The acid test: Western diplomats ponder the problem of dealing with a more aggressive China


Beijing may be diplomatically weak, but its rivals may the lack resolve to contain its authoritarian impulses. It was an ominous beginning to an ominous conversation about how western democracies should face the growing authoritarian reflexes of China on the world stage. One of the marquee panels at the Halifax International Security Forum, held virtually this year, began on Friday with a grainy, grey video of an elephant being chased and eventually overpowered by a pride of lions. There was, however, a palpable sense of dismay among some of the panellists when the conversation turned to whether the international community is a pride of lions or a collection of kittens.

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