By The Economist at 3:19 PM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
As debate grinds to a stalemate in the final session of the Joint Crisis Committee (the issue of opium proving to be a difficult topic to compromise on), the prospect of war seems to be becoming more progressively more likely.
Several recent events have highlighted the heightening tensions between the two groups. A covert attack by the British on the Chinese port city of Canton has led to an ongoing battle that has not yet seen a ceasefire. Soon after, a Chinese suicide bomber was sent to London, horrifying Londoners. Most recently, British soldiers have taken the city of Dongguan with a force of 200 battalions and their naval forces. British forces are currently laying siege to Canton.
It may not be a war between only China and Britain. Ships from the Dutch East India Company have docked in Shanghai with the intention of creating a trade port similar to Britain’s Hong Kong. In a surprise move, the French Empire, having already spent some time consolidating colonies around the islands in the south of China, has taken the city of Hainan.
The Advisor to the Malay States has also recently announced that the Malay Sultan has expressed his wish to leave the British Empire. Hoping to benefit from a conflict between China and Britain, the advisor to the Malay States is unlikely to push for peace.
Negotiations between the British and Chinese are ramping up as both sides attempt to negotiate a treaty and avoid a war. The Representative of Dent and Co., a British trading company, and the Imperial Commissioner asked both sides to endeavor to create a treaty. With only twenty minutes left for a solution to be found, what is going to happen, war or peace, remains to be determined.
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