Skip to comments.Big Trouble With Big China
Posted on 02/03/2010 2:07:30 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
U.S. President Barack Obama has spent much of the last 12 months emphasizing the "mutual interests" that Washington shares with Beijing and the "mutual respect" they feel toward one another, despite inevitable disputes. Democratic members of Congress have held their tongues as Obama does his wooing; Republicans have seethed at the soft approach. Yet valiant though his attempts may have been to convince the Chinese (and himself) that power is not a zero-sum game, 2009 proved the opposite. Last year, Obama was ignored, rebuffed, and even humiliated by Beijing. And now the grievances on both sides are piling up: U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires, China's currency manipulation, Chinese hacking of Google, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. The gloves have come off.
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More... Expect 2010 to be the year that Obama gets tough and relations with Beijing get nasty. What Washington really wants from China is for it to be part of the solution rather than a problem on global issues -- to be a "responsible stakeholder," a term coined by former Bush administration official Robert Zoellick. The idea was that it was in China's interest to contribute to global solutions for conundrums such as climate change or Iran getting nuclear weapons. China, however, often doesn't see it that way, believing that its relegation to a "responsible stakeholder" -- along with emerging multilateral institutions like the G-20 -- is cleverly designed to keep China down.
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