November 17, 2021
General News

James Bond has no time for China

The final James Bond outing for Daniel Craig, “No Time to Die,” also marks a notable milestone for Bondian geopolitics: The franchise just completed a five-movie arc with a single lead actor, and amid all the globe-trotting and intrigue, you would barely know that China existed. Shanghai and Macao were brief backdrops, and one villain had been tortured, offstage and in the past, by Chinese security forces — but overall, a series released across the years of China’s rise gave little hint that America’s leading rival mattered any more than any other exotic Bondian locale.

In fairness, the Cold War-era Bond movies were not obsessed with Russia, serving up stateless supervillains rather than Soviet adversaries in many of his outings. But the reality of Russian power was part of the fabric of the series. The same actor showed up as the head of the KGB, for instance, in five Bond…

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