Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, one major diplomatic variable has been the stance of China. So far, China has played its cards sort of close to its chest, neither firmly denouncing Russia’s aggression, nor providing Russia with meaningful support.
My guest Kaiser Kuo calls China’s stance thus far a kind of “pro-Russian neutrality.” He is host of the Sinica Podcast in the SUP China Network and we have a long conversation about what is informing China’s approach to this international crisis. We kick off discussing the history of China-Russia relations and then dive deep into China’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Transcript lightly edited for clarity
What Was Vladimir Putin’s Relationship with Chinese President Xi Jingping Before Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?
Kaiser Kuo [00:02:26] I’m going to go all the way back; I think we need to actually take this back a little further than just Xi. Xi came to office in 2013 and by then, the China Russia relationship was already sort of on its present trajectory. So, I wanted to take it back a little further than that if that’s okay, Mark.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:02:44] Take me, take me back. You can go to the Qing Dynasty if you like.
Kaiser Kuo [00:02:50] [laughter] Don’t need to go back that far. So, I think it’s important to remember that from the time of the Sino-Soviet split, which began in earnest in 1960, no Soviet leader had even visited China until Mikhail Gorbachev did in ’89. He went there in the middle of these student demonstrations, if you recall—actually, I was present in Tiananmen Square when he was there. Gorbachev’s fates and you know, China’s own near-death experience in ’89 were always linked in the minds of Chinese leaders. And so, Deng Xiaoping and later Jiang Zemin, they regarded Boris Yeltsin as a feckless drunk. But from Gorbachev and then Yeltsin, they really drew a lot of important lessons because, you know, this has been an obsession, and it’s especially an obsession with Xi Jinping. He’s dead set on avoiding the same fate as the Soviet Union, right? So, they drew a couple of important lessons. One was, you know, don’t do glasnost before you do perestroika right? Don’t reform politics until you reform the economy. You want to be able to at least deliver people a decent living. So that’s one mistake. They looked at Russia and said, ‘Well, don’t privatize state-owned assets willy nilly the way that Yeltsin did’ because, you know, he created this class of rapacious oligarchs and, you know, a kleptocratic state. And finally, don’t submit to the kind of shock therapy being prescribed by Western economists. China sort of pats itself on the back for having avoided those things. It really wasn’t until the later stages of the Yugoslav conflict, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, especially the Kosovo war, that China really started to find convergence, though with Russia.
What factors have aligned Russia and China in the last 20 years?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:04:36] And of course, NATO bombed Chinese embassy in Belgrade during that war. It was a mistake, says NATO, but nonetheless, you know, presumably informed China’s response to the crisis.
Kaiser Kuo [00:04:47] Absolutely did. It absolutely did. And so, I think I have yet to meet a Chinese person, somebody born and raised in China who believes that it was a mistake. This is the question that I’ll ask God when I finally meet him. That’s one thing I really want to know: what really happened with that bomb or those bombs. Anyway, but there was a respite, though after that, I think, for both China and Russia during the early years of the so-called global war on terror when the United States was very much distracted. Both Russia and China were sort of enrolled in that war on terror for their own selfish reasons. But by 2007, after we’d already seen the Rose Revolution in Georgia in ’03, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in ’04, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in ’05. By 2007, though, you see a very changed Putin. He’s, you know, he’s smiting over NATO expansion already, of course, but especially over these color revolutions. I think that when he gives that Munich conference speech in 2007, that’s an important point. And heading into the year 2008, which was a really pivotal one for China because in March, China experienced this massive uprising—riots, as Beijing would describe them officially in Lhasa and in other culturally Tibetan areas of China. And that sparked a lot of anti-Americanism, maybe surprisingly just for the way that US media outlets covered that. But on the other hand, you had, you know, Russia invaded Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August. It was right during the Olympics, which really frankly pissed off Hu Jintao, who was the president of China at the time. And then, you know, just three weeks after the closing ceremony of those Olympics, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the whole financial system went into meltdown. So that was another important turning point for China, and I think it got them a whole lot more assertive and pricklier almost immediately. I think they saw things eye to eye much more with the Russians at that point. And then in 2009, you have another couple of events that pushed China even still closer in worldview to this newly militant Russia under Putin. One was this big uprising in Xinjiang with riots in Urumqi. But it was also things like—I mean, people don’t understand how this was read in China—the protests in Iran after the contested reelection of Ahmadinejad,
Mark L. Goldberg [00:07:29] The Green Protest…
Kaiser Kuo [00:07:30] Yeah, the Green Protest but, you know, significantly, they also called it the YouTube Revolution and they got in the habit of appending the name of an American social media product every revolution that happened, especially after the Arab Spring started in 2011. So, you know, Tahrir Square was the Facebook Revolution and there were various Twitter revolutions, right?
How does shared vitriol against so-called “western values” unite Russia and China?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:07:52] Prescribing presumably American motives behind these very much organic protests in these countries?
Kaiser Kuo [00:08:01] That’s absolutely right. They always reach to the same boogeyman. For Putin, you have to remember in 2012, he had his own kind of near-death experience, all these massive protests against Putin, that he blamed on Hillary Clinton and our State Department. These organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy and of course, George Soros, right? So, it’s interesting because they start really reading from the same prayer book or singing from the same hymn book by that point. There’s this really remarkable—it was an internal party document that actually predates Xi’s succession as general secretary a few months later—it’s called Document Number Nine. I don’t know Mark if you’ve heard of it.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:08:45] I’ve not. Enlighten me, please.
Kaiser Kuo [00:08:47] It’s fascinating. It was leaked actually the following year in 2013. You can really kind of read it as the party’s diagnosis of what they need to watch out for in terms of how the faith and authority of the party gets undermined; how color revolution takes hold; it’s like a warning against the perils of democracy promotion by the United States. So, it’s like the seven deadly sins that it identifies and they’re almost entirely about the pernicious influence of Western values and Western institutions. You know, constitutional democracy with its features like multi-party elections or separation of power or independent judiciary. The very idea of universal values, civil society, NGOs, these are seen as a deadly vector for this kind of thinking. Independent media, what they call, you know, Western style journalism, in other words, adversarial journalism. So, I think it’s significant that this comes out in 2012. This is the same year that Putin is facing his big street protests again that, he says, are the machinations of the evil Secretary of State Clinton and so forth. So, I think if you take a look out Beijing’s windows and understand what it looked like, you can see why it felt alignment with Russia during this time.
How did China view the United States before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:10:22] And you know, there is this kind of prevailing sense among those who are China pundits or China watchers that China’s foreign policy proceeds from the assumption that the goals of its foreign policy is to shore up domestic stability and regime security. Are you seeing manifestations of that in terms of how China is approaching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Kaiser Kuo [00:10:55] Yeah. So, this is one where I have this sort of ongoing debate with other people about 2014 and how important that was because I mean, I think you can look at 2014 and recognize that on the one hand, Beijing didn’t object strenuously but on the other, it has not recognized Crimea still to this day. So, this takes us up to the present so yeah, I think you’re absolutely right that China’s foreign policy ultimately is about shoring up its own. Well, I don’t think that it’s suffering a crisis of legitimacy exactly right now. I think that regime support is actually at very, very high levels currently but I think it’s important to look in, you know, take in the view out Beijing’s windows and see what America has looked like from that subjective vantage point. This isn’t to say that how Beijing sees things are is correct or that I agree with it. But you know, what it sees basically is over the last three years, four years, really—I mean, we can go even further back to the very beginning of the trade war—that the United States has sought to kneecap China’s tech businesses. It’s sought to basically drive Beijing onto its belly. You know, there’s the trade war, this tech Cold War, the blaming of Beijing for the COVID 19 pandemic and then, you know, that series of lab leak claims that were deliberately meant to be conflated with bioweapons claims. And then all the gratuitous insults that came from the presidential podium during Trump’s administration and then just the kind of profound disappointment that things didn’t change much when Biden came into office. There are more and more people in Beijing who are convinced that America, you know, irrespective of what party is in power, who holds Congress or who’s in the White House, the goal is to keep China down.
Is China strategizing to support Moscow in Russia’s war on Ukraine? Would it be beneficial to China to outwardly support Putin in his war against Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:12:59] So, you know, I follow the UN pretty closely or very closely and at the UN, China has avoided any really explicit denunciations of Russia, but it’s also not firmly had Russia’s back, opting instead to abstain from some key votes at both the Security Council and the General Assembly. But from what I’m hearing from you, I mean, is it fair to say that beyond the UN in these last two weeks, Beijing has more or less been siding with Moscow? And if so, what have been manifestations of a strategy that seems to be developing in which Beijing is backing Moscow or not?
Kaiser Kuo [00:13:45] Yeah. So that’s obviously the million-dollar question.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:13:48] That’s why I asked you.
Kaiser Kuo [00:13:50] [laughter] Right, right, right. I actually think that I would describe it as a kind of pro-Russian neutrality at this point. China is still trying to hedge, right? You know, it is sanctions compliant so far and has signaled that it will be. It’s done things like denied the sale of airplane parts. It has done things like provided limited and pretty modest humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We saw the ambassador to Ukraine make comments about the unity and the tenacity of Ukrainian fighters, which has pissed Moscow off pretty badly. It has done things like flatly denied this claim that Russia had made a request of it for military aid. There were other things that I think are evidence of China’s hedging. Where the rubber meets the road, I think is, though, in how it is talking about this to its own people.
How has Chinese state-controlled media reported on the war in Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:15:00] That was going to be my next question. How is this conflict being portrayed in state-controlled media?
Kaiser Kuo [00:15:05] Well, I mean, look, everything that I’ve been talking about, with relevance to the present crisis comes from conversations I’ve had with people who know a whole lot more than I do. And so here I’m going to be, you know, referring to what Maria Repnikova has told me in conversations I’ve had with her. She was my guest on the last podcast. She’s somebody who has this sort of happy confluence of research interests where she just published a book on Chinese soft power, but she is Russian born. She’s actually born in Estonia, but she’s a Russian speaker and is also fluent in Chinese. She studies Chinese media, and she’s published a book on the Chinese media system. So, she’s been watching this very closely. What’s maybe surprising is how little attention has been paid to the war in the official media. There is sort of the equivalent of the CBS Evening News during its heyday in Walter Cronkite’s time, where it was the news, everyone watches and that’s on China Central Television CCTV channel 1. It’s called […], “the evening news” and the Ukraine story has been relegated to minute 27 of a 30-minute broadcast and has been given very, very, very short shrift. They would rather people not be thinking about this because they understand how divisive it is now. It doesn’t serve Chinese ends right now to appear to take a side in it. Now that said, I think what really matters is that they are censoring people who are making arguments that are too pro-Western and not censoring the more strident nationalists who are calling for China to be all in with Russia.
Is the Chinese government censoring anyone because of their public opinion on Russia’s war in Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:16:59] What does that suggest to you?
Kaiser Kuo [00:17:08] I suppose it would be possible to kind of make up a balance sheet right, to look at what favors China, what favors Russia, and what favors the West or Ukraine and what I would put in the pro-Russia column, obviously, is that they want to stand up against American unipolar hegemony. They want to keep America strategically tied up in Europe and unable to really build up a presence in Asia. Once again, the pivot to falter, that’s in their strategic interest. They realize that failing to support Russia means strengthening the West, with the EU remaining very, very close in American orbit. In other words, if Russia is ignominiously defeated in Ukraine, if its war aims are not met, we’re going to see a sort of resurgent American led order. And then of course, there’s hydrocarbons, oil and gas, and carbohydrates right, wheat. But on the other side of the ledger are many things, one of them is that the Russian economy is like only the 11th largest in the world. It is way down there in the list of Chinese trade partners. In fact, if you add up the E.U. and the United States, that comes to about a little over 1.1 trillion dollars in annual trade. But Russia is only 1/7th of that. So, they’re going to be sanctions compliant. They realize that sanctions could really hurt the Chinese economy, especially during this really crucial period where they’re trying to do something. It looks like they’re putting it off irrespective of what’s happening in Russia, but they’re really trying to move China onto a very different economic footing right now and that plan is sort of stymied by the distraction of this war, so they don’t like that. Of course, China is constantly talking about the basic principle of territorial integrity and national sovereignty, and they see what Russia has done as a pretty unambiguous violation of that.
Does China have the capacity to mediate an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:19:26] So I guess what opportunities exist or are being explored by elite Chinese foreign policy thinkers that exist that would use this crisis to firmly establish China as the dominant world power? I’m s thinking back or perhaps comparing this moment, potentially to the Suez Crisis of 1956 in which you had the declining powers of the United Kingdom and France get into a misadventure in the Middle East and it was the United States who sort of rescued the situation and in so doing firmly established the US as the power to be reckoned with and forever relegated Britain and to a lesser extent, France, as like declining or old imperial powers that are sort of feckless. Does the Chinese foreign policy establishment have the wherewithal to sort of assert itself in a way to help, perhaps negotiate or mediate an end to this crisis in a way that asserts China on the global stage in any meaningful way?
Kaiser Kuo [00:20:45] Well, the short answer is no. There are probably some people who have kind of wildly overestimated China’s capacity to do anything like that but I think that that the majority of people in the foreign policy establishment in China understand that China’s choices here are circumscribed, that its power is still limited and it has seen many examples just in the last three weeks of exactly why that is so, not the least of which is just the incredible discursive power of the Western media. It has so shaped that narrative and in so shaping it, it has, you know, changed the way that Brussels and individual European capitals have approached it. It has changed the whole way that the story is told globally and the way it’s been understood, and they’re very keenly aware of that. They’re also keenly aware of the power of sanctions now. I think that prior to February 24th, it was still possible in Chinese policy circles to speak of toothless, impotent sanctions, right? Not anymore. So no, I don’t think so. And I think that they realize that China is far away, that China would be seen as meddling in an affair that isn’t really of its doing. And because it had leaned to pro-Russia during the run up to an in the immediate first few weeks of the war it wouldn’t be seen as a sort of trustworthy intermediary certainly not by the West. Now there have been your occasional calls for China to step up and do something, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think that Xi Jinping so overestimates China’s capabilities in that way.
Is it sustainable for China to remain quietly pro-Russia while attempting to be publicly neutral on the war in Ukraine?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:22:45] So you use the phrase, and I love it, “pro-Russian neutrality” as describing China’s approach to this crisis thus far. How sustainable do you see that position being? What might break that quote pro-Russian neutrality one way or the other?
Kaiser Kuo [00:23:06] Right. I mean, that’s again, the other million-dollar question.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:23:10] I’m making you a millionaire today. All the questions your way.
Kaiser Kuo [00:23:20] I think maybe the most illustrative example is a Shanghai based scholar by the name of Hua, who published a really interesting piece that circulated pretty widely in Chinese and then was translated into English by the Carter Center in Atlanta—Carter Center’s US-China perception monitor. And it basically calls for China to come off the fence in the direction of the West and for China to break its ties with Putin. That has been pretty widely savaged in China, where it has been allowed to circulate, surprisingly, but only because I think the judgment was that it had enough holes in it, that it wasn’t really going to be taken too seriously. But I think it is indicative that there are plenty of people, especially people in the sort of soft handed academic policy community who really would like to see China get off the fence on the western side rather than getting off the fence onto the Russian side. Again, there are people who would challenge the idea that they’re even on the fence. One guest that I’ve had, Evan Feigenbaum, is very clear on that. He does not believe that China is on the fence. He thinks that China’s sanctions compliance was a given, that they don’t get credit for that. I don’t fully agree with him. I think that at least in its own mind, China believes itself to be still sort of on a fence. I think that they realize that the longer they wait, the less options they have but they also see a possibility where waiting this out without taking a side yields the most positive outcome for China in the long term anyway, where they see Russia emerge from this with what it wanted before February 24th anyway. That is, with a Ukraine that is avowedly neutral, that does not join NATO and promises not to for the foreseeable future. Where Russian quote unquote legitimate security interests are taken seriously and where it still sees that as a possible wedge to keep NATO’s constituent members sort of divided from one another. So, what it worries about most is an outcome that puts the EU and the United States firmly together under American hegemonic dominion. I mean, me personally, being an unalloyed liberal myself, I would love to see China come off the fence in the right direction. Unfortunately, I just don’t see that as a likely outcome.
How might Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affect China’s policies around Taiwan?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:26:27] So there’s this perception I sense in American policy circles that Chinese policy officials and Chinese officials are viewing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the prism, the lens of Taiwan. Does that strike you as true? And what’s more broadly the takeaway for China vis a vis Taiwan in terms of like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Kaiser Kuo [00:27:02] Yeah. So, I think that there were a lot of kind of hot takes immediately, and this began well before February 24th. A lot of hot takes that say ‘/well this for China is entirely about Taiwan.’ Now I think it would be foolish for us to think that that hasn’t crossed the minds of Chinese leaders, but I think the kinds of direct parallels to the situation are not accurate in the least. China doesn’t conceive of it as a similar situation. It really does in its heart of hearts, believe that Taiwan is an internal matter, rightly or wrongly. So, I think that if anything, if there’s any lesson that’s being drawn right now, if there’s any direction in which Beijing is being pushed vis a vis the Taiwan issue, it’s away from adventurism right now. I think it’s fully on display the kind of moral opprobrium and how quickly that would translate into not just sanctions, but full-on embargoes, the pain that China would be made to suffer. I think that all along, Xi, by virtue of the fact that he has arrogated to himself so much decision-making authority, singular decision-making authority on that matter, he knows that if things go badly on such an adventure, he has nobody else to blame, and that is absolutely the end of his political career. Whereas all he need do is repeat the occasional mantra about the inviolability of China’s claim on Taiwan, and he can keep nationalists satisfied—throw them a little red meat once in a while—he faces no threat to his rule by not acting, whereas he faces an enormous risk if he does act with very little upside. So, I think that we’re safe but anyone who has looked at the situation, I would suggest listening to what Bonnie Glaser has to say. She’s at the German Marshall Fund, was formerly at CSIS and has been looking at this, knows the disposition of Chinese forces really well, knows that that Xi is not planning anything like that. I think it’s really irresponsible for a lot of news outlets to report Chinese planes that fly through the ADIZ, which, by the way actually includes parts of Mainland China, as you know, conflating those with overflights of Taiwan, which is not what’s happening at all, they’re happening far to the southwest of that.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:29:41] All right. No, that’s fair enough. It’s just, as you said, there was this slew of hot takes, and I feel like it’s still a persistent perception that a dominant frame in which China is interpreting events in Ukraine is through its positions on Taiwan. And I take your point, I figured that not to be correct, but hearing directly from you is certainly helpful.
What could motivate China to “pick a side” and support Ukraine?
Kaiser Kuo [00:30:08] Well, that said, there’s one area where I think Taiwan really does matter right now. I think if you look at the readout, especially the Chinese version of the readout from the meeting that just took place in Rome on Monday between Jake Sullivan and Yang Jiechi. You know, most of it is about Taiwan, and a sort of flick at Korea and North Korea and Ukraine in the last sentence or in the last paragraph of the readout.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:30:33] Is that in the State Department readout, or the Chinese government readout?
Kaiser Kuo [00:30:36] The Chinese government’s readout interest.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:30:37] Huh, interesting.
Kaiser Kuo [00:30:37] The State Department readout is very, very short considering that it was a seven-hour meeting. It’s actually possibly a good sign that it was so short but when I look at that readout where my mind goes instantly is that I think that Yang and China are angling for carrots to get them off the fence. I think that in their mind, the right inducement to get China to actually play a more constructive role in this would be sort of an explicit statement on Taiwan, an end to the salami slicing that they see as having happened across the Trump administration, especially in the last couple of years with Pompeo and especially in the last months, the kind of policy turds that Pompeo left on the lawn of the Taiwan Straits issue. And I really worry that they think they can extract those sorts of concessions in exchange for a more cooperative posture in the Ukraine crisis.
Could any event force China to make a more declarative statement on their support either for Russia or against it?
Mark L. Goldberg [00:31:53] So lastly, in the coming weeks or months even, could you foresee any decisions that Beijing will have to make or other inflection points that might suggest to you how China will evolve in its approach to Russia? For example, might Russia come to China to seek some sort of bailout or some support in order to shore up Russia’s own crumbling economy? And at that point, will China have to make a decision about whether or not to buy like Russian gold or something like that?
Kaiser Kuo [00:32:31] Yeah, I think that that’s exactly the kind of decision point that Russia might force on China, and I think they dread that. They’re looking, of course, very, very carefully at the course of the conflict itself, which changes day to day. I think there’s no doubt in my mind that they are watching everything that’s happening, every skirmish, every battle, you know, every Russian military action. And they’re keeping a very, very close eye on what’s happening in the peace talks, although they probably have no role in it whatsoever. I don’t know how good faith it is, but it looks like they’re converging on a set—I mean, it’s been reported you saw it in the Financial Times yesterday and elsewhere—that there is on the table now, a solution that is almost sort of a status quo ante, but with a vow of Ukrainian neutrality and a commitment not to join NATO. I think we need to think about the other things that complicate China’s relationship with Russia, and we don’t think about this probably enough. One is India and another is Vietnam, both of whom are recipients of substantial Russian military aid, but who are kind of traditional antagonists of China, right? You know, it’s not an uncomplicated relationship. You can point to Central Asia and see that Russia and China have been largely copacetic there but there are other areas where it’s not easy to see how it will evolve. So, all of these things are factors in Beijing’s thinking.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:34:26] Well, Kaiser, this was so helpful. Thank you.
Kaiser Kuo [00:34:29] Thank you. Mark is a real pleasure.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:34:31] And you have at least one new subscriber to your podcast. Can you take a minute just to plug and tell the listeners about your show?
Kaiser Kuo [00:34:38] Sure. So, I actually run a network of podcasts. It’s called the Sinica Network, and it can be found on SupChina.com. But our flagship show, which has been running since April 1st of 2010
Mark L. Goldberg [00:34:50] Oh my gosh, you pre-date me.
Kaiser Kuo [00:34:51] Yeah, coming up on our 12th birthday.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:34:52] Yeah, I’m April 2014. There are few who are older than I. That’s great!
Kaiser Kuo [00:34:59] Yeah. So, we started the show when I was still living in Beijing. Then we were acquired by SupChina, which was a fledgling news outlet which has allowed us to really spread our wings and we moved the show to the United States, and I moved here in 2016. The show is a current affairs show. It’s a weekly show in interview format usually, you know, anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. And we bring on everyone from diplomats, we’ve had people like Kurt Campbell, we’ve had former heads of government like Kevin Rudd on the show.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:35:34] Ah, he’s been on my show too.
Kaiser Kuo [00:35:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see you’ve got quite a roster of great people. You’ve had Fareed Zakaria who is just fantastic. I envy a lot of the guests that you’ve had. Maybe we can, we can swap intros.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:35:47] Yeah, there you go. Well, I’ll post a link to your show in the show notes of the episode, so people are listening to this now have an easy way to access your show, which I really look forward to listening to regularly.
Kaiser Kuo [00:35:58] Yeah, yeah. And you can listen to all the shows I’ve done on Ukraine and China, where I’ve stolen everything that I’ve just said.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:36:07] Well, that’s what I do, whenever I get interviewed, which is always awkward, I’m like the person usually interviewing people, I always refer back to the insights of people I interviewed. So, I get it. Yeah. Well, thank you. That’s great, Kaiser. I really appreciate it.
Kaiser Kuo [00:36:18] Thank you, Mark.
Mark L. Goldberg [00:36:22] All right, thank you all for listening. Thank you to Kaiser, that was great. I am now a proud subscriber of the Sinica Podcast and recommend you all do as well. Looking forward to being a listener. All right, we’ll see you soon. As I said at the outset, I’m taking a little time off, but I have lots of fresh new content for you in the interim so nothing should change from your perspective but if you reach out to me, I might be slow to respond. Alright, I’ll see next time, bye!