Clear signals in Tianjin + Dispute over Mekong + Hong Kong's Olympic hero
The recent quarrel between the US and Chinese foreign ministers in Alaska back in March is still fresh on everyone's mind. The meeting between diplomats from Beijing and Washington in Tianjin was supposed to have more gentle tones. However, things did not quite go as hoped: The People's Republic used the talks for a series of verbal attacks, ranging from long lists of demands to accusations – our author Michael Radunski summarized the heated discussion in the eastern Chinese port city and illustrates Beijing's main goal.
But the west of the People's Republic also holds potential for conflict with the US. Here, the Mekong River is flowing through the region. Here, Beijing is damming the upper reaches of the river, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people in Southeast Asia. The US fears that the riparian states are becoming more and more dependent on the People's Republic, and is increasingly intervening in the conflict. In his report, Frank Sieren shows how Southeast Asian countries are at risk of getting caught in the crossfire between the two superpowers.
In today's Profile, we turn our attention to a small sensation in Tokyo: For the first time in 25 years, an athlete from Hong Kong managed to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Throughout the metropolis, thousands gathered in front of large public TV screens and witnessed the victory of foil fencer Edgar Cheung Ka-long. Through his victory, Hong Kong finally experienced a new moment of unity, pride, and joy. But how the political leadership will spin this win to its own advantage, remains to be seen.