Beijing Opera Heads to Washington (Page 2 of 2)

True to script, in both instances the United States offered concessions in advance of any helpful strategic action taken by China. The Chinese have a history of pocketing such gestures in exchange for happy visits and future talks. This is a taste of what we should expect from the Hu state visit next week.

President Hu comes with the single objective of showing China’s other leaders that he was able to secure proper treatment and respect from the United States. The content of meetings doesn’t matter much. Just ensure there’s an ample supply of pageantry uninterrupted by Falun Gong, Taiwanese democrats, and Tibetan monks.

The Obama administration is likely to oblige with a great deal of stately hospitality. There’s no way the United States would ever treat Hu as the Chinese treated Gates, openly testing a major new weapons platform during the visit.

And in return, expect Obama to get little in return, other than the bill.

The time has come to question this approach. What are our returns on this bet after 40 years? Some good has come of it, for sure, but how much? Enough to merit continuation of the exceptional treatment of China relative to other powers? China is no longer an infant nation. The People’s Republic is now 61 years old. Time for a more mature, more normal relationship.

President Obama needs to press President Hu more forcefully on areas where China’s actions need to change — North Korea, Iran, human rights, and unfair trade practices. And he can’t just do it in private. Otherwise this symbolic bow to rising Chinese power will further weaken US leadership in Asia and Obama’s leadership in the world.

(This is an edited version of an article originally published by The Daily Caller here).

Stephen Yates is president of DC International Advisory and former Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (2001 – 2005).

John Chan
January 20, 2011 at 07:29

The fundamental agreement established between Mao(China) and Nixon(the West) 40 years ago rested on a three legged stool as following:
4. It is better for both countries to work together instead of viewing each other as certain enemy.
5. China’s prosperity needs not to be at the direct expense of the US and the rest of the world.
6. Nonetheless there will be serious disagreements between the countries in terms of international and domestic issues.

The records in the past 40 years proved that the agreement has not been broken by China. It is the US has been re-interpreting the agreement unilaterally to suite its own needs. The misleading information pumping out from the think tanks, academics and media in the US and its allies has further weaken the creditability of the West’s willingness to uphold that agreement established 40 years ago. This article is one of the examples of re-interpreting the agreement unilaterally by the US to suite its own needs. Maybe the West should look in the mirror first before blaming China for all the ills.

January 19, 2011 at 09:58

Our country owe big debt to Japan and China. What can we do to help ourself in a realistic way? Now I can imagine why our President bowed really deep in front of Japanese King when he visited Japan, and even let that photo circled around the world. If author of this article come up with a better solution, this whole country will thank you.

January 18, 2011 at 12:59

For the last 5 years, it has been the US asking China to do … many things, and China basically saying no because it wasn’t in their interest. The US thereafter (and predictably) gets upset. China, on the other hand, asked for nothing.

My point being, the author is being disingenuous in presenting this from a “China is not giving the US anything it asks for” perspective.

To present a stylized counterexample, let’s say China cajoles/tries to persuade/demands that the USA: (1) open its agriculture sector to full external competition with NO government subsidies, (2) pays carbon credit costs for accumulated HISTORICAL pollutive activity over the last 200 years, (3) demands that the Gulf of Mexico is international waters and sails a Chinese nuclear sub into aforementioned Gulf, (4) stands trial in the ICJ for war crimes / human rights violations in Abu Garab or Guantanamo Bay. Obviously the USA is going to say “go fly a kite” – does the author think that China has a right to then get ultra upset over the US refusal, and claim that the USA is not reciprocating the relationship?

If you keep asking someone repeatedly to do things that are against their interests, you shouldn’t be surprised if they say no.

January 17, 2011 at 11:25

To Mishmael

Concur with your response to this one-sided analysis of Yates. No wonder US has repeatedly mis-judged many opportunites to strengthen relationship with China when the government used such sub-standard advisors.

Confucius believed “Where there are three persons walking toward me, there will be a teacher among them”. The American beleive “Where there are three perosns walking toward me, I am sure I can teach something to them”

The naïveté and arrogance of the US Government continue to showcase the world its cognitive dissonance, losing influence in global leadership role as well as declining domestic coherence. It’s a sad thing to witness.

January 17, 2011 at 08:45

I think the author would rather enjoy a war with China, as I also think he is rather certain of winning it. Indeed a good beating would solve all of America’s problems, which there is only one – the rise of China.

January 17, 2011 at 02:57

I dont know if this will be allowed, but just in case it is:

January 17, 2011 at 02:51

Deferring to Chinese exceptionalism is not a “concession,” as the author puts it. For most Chinese, it is expected as a just and proper relationship between nations. If The US cannot even live up to a basic model of a “friendly nation” to the Chinese, then indeed many of them will question the validity of cooperation with America itself.

The problem with this author’s analysis, like so many others, is that he is steeped in the mythology of American moral, legislative, and intellectual superiority. He is supremely concerned with advancing American objectives, with the premise that everything America does is morally superior to Chinese actions and will be unanimously supported by third parties. Therefore he would argue, Chinese objectives, concerns, and mirrored accusations are meaningless.

China’s neighbors want peace. That means that the US and China have to be able to both exist in a manner they find satisfying. As it stands, China has become used to the existence of America as is, but not the other way around. America’s impulse to condition Chinese behavior will almost certainly be carried out alone, because it is only popular in America.

January 17, 2011 at 01:22

A neo-con calling China a menace?

Pot, meet kettle

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