The United States and Chinese navies have just narrowly avoided a dangerous collision. This was not an accident but an escalation, a show of force on the part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to drive out the US Navy from what China considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.
The US administration pretends that its decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran is a radically new approach which may change the entire regional strategic equation, similar to the huge policy reversal towards China executed by President Nixon in the early 1970s. But the Trump White House will be disappointed; the comparisons with Nixon are misconceived.
Five years on from the most lethal rioting seen in China for decades, Beijing has still not managed to refine its strategy towards Xinjiang. Problems in the province increasingly resemble a domestic insurgency needing a comprehensive preventative approach
The UK government has been roundly criticised for failing to voice its support for an increasingly vocal coalition of pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, as they demand universal suffrage in elections for the territory’s Chief Executive in 2017. Yet should the UK take heed of its critics?
Recent Western and Chinese media focus on terrorism in Xinjiang has diverted attention away from the greater threat that Beijing faces from its ethnic Uighur population: namely a repeat of the large-scale rioting that hit the regional capital of Urumqi in 2009.