Re: Old hat?
"The US and other parts of the West are starting to experience a shortage of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. I wonder which country produces those?"
Another reason I believe China is not too happy with Russia - the Russian's use of gas supply as a weapon has strengthened committment within the West to both military preparedness and strategic protection of critical infrastructure and capabilities.
"And then there was Merkel, and her comments about Minsk.
I don't think the Germans (and particularly Fr Merkel) are overly popular with either side or their allies. The German attempt to cosy up to Russia through commercial ties on gas supply was very concerning to many who worried that it would be weaponized to threaten and cajole Western Europe to bow to Russia's demands. So a lot of people (outside the Bundestag) not surprised when that happened! Both in the current war, and previously, Germany has also hindered supply/export of jointly developed weapon systems - which causes concerns for future collaborative work in Europe. (And apropos the original article it is a joy to see Germany and France engaged on a separate programme - long may it continue).
"Hence why Russia hasn't been too impressed with suggestions for a ceasefire, ... "
More likely because it does not immediately cede to Russia's demands and guarantee their landgrab.
"Our political elite have just shown they can't be trusted, ..."
Just!!! There have been plenty of reasons given over decades and centuries. However, in the grand scheme of things I would trust them much much more than I would anything emanating from the Russian leadership.
"... and Russia's proceeding to systematically destroy Ukraine's military."
I think "systematically" is doing a lot of lifting there. Ukraine is definitely suffering greatly, and not just their military (thanks to the brutal policies of the Russian invaders). Ukraine has also been limited by restrictions placed on the use of the weapons given to it - the West does not want them landing on Russian territory. However, judging by the rise of "incidents" within Russia it is starting to look like the Ukranians might have got some indigenous weapons they can use in that role.
"Ally with the West and if you get into a conflict, we may be able to deliver you ammunition resupplies in 3-5yrs."
My comment addressed the potential benefit to China's military industrial complex (who amongst other things already make much better MiGs than the Russians do). Many of those doing business with Russia are already very aware that the West can be fickle about with whom, when and why they do business. China have often been more accommodating, but those agreements tend to have quite a sting in their tail (but that is SEP) - and I don't think China will be giving away xmas presents.
"Plus there was a convoy of 200 brand new T-92's heading from Russia to Ukraine, or essentially the entirety of Germany's Leopard inventory."
Whatever model these might turn out to be, there is also the question of what training the crews might have had.
I suspect that there are already many planners in many militaries studying the data from this war very carefully and preparing plans for future stockpiles and replenishment. (Another reason China will be unhappy with Russia).
"We've poked the bear, we're poking the dragon.
There is plenty of poking going on from all sides, and some of it none to subtle. Have you ever visited Salisbury?
"China may decide there's a window of opportunity where the West's stocks are low, and it'll be a good opportunity to resolve the Taiwan issue."
Realistically the US Carrier Fleet is the only thing capable of making a military intervention here (short of the nuclear option), and Russia is not the only one keeping an eye along its entire front. Western forces are not boots on the ground engaged, so they are not pinned. There have been much better opportunities for China to go for the blunt force solution - but externally they have tended to prefer a more cautious long game approach. They always could, but then that has always been the case.
"We decided it was a smart idea for the West to start a proxy war with Russia and use NATO trained and equipped Ukrainians to do so."
Or, Mr Putin decided that he could make a quick power grab having got away with grabbing Crimea. He thought he could achieve a take-over in 3 days, murder the existing leadership in Kyiv (and anyone else he did not like the look of), leverage Germany's reliance on Russian gas along with a general passiveness in the West to prevent a response to what would be a fait-accompli.
That isn't going very well because he had not appreciated the extent that the corruption endemic throughout Russia also pervaded the military. And, rather than looking impotent, the West's approach to military operations (which they had been taking onboard since Crimea) coupled with the courage of the Ukrainians bought Ukraine the time to mobilize themselves and support from the West.
"But then it's not our politicians doing the bleeding, or freezing.
It is not Mr Putin, or the people of Moscow, doing the bleeding or freezing either. By comparison our politicians are mostly acquiting themselves honourably (though they also need to be held to account for some other dodgy behaviour).