The consulates are closing in Houston and Chengdu. China has ordered the closure on the US consulate in Sichuan province. A retaliation measure for the enforced closure of the US consulate in Houston Texas.
Federal agents entered the Chinese consulate on Friday. The US had given China 72 hours to "cease all operations and events". The Chinese foreign ministry call the move an "unprecedented escalation" amid ongoing tensions.
Mike Pompeo has been unleashed by the President as the China attack dog. This week Pompeo was in London to meet with the Prime Minister. Support for American foreign policy was on the agenda. Support for the campaign against Huawei and TikTok part of the commitment. The World Health Organisation and the administration in Beijing were part of a new axis of evil preparing weapons of mass infection, presumably.
This week, Pompeo, gave a provocative speech, calling on all Chinese citizens to work with Uncle Sam to change the direction of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. "Today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else".
Freedom everywhere did not appear to include Portland, Oregon. Federal agents acting under the direction of the White House used tear gas and rubber bullets to suppress demonstrators in the city. The Mayor of Portland was teargassed in the process. Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have morphed into demonstrations about the presence of federal agents in the city. Both the Mayor of Portland and the Governor of Oregon have said the agents are not welcome. Videos have emerged of protestors taken away by camouflaged troops in unmarked vehicles.
Trump has threatened to send a "surge" of federal troops to other "Democrat" led cities to "help" combat crime. This is election year. 100 days to the polling date. Trump is trailing Joe Biden by over ten points. The President needs an external enemy to close ranks within the GOP and an internal enemy to galvanise the right. China is easy to blame for the Covid crisis, as the case load hits four million in the USA.
The White House is challenging the authenticity of the postal ballot. The President is suggesting he may not accept the result in November, if Biden wins. Scenes from Washington and Portland were reminiscent of the Reichstag fire and Blackshirts on the streets of Berlin.
In Washington today, the President is now wearing a mask and the troops have better camouflage ...
The Saturday Economist
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