February 03, 2011

Obama's Sputnik Moment Means Cold War with China

It was extremely disappointing to hear President Obama talk only of competition with China in his 2011 State of the Union address to the American Congress. Chinese children learn science and math at an earlier age, Chinese trains are faster, and China's airports are newer we are told. It seems Obama's "Sputnik Moment" for the current generation is that we must compete with China. This is thinly veiled indication that we are in a new Cold War with China where we will compete for technology, resources (oil in particular), and the minds of our youth. And what an awkward Cold War it is - Beijing buys Washington's debts, essentially paying for its own containment. And unlike the previous Cold War there are no centers devoted to researching, studying, and understanding the Chinese. Worse Washington and the American people wallow in utter ignorance of what really makes up the vast nation we call China and its complex government. Congress calls Chinese President Hu a "dictator" while oblivious to the huge ideological differences between the four major factions within the 70+ million strong Chinese Communist Party and unaware of the Chinese political process from village election to the workings of the party conferences. Dangerous times are ahead....

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