Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been released from Chinese imprisonment, and are home.
Something is happening with China.
After denying the Kovrig and Spavor cases had anything to do with the Meng Wanzhou case, but were following Chinese due process, the CCP released them and put on a plane to Canada the very hour Meng was put on a plane back to China.
At her release, Meng Wangzhou admitted guilt and praised the Canadian justice system in a public statement at her release.
Both these facts are remarkable. They constitute a significant loss of face for China. China is admitting guilt, and praising Canada. Face is of paramount importance in China.
In other, possibly related recent news:
Australia, the UK, and the US announced a new defense pact, including deadly new weaponry for Australia.
China started auctioning off its oil reserves. They announced this publicly.
Chinese real estate giant Evergrande is close to default.
Oil reserves are held in case of war. China has little domestic production, and its oil supply lines are highly vulnerable. If it is indeed selling off its oil reserves, it is telegraphing the fact that it has no intent to invade Taiwan, as it has been threatening. It might just be saying so, in order to lull everyone into lowering their defenses. But if so, this in itself is a reversal of China’s recent policy, which was to rattle every possible sabre.
The US may be winning the Cold War with China the same way it was won with the Soviet Union. China may have realized that they have now provoked an arms race; and the US has more resources, and is going to bankrupt them if they continue. Accordingly, they are swiftly pulling horns in. They may specifically fear Canada joining the AUKUS pact, as many Canadians have been lobbying for.
But the key may also be the impending collapse of Evergrande. China may be in dire economic trouble. I think it was rattling sabres in the first place to distract its population from the economic problems they saw coming; and perhaps too, they hoped to keep things going by grabbing Hong Kong, then Taiwanese, assets.
The CCP now calculates that they need to bail out Evergrande or face a likely general collapse of the Chinese economy. Leading to public unrest that could end in revolution. The Chinese have everything invested in real estate. And perhaps they really do not have the money or assets to do this.
As a result, they may actually need the money from the oil. At the same time, a flood of cheap oil may help the economy in the short term to counter collapse.
At the same time, they cannot afford to provoke any economic or investment boycotts by other countries. The sabres must be put away.
The suddenness of these events, along with recent domestic crackdowns like the banning of foreign tutoring, video gaming, and boy bands makes them look desperate.