Mixed signals

Mixed signals

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A mixed week for the forces of sweetness and light, depending, of course, entirely on your point of view. Following a memorable chocolate cake moment with a whiff of kimchi on the side, the United States is apparently cutting back on patrols in international waters that China claims as its own. And the head of VOA's Chinese service has been suspended following the broadcast of an interview with the exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui on official corruption. VOA says the move is in no way the result of pressure from the Chinese or US governments. Ho ho ho, as Santa Claus says in Cantonese.

Trump and the Republicans managed to just get a version of Trumpcare through the House of Representatives. On the other hand, Japan is making an effort to revive a version of TPP. Good luck on that, sincerely. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy is still doing well, or storing up more risk, depending on what you read. Roll on the 19th Congress, and then we might get a sense of reality. If there is to be a serious effort at transition then, we'd say they will be doing it within two months of the Congress ending. We would also cynically take the view that it's going to be tough for them to go beyond statements of intent. Now then, it's been a short week, back into weekend mode!