Opinion Outpost April 5



Extraordinary outbursts of public criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping (have) raised the question of whether his crackdown on dissent is backfiring. The sniping has come from the highest levels of the business community and the media but also, most tellingly, from within the party.

… No one is predicting that China’s president is about to be toppled or even that he is about to change course. More likely is that Xi will be so preoccupied with internal politics that he continues to shy away from the painful changes needed to resuscitate China’s slowing economy.

— Simon Denyer
The Washington Post

The Chinese government is, in fact, in the midst of a news media crackdown. In addition to issuing loyalty edicts, it has arrested journalists for covering such events as protests in Beijing and last summer’s stock market crash. And lest people try to bypass officially sanctioned news media, the government continues to strengthen the so-called Great Firewall of China, the barriers that prevent the Chinese public from accessing certain information via the Internet.

— Editorial Board
USA Today

The U.S. policy in response to the Chinese military and naval measures in the South China Sea is that of calculated confrontation rather than cooperation. If such widening distrust and ominous bellicosity were to continue unhindered, there could be a limited confrontation between China and the U.S., with the potential of escalating into a dangerous war in the disputed waters.

—  Ayaz Ahmed
The News International

China intends to be a global superpower one day. This doesn’t mean that China wants a conflict in either the South or East China Seas. It would likely lose against most significant enemies in the near future.

… In the meantime, a significant military loss would call into question the very legitimacy of the Communist Party and have enormous consequences for its longevity.

… The party would like China to become a global superpower without ever fighting a war, but it is walking a dangerous line.

— Yvonne Chiu

Trump on abortion

Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip approach would overturn a century of law. If Trump tries to convert his hunch into policy, he’ll look around and won’t find any followers.

… Because we recognize that abortion is bad for both mother and child, antiabortion leaders do not support the prosecution of women and will not push for such a policy when Roe is overturned. (Obviously, like Trump, any single legislator can spout their idiosyncratic ideas.)

— Clarke D. Forsythe 
Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump may not know what Donald Trump really thinks. His comments are always garbled, but on abortion he’s so confusing that he seems to be making things up as he goes along. It appears that despite the issue’s importance, and despite the fact that he must know he’ll be asked about it, Donald Trump truly hasn’t given abortion rights much thought.

— Anna North
The New York Times

Not even the most fervent abortion opponent favors punishing a woman. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, opponents would try to pass laws that punish abortion providers or the clinics where they take place. Mr. Trump’s remarks were thus a political gift to Democrats and the left, who would like nothing better than to stereotype abortion opponents as misogynists who want to put women in jail.

— Editorial Board 
The Wall Street Journal

When Donald Trump said that women who had abortions would be punished if the procedure is outlawed, he was simply stating what is already happening in the United States. Abortion doesn’t have to be illegal for women to be punished — they are punished for their abortions every day.

— Kassi Underwood
New York Daily News

Apparently Trump wasn’t aware of the fantastical but common Republican refrain that while abortion should be illegal, women themselves shouldn’t be punished.

… Trump also acknowledged that if abortion were banned, women would seek out the procedure in “illegal places,” once again stepping in the anti-choice party line that insists pre-Roe back alley abortions are a myth.

That’s why Trump’s comments not only angered pro-choice activists, but those on the right who have spent an awful lot of time trying to convince Americans that overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t anti-woman.

— Jessica Valenti
The Guardian

Supporters of Donald Trump claimed the interview was a “trap” and he “wasn’t ready” for questions on abortion. But the real reason Trump took a stand that even anti-abortion groups don’t support is because he’s been fooled by some Republicans who imply … Americans want to overturn Roe v. Wade.

— John A. Tures
The Huffington Post

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