On China

A couple of things to note on the day that Chinese President Hu Jintao visits the White House:

  1. My friend and former boss Rebecca MacKinnon has a fantastic Op-Ed in the Washington Post today about China’s habit of ‘arresting’ and holding without charges… well, just about anyone they want to.
  2. So Hu is giving Bush a copy of The Art of War. While I hesitate to speculate on Bush’s capacity to comprehend the meaning of the gift, here’s something to consider: last year, Hu told Bush that “domestic problems left China with neither the will nor the means to challenge America’s dominance in world affairs”. Well, of course he’s going to say that. Let’s put it this way: US mismanagement of foreign policy has diminished US influence overseas to the point where China need not challenge America; moreover, one should look at Chinese action—or inaction—in Iran, North Korea, and Sudan to see what their real foreign policy goals are. In addition, the Chinese-lead Shanghai Cooperation Organization is very quietly building a central asian alliance that is simply shutting the US out of influence in that part of the world entirely. In short, the US is losing the Great Game and we’re losing it badly.