closer alliance. While there is no evidence of direct collusion over Ukraine and Taiwan, presidents Putin and Xi are doubtless fully aware of each other’s actions, which have an identical, mutually reinforcing effect: putting the wind up Joe Biden’s untested US administration.

This is where truly global danger lies – in the hazy gap between words and deeds in the intensifying trilateral struggle between superpowers

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