Do you see a pattern here?

Below is a list of recent headlines.

Armed Drones Seen as Dogfight-Ready in (Not-Too-Distant) Future

It’s fully autonomous,” Winship said. “It will do all the things it’s supposed to go do without having to call home.” Northrop Grumman Corp., which is working on an autonomous fighter programmed for aerial combat without human control

You now have unlocked the potential of that airframe because it can now stay in the air measured in days, not measured in six or eight hours,”


China Preparing for Drone Warfare

PLA plans to build 42,000 UAVs, Pentagon says.

China currently operates several armed and unarmed drone aircraft and is developing long-range range unmanned aerial vehicles

The acquisition and development of longer-range UAVs will increase China’s ability to conduct long-range reconnaissance and strike operations,”


A new world order? Putin and Xi put friendship on display

Vladimir Putin, centre, and Xi Jinping, third left, watch the Victory Parade in Red Square, Moscow Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

From left: LM Kaganovich, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, NA Bulganin, Joseph Stalin, Walter Ulbricht, J cedenbal, NS Khrushchev and I Koplenig (Getty)

From left: LM Kaganovich, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, NA Bulganin, Joseph Stalin, Walter Ulbricht, J cedenbal, NS Khrushchev and I Koplenig (Getty)

At first sight, things look very different now. When President Xi Jinping of China took pride of place next to Vladimir Putin of Russia on Saturday, they looked like any other modern world leaders: pragmatic men-in-suits, full of smiles, temporary possessors of power rather than dictators-for-life.

Back in 1949, when Chairman Mao Tse-tung paid his first visit to Moscow to celebrate Comrade Joseph Stalin’s 70th Birthday, it was a paean of old-school Communism.

Children in Young Pioneer uniforms paraded through the Bolshoi Opera House telling of their ambition to become tractor drivers. Mao wore a “Mao suit” and Stalin military uniform. Both men looked grumpy.

The line-up of leaders alongside the two men was a walking representation of a new anti-American alliance that has formed bit by bit since the invasion of Iraq demonstrated the frightening ease with which Washington could destroy hostile leaders far away.

Alongside Mr Xi were Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Raúl Castro of Cuba, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela: standouts against what Mr Putin called a unipolar world, his code phrase for the spread of western-style democracy.

What is stark is that Russia and China are now openly stating their intention to stand together to lead such an alliance.

Mao’s subsequent falling-out with Stalin’s successors led to the US-China rapprochement following President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972. The new détente helped defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

Yesterday in Moscow there was no America – something Washington may come to regret – and there was no doubt whose smile was most confident, as seen above in the first picture.

China is and has been openly developing a naval strategy aimed at challenging American dominance of the western Pacific, including in the waters around Japan and Taiwan.



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