Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine could open the door to greater global conflict.
A new axis of evil led by Russia and China is determined to control the world's technology and commerce.
Within hours of invading Ukraine, Putin made an urgent phone call to Beijing. He wanted to discuss his actions with communist China's President Xi Jinping.
Not only did Xi know about the invasion in advance, Western intelligence officials say the Chinese requested Putin delay military action until after the Beijing Olympics. Russia obliged.
This revelation indicates a strengthening of the Sino-Russian alliance and suggests the potential for President Xi to rely on his Russian partner for additional help.
So, is Xi preparing to pounce on Taiwan?
"Certainly, he's watching what happens in Ukraine and certainly how the rest of the world reacts to it," explained Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Spalding.
"I think Putin went to China in order to get Xi's blessing for the (Ukraine) invasion."
And perhaps a nod toward closer cooperation.
Both presidents know Russian success in Ukraine is necessary for the alliance to make more significant gains.
"Russia the bear, China the dragon are looking at a way to undermine the United States on the edge of their spheres of influence. If the Russians extend their area of hegemonic influence over Eastern Europe, China backs it. The Chinese will look towards the Russians for support for a potential invasion of Taiwan, an expansion of their hegemonic interests towards Southeast Asia," explained Gregg Roman, director of the Middle East Forum.
"Both countries, I think wrongly, they both feel threatened by the U.S. dominance in the region and now they're pushing back. If they work together, they're more likely to think that they'll succeed. But I think the U.S., by the time it starts confronting these two theaters, should wake up and realize that it's time to contain Russia and China," said Roman. "And at the end of the day, the Russians, the Chinese have a historical grievance that goes back hundreds of years. And that might upset the apple cart."
For now, in order to aid their pursuit for Russian energy and Chinese money, certain countries are joining this new Sino-Russian-led axis.
That includes nuclear Pakistan, whose Prime Minister Imran Kahn met with Putin just hours before the Ukraine invasion, even though war was imminent. His high-level Moscow visit was Pakistan's first of its kind in more than 20 years.
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