American foreign policy has tried to work with dictators over the last half century. This is morally repugnant and foolish. Dictators view democracies as impossible to understand and control (new leaders and parties in power every few years). Dictators prefer other dictators as once they have an alliance, they can rely on the other dictator for the rest of their lives. They can also understand the motivation of other dictators and use that to create more trust.
America spent the last fifty years catering to Chinese dictators, Europe spent thirty years catering to Russian dictators…. All a waste of time and money. Putin and Jinping have allied with one another far more strongly and far more quickly than they ever did with democracies.