Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai’s recent remarks about other countries meddling in the South China Sea disputes were a clear warning to the United States. Though on the surface the comments were restrained, using the analogy of playing with fire undoubtedly escalates the diplomatic war of words that has been unfolding.
But even more ominous could be the remarks he made over the sentiments of average Chinese citizens. To quote: ‘…the Chinese public is following very closely whether the United States will adopt a just and objective position on matters like these.’
Here is the game:
The Chinese government is the good cop and the Chinese people are the bad cop. Better to work with the good cop while you can.