Even on Trump’s island of misfit toys, Bolton was a particular standout for the way he made the world a riskier place. His departure is the best news Asia’s economies have received in quite some time.
The Trump administration last week cut its fourth and biggest arms sale to Taiwan, sparking a furious condemnation from Beijing that the US was undermining its sovereignty and “grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs”.
Entering the next decade, what would constitute a sort of nuclear option would be for Russia to divert to China most of the natural resources sold to the West, whose retribution is packages of sanctions, while importing from China the advanced technologies required for Russia.
The number of countries that recognise Taiwan fell to 20 in 2017. With the Vatican about to switch to China, its last European ally will have gone.