Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Every country has its own version of the Bush Administration

...and some days I want to expand that and say every jurisdiction does. But lets talk China for a moment. Apparently, the Americans are suddenly concerned that China, having gone hot and cold in regional politics, is going cold again:
Hu and Obama met Thursday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, amid increasing regional angst at what the Obama administration and several East Asian countries see as China's increasingly aggressive and arrogant foreign policy.
Of course, it's just possible the Chinese have actual reasons for what they're doing:
There are currently two factions shaping the internal Chinese debate. One could be described as a “status quo” faction that does not seek major changes in the relationship with the United States. It sees the U.S. as a benign power supporting an international system that is conducive to continued Chinese economic, scientific, and cultural development – despite longstanding contentious, but manageable, disagreements on Taiwan, trade, and human rights.

The other faction, which is less cohesive but more bellicose, believes the United States feels threatened by China’s rapid development and that the U.S. is seeking to contain and constrain it in a variety of ways, including aggravating disputes between China and its neighbors and limiting Chinese access to resources, markets, and technology. These diffuse but potentially volatile anxieties are being employed by a variety of anti-status quo political personalities in the broader internal struggle over China’s future - and the future of the Chinese Communist Party - that is animating the upcoming transition to a new Chinese administration.

The split between these factions within the Committee has led to deadlock. Until the Committee comes to a decision, Chinese officials do not have a policy to guide engagement with the United States. So they are in a holding pattern that is reflected in their interactions with their U.S. counterparts.

U.S. officials should not be surprised by the feelings of distrust toward the United States. Over the past several decades the United States pursued policies that some members of the Chinese leadership found threatening.
What's really rich is hearing US policy makers describe China's foreign policy as "aggressive and arrogant". Until China invades an oil-rich state on the pretense of finding weapons of mass destruction, kills more than a million people in the process, and then never finds a single shred of evidence to justify its crimes, I think the US should really STFU about China's foreign policy.

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