Almost feeling sorry for China’s barbarian-handlers – how can they use their cold, calculating, cynical cunning to undermine the US-led rules-based international trade order when Trump’s negotiating team is a baboon show too incoherent to con?
Presumably the answer is: patience. Apart from a few jitters, the markets are plainly assuming that Trump will pathetically fold – give China’s state-owned tech giants access to any sensitive components or markets they want in return for shifting some soybeans or financing a family-branded Belt-and-Road golf course.
The result: an even more overweening sense of entitlement in Beijing, and real friction and shocks further ahead when China’s hubris eventually collides with reality. With that in mind, some CCP-baiting links for the weekend…
The re-education camps in Xinjiang have suddenly hit the mainstream press. Much more in this Jamestown Foundation paper, which suggests that Xinjiang’s core Belt-and-Road role has convinced Beijing to pursue a ‘definitive solution’ to the ‘Uighur question’.
(Update: the ever-so-convincing not-creepy soft-power machine swings into action.)
Two questions. One: the tactic of forcing hundreds of thousands of people to chant slogans they know are lies (or consider blasphemous) is up at the Pol Pot end of the subtlety scale. Can it not provoke a major backlash or uprising at some stage? Two: are any Muslim governments, societies or movements (outside the Turkestan region) taking notice? How do they feel this ranks as an atrocity alongside, say, Israel’s treatment of Gazans?
Meanwhile, in the South China Sea…
China’s lack of real external threats requires it to push out until it comes into conflict with resisting powers. This might be termed a ‘search for enemies’ strategy, wherein the needs of domestic politics require an external military confrontation.
So far, it keeps the PLA happy. If the debt-fueled asset-bubble mega-crisis calamity ever materializes, Xi and the CCP will need overseas conflicts to stay in power.
It’s not just China: I declare the weekend open with this alarming revelation of a new pernicious campaign of foreign influence over innocent citizens’ minds in Australia.