More interesting stuff this week on how the rest of the world deals with China. Plus the RMB has been pushed up the ramp to a level not seen in years. Amazing what a centralized coordinated no-not-acceptable approach can do when it is targeted at one specific domestic-specific element. But back to the world. British Prime Minister Teresa May’s visit to Beijing was probably the top news, and the key takeaway was the revelation that the Chinese pushed for the UK to make specific comments in support of OBOR and the UK… pushed back!
Why Beijing requires these statements to be made is puzzling until you remember that it goes back into the mists of Chinese history, with the importance of Confucian “Li” – say what is required regardless of whether you believe it – updated by the CCP in the post-Yan’an approach to self-criticism – admit to what we require you to admit to regardless of what you really think.
May’s decision not to cave on the OBOR phraseology is in line with a growing sense of consensus among other major economies about a need for pushback regarding China and the way it interacts with the rest of the world. The key principle at the heart of the problem, of course, is reciprocity. We’ve discussed it before, no need to repeat it here. But it is not going to go away.
And then there is the growing sense that the Vatican under Pope Frank has basically agreed to a deal that will allow for recognition between Beijing the Holy See under which, if the reported details are true, Those in Command will have veto power over the appointment of bishops. The Vatican has no commercial reason to compromise on principles, while May, it can be argued, does. But Joseph Zen appears puzzlingly to be a voice in the biblical wilderness.