Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Chinese Menace?


I suppose most world-watchers in the West (that is, those who aren't brain-dead) have been watching the ascendancy of China in the past decade with some level of disquiet.

This story from the London Guardian is just one of many this week about the summit meeting of sorts taking place between President Obama and Chinese President Hu on his state visit to Washington. Aside from head-scratching about placing the Chinese flag on an equal footing with the U.S. flag on U.S. soil (I thought there was a protocol rule about that), I am concerned that, once again, Obama is being seen as groveling before yet another world leader who is not really a friend of the U.S.

They can all they want about China holding a lot of U.S. debt. Believe it or not, the U.S. still has considerable levers on China as they tend to need a lot of imports from America. As for the other hot buttons such as Korea, China can certainly instigate, but so could the U.S. if it so chose. The Chinese don't want a flood of refugees coming in from North Korea any more than the U.S wants to see a conflagration ignite. These aren't the only tensions that exist. China's ongoing military buildup warrants watching, and a host of other things China is quietly doing in the Western Hemisphere.

Now is the time for toughness in Washington. Not subservience.

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