That some people think Xi Jinping of China could be the right person to restrain Putin’s determination to become an archetypal Bond villain is open to serious question.
Democratic countries around the world are uniting under an appalled sense that what we see now as Ukraine is attacked is the truth of what really happens when totalitarianism rules.
So Russia and China on speakers isn’t exactly a recipe for world peace.
And the naive hope that Xi Jinping is best placed to calm Putin down is looking a bit risky.
Not that Russia and China don’t have many admirable qualities - think about the tourist opportunities. And most of us have nothing against the Russian and Chinese people. It’s just that their bosses are a bit dodgy.
Take for instance, the Chinese leadership’s mode of relating to Muslim Uyghurs.
Reading Gulbahar Haitiwaji’s account of what happened to her when she visited China on holiday to touch base with relatives, rather puts into perspective any niggles we Brits may feel standing in a long queue at Tenerife as we embark on our holidays too.
Arrested in China soon after her arrival and thrown into a detention centre, Gulbahar Haitiwaji found herself subject to the terrifying reality of being abducted by the Chinese State, where room service as we know it was definitely not the order of the day.
Incarcerated on a spurious charge of being a threat to China simply for being Muslim, and having a daughter who once went on some protest march in Europe, she found herself in a cell with 30 others, sharing one bucket in the corner for toilet facilities.
At one stage she was chained for two weeks to the end of the metal bars of a bed only able to pull herself up onto the mattress at night.
I don’t know about you, but I would have complained to my holiday operator most vociferously in the circumstances.
However, a serious complaints procedure was not the order of the day for this Muslim lady nor is it currently available to any of her fellow Uyghur Muslims who live in today’s modern China.
Her holiday in China turned into three years of incarceration during which, as the account of her book describes, she endured ‘hundreds of hours of interrogations, freezing cold, forced sterilisation, and a programme of de-personalisation meant to destroy her free will and her memories’.
No. In the circumstances, Xi Jinping was never going to be the best person to talk to Putin to stop him creating Armageddon.
Because when it comes to oppressive regimes, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Instead, the best hope of defusing Mr Putin of Russia was in the person of one Mr Donald Trump, ex President of the USA.
But it’s too late now.
That opportunity was squandered by the Washington elite who got rid of Trump often citing him as ‘dangerous.’
They then voted in a white man on the back of a movement called ‘Black Lives Matter.’
We must think though of Mr Trump, the belligerent, orange haired one, now that we have an isolated and unstable current President of Russia threatening world peace.
Steeped in a sense of power, money, and a strong-man leadership style, there were personal similarities between Trump and Putin. Except for the bit about bombing your neighbour and nuking the world.
So that’s good.
And another good bit is that they shared one fundamental personal vision too - a determination to make their country ‘Great’ again.
It would have been Mr Trump (who called Mr Putin ‘a very smart guy’ in pragmatic recognition of his ego) who could probably have persuaded Putin to stay smart and not choose crazy.
Moreover, Mr Trump (unlike Xi Jinping) had the added bonus of being a Western leader.
Because in the end that’s what Putin wanted - recognition from the West.
And this recognition could have been delivered to him, with non-nuclear strings attached, in the inimitable style of Trump:
Let’s do a deal.
Let’s talk about making things great again.
Using that major weapon of attack: