4.18.2006

Hu is Here

Chinese President Hu Jintao is in the house. President Bush needs to stand up during the visit and send some strong signals that America does not intend to stand idly by and get knocked off the top of the heap.

From yesterday's NYT:
[Hu] said domestic problems left China with neither the will nor the means to challenge America's dominance...

The overture - described as having improved Mr. Hu's ties with Mr. Bush despite the Chinese leader's generally aloof style - is part of a Chinese effort to reduce, or at least to deflect, American anxiety about the country's growing economic, political and military power.
Don't buy it, Mr. President. It's classic Sun-Tzu. The Art of War is all about convincing one's enemy that one is not a threat so as to retain the element of surprise and buy time for further strengthening of one's own position.

Michael Green at Georgetown University, commenting in the same article, anticipates a rigorous U.S. stance:
"But China is also trying to expand its influence in the world at the expense of the U.S., which is not something we are going to give them a pass on."
I sincerely hope the President will not let personal interaction with Hu and a host of messy poltical diversions at home and abroad blind him to the reality that China is our long-term strategic competitor. Just look at the increasing competition for oil and other energy resources.

This visit could prove pivotal to bilateral relations. Let's make sure it's not the point where a U.S. drift toward second place is measured from.