Chinese journalist Hu Xijin, the former Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Global Times outlet, said in a video posted to the Global Times YouTube channel on August 31, 2022 that recently-deceased former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev had been an intellectual with political idealism, but had also been naïve. He explained that Gorbachev had been ignorant of the "brutality" of geopolitics and had lacked control of the reforms he led in the USSR, and he said that in comparison to then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, Gorbachev's "immaturity" was tragic.
Hu elaborated that the same Western countries that are praising Gorbachev’s courage are "sparing no effort" in strangling Russia's economy, and he said that the United States and the West are the ones that have reaped the benefits of the USSR's collapse. In addition, he said that China has taken the USSR's collapse as a "political lesson" that acts as a "vaccine" that is protecting China.
Hu Xijin: "Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the former Soviet Union, passed away on Tuesday. Most of the compliments about him come from Russia's rivals. Leaders from the US and the Western world acclaimed him for initiating 'courageous' 'democratic reforms' and helping end the Cold War and bring peace. Those countries are sparing no effort in strangling Russia's economy.
"The reason is that Russia and Ukraine, two republics of the former Soviet Union, are waging a cruel war because of the aftermath of the dissolution of the Union. In my opinion, Gorbachev was an intellectual equipped with political idealism, but he was also naive, even ignorant of the brutality of geopolitics, and the risks and complexities of launching reforms in a large, multinational state. He misunderstood the path of Soviet reforms and lacked control over the reform process. Compared with China's Deng Xiaoping, his political immaturity is tragic.
"The US and the West fully enjoyed the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union. China did not suffer any geopolitical losses, and has taken the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a political lesson, which is a kind of 'vaccine' for China that still works today."