A very unstable new baseline — Editor’s note for Friday, August 5, 2022

A note for Weekly newsletter readers from Jeremy Goldkorn.

Weekly Editors Note Jeremy Goldkorn illustration red background

Dear reader,

The latest news from the global spat caused by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s brief visit to Taiwan: Beijing today announced the cancellation of three military-to-military dialogues with the U.S., and the suspension of five other talks, including discussions on transnational crimes and climate change. Pelosi and her family have also been targeted with personal business sanctions.

In Washington, D.C., Chinese Ambassador Qín Gāng 秦刚 was summoned “to the White House to démarche him about the PRC’s provocative actions.”

We’ve reached what former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Evan Feigenbaum called “a very unstable new baseline.” If you’ve lost track of events, this is what happened earlier in the week, as seen through our reporting and interviews:

Monday, August 1

Tuesday, August 2

Wednesday, August 3

Thursday, August 4

Our phrase of the week is: Those who play with fire perish by it (玩火自焚 wánhuǒ zìfén). Click through to our website for details, and to learn about other bloody metaphors that Beijing is using to warn and scold the U.S. and Taiwan.