America’s muddled policy toward C hina

It’s been interesting watching the Bush administration blowing in the wind when it comes to China. Its attempts to encourage trade while at the same time regarding China as a military threat along the lines of the old Soviet Union has created a confused and confusing approach to China from the Bush administration, or so says the Financial Times:

Far from increasing the pressure on Beijing to democratise, the US has just decided not to back a resolution against China at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, with US officials arguing lamely that the early release of a single Uighur dissident ahead of Ms Rice’s visit was a Chinese step in the right direction.

US officials insist such compromises are part of a careful policy of engagement with Beijing. If so, there is cause for muted celebration, for engagement is the only sensible way of dealing with a rising China. Let there be engagement, and let it be robust and honest.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Mr Bush and his confidants, including Ms Rice, are still wary of engagement and favour the idea of containing China militarily. The same is true for much of the US Congress….

But China today is nothing like the Soviet Union of the 1960s, and the Chinese are understandably furious about any attempts to limit their international influence. The Chinese economy is wide open to trade and investment – unlike those of US allies Japan and South Korea at the same stage of their development, let alone the countries of the Soviet bloc.

Chinese officials know that the long-term survival of their regime depends as much on the spread of prosperity as on repression. Globalisation, not Maoist or Soviet-style isolation, is the order of the day. The US should engage wholeheartedly with Beijing to encourage such thoughts. A mistake in dealing with the rise of China would dwarf the errors made in the Middle East.

I want to know why the author ends the piece with such a draconian statement. It would need to be a mighty big mistake to “dwarf” our tragedy in Iraq. What does the writer have in mind? Is he saying we might bait China into a war? That’s the implication I get.

The Discussion: One Comment

America is afraid of anybody who stands up to it. The US cannot stand to be defied, it is plain and simple.

Politics, economics, military; If somebody looks set to userp America, then America paints them as a threat, and if they talk back, then Washington soils its jockey shorts and threatens to discredit, bankrupt, or smash them.

China is threatening to turn the balance of power in the pacific away from the whites and back to Asians where it belongs. China has never been hegomonistic, it doesn’t want to invade its neighbors, it only wants what it regards as being its own (by this I mean Chinese Taiwan), and even then it would much rather keep the fantasy of one China going than invade and make it a reality.

I live in Asia and I’m far more concerned about American power than Chinese power.

China is far less of a threat to the world right now than the US and I’d much rather see China as the dominant force in Asia than see power in the hands of right wing white America.

At least China is honest about being self serving and doesn’t pretend that it wants to bring peace and stability to an already peaceful and stable.

March 24, 2005 @ 2:23 am | Comment

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