Those of you still following Bo Xilai’s Icelandic Saga have no doubt heard of Patrick Henri Devillers, a French architect formerly in China (damn foreign architects) with close connections to Bo and the missus, Bo-Gu Kailai. Cambodian officials arrested Devillers a few weeks ago because China kindly requested his extradition. Now, Cambodia has a street rep for being China’s bitch friend in the region, so we know lots of our dear readers speculated Devillers would be put on a plane back to China. To which we say: You must feel pretty stupid right about now. This week Cambodia released Devillers. He then decided – of his own volition – to hop on a plane to the country which is trying to arrest him (sometimes people do that). "We didn't force him; he honestly agreed to go to China by himself," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Koung. Note that he said "honestly," which means it must be true, in contrast to everything else he said.
To be fair, Koy was smoother than other Cambodian officials at an ASEAN summit this week. The gracious hosts “accidently” cut off microphones and interrupted diplomats at mere mention of China’s actions in the South China Sea, successfully blocking a concluding joint statement for the first time in the organization’s 45 year history. Sure, Cambodia’s neighbors may now be seething in anger, but as a reward Koy and amigos get discounts on parks in Guilin normally reserved for girls in short-shorts. Honestly not bad.
The world is a theater, and it’s just been hit by a wave of summer sequels. We’re not a fan. Just think back to Star Wars: Episode II or Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha' (sic) Hood. But the Chinese government seems determined to make us groan. As soon as China’s hold on rare earths reentered the global discussion, a Chinese fisherman was detained by Russia on the Sea of Japan. Sound familiar? Someone needs to tell Beijing that you can't literally do the same plot twice, even with a new Russian bad guy. (Ignore every single James Bond.) There’s the added side plot of tensions with Japan rising, leading its ambassador to flee, but that’s still not really doing it for us. China is at least making new headway in trade disputes with US by hitting it where it hurts: fried chicken. KFC-owner Yum! reported disappointing profits due to rising costs in China, although we think they’ll make a come back based on steadfast Chinese demand. (After all, chicken is not elastic, it's crispy and delicious.) A sequel of China-US trade disputes still might impress – nothing makes for a titillating finale as the FBI and attack helicopters. Not that China's leaders mind much how we feel about it. They've made it to the big screen, and like it or not, they're here to stay.