The conflict in the Pacific is turning into a brick wall at the speed of sound. Trump vowed to deny China access to islands that don’t exist on household globes and maps. China is run by a party that has never lost—or won—in its 70 years of existence. Beijing wants Washington to recognize “one China”, but that “China”, regardless of which claimant defines it, is engaged in a publicly-funded military war between two political parties. There are two versions of “China”, officially, and no one knows which version to believe since neither waring party has declared victory in their 70 year war. Given the outstanding ambivalence, Trump may have just declared his own definition of victory for them.
When London meets a spontaneous cloud of smog, the comparison is to China. We all know who Londoners are thinking about and what they are thinking about them. So, while Trump makes headlines in China, China made headlines in London. Just as “election recount” is linked to US Democrats and “unfair press” is linked to US Republicans, four topics link to China in the Western mind: pollution, economics, military, and territory claims.
To compound China’s precarious position, the EU is making demands about a lawyer’s human rights. The lawyer was reportedly tortured. In rare form, the EU is demanding that he be released and the situation investigated. The “tortured lawyer” report comes in the midst of a Chinese crackdown the VPNs Chinese people use to connect to social media banned by Beijing. China can’t maintain battles on so many fronts, not with a new Sheriff in the White House who isn’t afraid to make orders of his own. That deal where the Chinese were going to pour money into Hollywood—it’s had a few wrenches thrown into its gears. It’s funny how the Chinese block media in their own country, then their investment in American media also gets blocked, in a more round-about way, of course.