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Fareed speaks with the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos about China's response to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Watch the video for the full interview.
What do you make of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the nationalism – people worry about the belligerence. Do you think this is part of a kind of a new China, or should we look at the Malaysian Airlines response as a one-off, a very unusual situation?
I think what we see here is an evolving toolbox that the Chinese government is using. Xi Jinping, the new president, has used it very effectively. When he feels trouble and tension at home, it’s convenient for him to push it onto some of the political issues that they've identified overseas. And Southeast Asia, these territorial conflicts – with the Philippines, with Vietnam, and, of course, with Japan in the East China Sea – are hugely sensitive, and they can rally the public easily around those issues.
It's worrisome because the truth is this is a dangerous game. When you get the public mobilized around these issues, it can move in all kinds of different directions. So it may be targeted at Japan one day, but it can easily come around and start to focus on the Chinese the next day.