"There seem to be no effective checks to Putin and Xi’s growing ambitions. Both leaders, however, could be making a strategic error. They are staking their countries’ futures, and international trajectories, on one thing: themselves. Throughout their respective reigns, Putin and Xi have taken steps to consolidate their personal control on power. This may work as a stabilizing mechanism in the short term, but in the long term, can exacerbate inherent domestic tensions that could eventually undermine their rule."