July 28, 2009

Obama's China Speech Emphasizes "Partnership"

The first Obama Administration China summit concludes today. The "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" takes USA-China relations a step further away from "strategic competitor" under W and back to the late Bill Clinton era (post 1996) view of China as a "partner."

The word "partner" or "partnership" is mentioned four times in Obama's largely complimentary speech. The speech gives clues to what Obama expects of China: 1) coordination on economic growth and recovery; 2) cooperation on alternative energy to reduce both nations' dependence on oil imports and air pollution; 3) coordination to stop nuclear proliferation, citing Korea and Iran in particular; and 4) cooperation in "confronting transnational threats" (terrorism) with Obama mentioning "increased ties between our militaries."

Overall, Obama's China policy - as defined by his speech - is refreshingly realistic and pays only lip service to ineffectual issues such as "human rights," "currency manipulation," and without one mention of Taiwan, a clear signal that his administration may be the first in over 60 years to not have a "Taiwan Straits Crisis".

Some key points Obama made:

"We can't predict with certainty what the future will bring, but we can be certain about the issues that will define our times. And we also know this: The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world. That really must underpin our partnership. That is the responsibility that together we bear."

"[T]he United States and China share mutual interests. If we advance those interests through cooperation, our people will benefit and the world will be better off"......

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Obama words effectively seduce China. US military threatens and impotent Islamic extremists beg.
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