Has Obama 'moved on'?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by supermatelot, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. Just watching the BBC coverage of his meeting with the Chinese president.

    I foresee our "Special relationship" having a definate position in the 2011 deadpool thread.

    Based on my little knowledge of China politics I do think Obama is making the right call. Is it about time the UK did as well?

    Smartascarrot's opinion most welcome.
  2. On second thoughts:

    Crap thread. One for the hole perhaps?
  3. Step away from the crack pipe.
  4. The problem with relations between the two countries is that they neither really understand the other. The US is the ultimate individualist society - land of the free, etc. - while Chinese look at the US's incredible wealth and wonder how they can justify calling themselves 'last, best hope for humanity' while so many of its citizens live in squalor. A recent internet board showed a collection of pictures taken from the deep southern states of poor black folk and most Chinese posters refused to believe it wasn't Africa.

    Frankly, the better they get to know each other the stabler the world will be. There just has to be a recognition - on both sides - that 'the way things used to be' isn't good enough any more. That's not to say the new one can't be pretty damned good, either. Economics isn't a zero-sum game and it is most definitely all about the economy.

    Edited to add: there are a series of interesting comments in response to Matt Frei's BBC blog.
  5. The Chinese look at the US and see a bloated arriviste sliding into debt fueled decadence. They've been around as a polity for more millennia than the US has centuries. The party does not give a shag about more than assuring a comfy stable future for the Han. That means cornering hydrocarbons, sea lanes etc. After their brief flirtation with Messianic Maoism I see no sign that they have any urge to take up the foolish imperial white man's burden but plenty of foresight and purposeful positioning. Humanity can go hang. Barry has feck all idea about this, it just does not compute and DC is crippled by two year electoral cycles and a feckless electorate obsessing on cheap gas, low taxes and inane culture wars.
  6. As my American uncle says "America is heaven of earth if you make it, but hell on earth if you don't"
  7. Dr Strauss (RIP) comments in Let Them Drift Away . . .
  8. Dr Strauss is more like Dr Seuss - telling stories for children.

    If the PLA leadership were not firmly under civilian control, Xi Zhongxun's boy wouldn't be prime of place for the next leader and Chairman of the CMC while Zhu Chenghu wouldn't have suffered 'career firing, career stops' after his nuclear weapons/Taiwan remark; if they wanted to make a show for Gates's visit they'd have unveiled it and flown on the same day he was visiting, not had it taxi around the airstrip a few days before, abort and head back to the hangar. That just makes it look like they couldn't get it airborne on the first go.
  9. SC you may have point, Dr S is speaking from the grave and from within the Beltway chatter fest.

    As the figurehead of the US Military Industrial Complex (50 years of stealth socialism, hurrah!) visits the #1 excuse for lavish US defense pork and home of the greedily off shored US industrial base just when the press is full of over blown talk of China's menacing blue water navy. The hosts obliging roll out a balsa stealth terror jet onto the tarmac, which will do nicely as a dumbass tax dollar vacum. If Bob Gates is embarrassed it's probably by the generous marketing for Lockheed Martin et al. Of course holding all those deficit dollars a little back door Keynesianism is of couse in Beijing's interest.

    While there is a great deal of faction play from what I see it's not the PLA that the danger in China, the civilians who mostly run the place aren't notably less aggressive just diplomatic as mandarins tend to be, what's slightly worrying failing party control, if that country ever falls to a color revolution expect a virulent entirely representative nationalism like 30s Japan. About the only circumstances I can imagine Chimerica butting heads. Tricky blighter Freedom's March.
  10. It's often hard to judge between nationalism and, if I can coin a phrase, culturalism. Chinese are extremely proud of being Chinese - and I mean by that Taiwanese, Singaporeans, Malay Chinese, hell even the residents of W1D. That's not to say there's any particular attachment to any one polity. Having said that, I wouldn't volunteer for first assault wave of any invasion of Dalu. I suspect that would be a) a very poor career move and b) entirely the right thing to do if we wanted hardliners back in Zhongnanhai.

    Of course, pushing the reformists into a corner and strengthening their enemies for the sake of easy sound-bites and some quick scapegoating on the domestic stage would be the sort of thing our enlightened and selfless politicians are sure to avoid...
  11. On TAC How the Chinese Must See Us by Pat Buchanan
    My bold, nail well hit. Some sober American self examination should be a prerequisite in this very special relationship. Instead Hu gets harangued by a Senate filled with haughty buffoons and preening self congratulation after a decade of debt fueled emboldened stupidity. A dysfunctional American polity isn't much of an advert for the Washington Consensus.
  12. Thanks, Alib. That's a remarkably perceptive analysis for a mainstream(ish) US media figure.

    It's been quite remarkable, given those within the Beltway who like to characterise PRC as belligerent, that not even the hardliners have been flinging Guantanamo in the Yanks' faces recently. They've been being comparatively civilised about it.
  13. Speaking of the difference between the Chinese and Western attitudes.

    Fascinating podcast Howard French on Africa in a Chinese Century
    However expect no guilt fueled missionary urge to shoulder the white mans burden:
  14. They know. Anyone that cares to know, knows.
    The US is broke. It's constituent parts, or states, are broke. It is morally and societally bankrupt. An aggressive, failing, world power with a huge trade deficit and a junkies' reliance on oil.
    What could be worse?
  15. QUOTE "The Chinese that I saw on the planes — and by the way, ten years ago I saw no Chinese; now they’re maybe a fifth of all the passengers — are all, almost to a person, business people. They’ve pulled up their stakes wherever they lived — in Szechuan province or Hunan province — and they have come to make it in Africa. And they’re not leaving until they do. Whatever it takes for them to make a breakthrough in farming or in small industry, they’re going to work 20 hours a day till they make it. They see Africa as a place of extraordinary growth opportunity, a place to make a fortune, to throw down some roots.

    Hmm, wait until the Africans see them having success and then watch to see if the Africans do what they did to the Europeans in Zimbabwe or the Indians in Uganda & other places!