This is a weekly missive on China, but the world’s most powerful man sits in the Oval Office in Washington, and for another five days, it will still be Donald Trump. One presumes—hopes!—he’s too busy with the pardon list to create any more havoc internationally, but five days is a long time, and fingers are still crossed and mental incense furiously being burned. Once he’s out, we will all not be safe, but somewhat and measurably safer. Meanwhile, his Sec of State Pompeo is doing what he can to shift goalposts by running through his China bucket list in the last dying moments of his time in public office. More companies, including Xiaomi, were added to the list of China companies which are banned from doing business with the US government, and an announcement was made that US officials could with immediate effect interface with officials in the island across the way in the same as with officials in another other place. Someone pointed out this is in a way a booby trap for the incoming Biden administration. The first assumption is that initially and for the time being, the Biden people will stick with whatever status quo they are handed on most aspects of China policy. But on this booby trap, what would we suggest? Caution. Whatever happens to shift that delicate balance, make sure it doesn’t come from DC.
What else? The start of the year continues to look solid economically for China, virus numbers are suddenly getting big again—not big by American standards, of course, but by China standards, and where is Jack Ma?
Enjoy the weekend.