If the shoe is on the other foot….

The Chinese dissident Wang Xiao had managed the impossible: he had survived the sub-freezing nights, the slippery, icy chasms of the Himalayas, dodged the dogs and snipers and checkpoints along the Tibetan border, and slipped out of China with his precious package. Turned away at the first two embassies where he sought asylum, he finally managed to find sanctuary, temporarily at least, from the Russians.
Of course, Russia came under enormous pressure from China to send him back. World opinion in his favor was relatively weak; despite the fact that he carried documents incriminating high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in all sorts of financial misdeeds, most people around the world could not have cared less. Those within China who would most benefit from the disclosures, people who would rally around and protest and possibly put an end to the corruption, would not be allowed to hear of it due to the overwhelming propaganda of the CCP and the virtual embargo on news from outside China. Those around the world who did hear of it, dismissed it as further proof of what we all already knew: the CCP was just another old-boys club, meant to facilitate stripping wealth from the masses, a prime justification for continuing the communistic political and capitalistic economic model first hinted at by Deng late last century.
It was no surprise that the U.S. President would visit Mumbai for trade talks, there was optimism among the Americas that by trading more with India, the West could still manage to maintain their economies’ exports despite China’s recent switch to solely using cheap-labor African imports. China being the world’s largest economy called the shots these days; but India being the second largest population, although still with a rather low per capita output, offered the next largest market for imports. America had fallen from its perch as the world’s sole super power shortly after the surveillance scandal broke in 2013 and its economic issues forced it to recall its military from most of the wide-flung outposts around the globe. Civil unrest meant the armed forces were needed at home to quell the restive population; the greatest security threat was suddenly the citizen, not the alien.
What was a surprise, however, was how the U.S. President was denied permission to fly through the airspace of so many European countries on his return to America. Indeed, who could have imagined, just a few short years ago, that America would be powerless to stop the forced landing of Air Force One and the subsequent search as China suspected, incorrectly as it obviously turned out, that Wang Xiao might have been on board. But the American public’s outrage at this show of disrespect and violation of international diplomatic laws was swiftly swept from the headlines by the German High Command sex scandal. After all, it was at least plausible that the U.S. would grant amnesty to Wang Xiao, right? And so the Chinese were justified in searching the plane…

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