The amount of Putin prognasticating by the world's media will surely surge in the upcoming weeks. Russia's first round of the Presidential process comes on March 4th. If he gets more than 50%, Putin wins another term. Which I think means the world will be shuffling through their papers to see what that means for their relationship(s) with Russia. Yawn. I was, however, surprised by one story that showed up in my inbox this morning. China - here using an anecdotal sliver of their manufacturing and retail economy - is obviously rootin' for Putin to take charge once more. As related to my book, I spent a day in the particular area of Beijing being discussed in this piece. During that tiny nutshell moment, I could hardly believe the open and vital connection between Russian buyers and Chinese business. I saw the crowds (far sparser than what gets the drive-by in this piece - but it was just one day). And they were made up of what I characterized as thick-necked, old-school guys holding the burgeoning shopping bags of their over-dressed, cartoonishly-augmented wives/girlfriends/chattel out shopping for luxury goods in Beijing this past September. If Putin wins, the Chinese obviously hope those touring shoppers from the increasingly affluent upper tiers of new Russia will come in greater numbers. In that and maybe all things, all politics is local. Even when weirdly geopolitical, apparently.