Elaine Byrne: A global realignment is happening before our eyes as China ensnares Russia in its power game

The Sino-Russia relationship, with Russia the subservient partner, is united by the belief that a strong autocracy is a bulwark against a decadent democracy

Russian president Vladimir Putin with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The Sino-Russian relationship is united by the belief that a strong autocracy trumps a declining liberal democratic order. Picture: Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

According to an old Chinese proverb, a crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind. The Russian invasion of sovereign, neutral and independent Ukraine is a gift horse for China. No matter what the outcome of the war, it is Beijing that will ultimately be victorious.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, presides over the second-largest economy in the world, an unimaginable prospect just decades ago. Beijing is set to overtake the US as the world’s ...