Washington and Brussels warned China that moving forward could cause serious diplomatic and economic repercussions. Hong Kong could lose its trade benefits with the U.S., for example (although U.S. threats may have been undermined by President Donald Trump's second assurances that he really didn't care what Chinese President Xi Jinping would do in Hong Kong or Xinjiang, as long as their trade deal was carried out.) In any case, Beijing was not deterred by the possibility of complications for its large companies like Huawei, or for losing lucrative foreign investments.
Xi is not suddenly embarking on an expansionary foreign policy (although Taiwan may be right to be concerned). China has always viewed Hong Kong as a purely internal political issue. In the end, his colonial humiliation in the Opium Wars, which saw him yield Hong Kong to the British Empire, meant more than the formula of & # 39; one country, two systems & # 39; which quickly vanished agreed in 1997 when the territory was returned.
But his increasingly assertive moves, from the South China Sea to the Indian border, show Xi is more committed than ever to his "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" legacy project. And what is at stake in that quest means that Western convictions are unlikely to sound very strong in Beijing.
& # 39; The president reads & # 39;
Intelligence analysts prepare for the President's highly classified briefing every day before sunrise to provide the Commander-in-Chief with an update on global issues. According to people familiar with the matter, its creators have been adding more photos and graphics to attract Trump, but the document has often been unread.
It's one thing to play professional sports without fans. But if the players don't show up, there will be a problem.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season a risk I am not comfortable with," Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond wrote in an emotional Instagram post. Several basketball players are also taking a pass, including Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, whose six-year-old son has had respiratory problems. So far, none of the biggest sports stars have said they won't play, such a move would be a disaster for their leagues and could cause a backlash from fans due to their huge salaries.
Even golf shows that it can be impossible to maintain a sterile bubble while running a traveling circus. Several players withdrew from PGA Tour events after they, their caddies, or family members tested positive for the virus. Australian Jason Day, a great champion, had to run alone over the weekend while waiting for the test results (negative). Golf is a sport that exemplifies social distancing. What will happen when the NFL linemen start hitting each other?
After the exhausting psychological effects of months under lockdown, a few hours watching a favorite team could do wonders. And if the United States, like Europe, were ready to break out of its pandemic nightmare, athletes might be more excited to perform. But as long as the virus is unleashed here, even when players return to the field, court and ice, there is no guarantee that they will stay there for long.