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China Calling

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 3:16 pm (UTC-4)
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How Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” is Coming Apart

Bob Dole – The Washington Times

In short order, the Chinese regime has turned reefs in the Spratly Islands, over which several Asian nations claim sovereignty, into 2900 acres of islands that it can use for military purposes. Motorized artillery pieces have already been observed on one of the islands, and China’s airstrip on one reef dwarfs those operated by other countries in the island group. South China Sea Map

As is too often the case, the administration has been big on rhetoric, but short on action. Its thus-far feeble response has been largely limited to pledging an increased number of military and humanitarian drills in the Asia-Pacific and committing to assign more of its existing worldwide naval fleet to patrols and homeports in the region.

Much stronger measures are required.

 

How to Improve U.S.-China Relations

Duncan Innes-Ker, Elizabeth C. Economy, Shen Dingli, Adam Segal, and Orville Schell – Council on Foreign Relations

Though China’s overall economic growth is slowing, spending by its consumers is continuing to grow at a very rapid pace. This offers huge potential opportunities to foreign businesses. Ensuring that U.S. companies are able to access these opportunities should be the main focus for both current and future U.S. administrations…

(B)oth United States and China must ensure that they fulfill their own climate commitments. As China’s economy slows, some climate benefits such as falling coal consumption will likely follow.

 Smoke billows from a coal-fired power plant in Beijing, China, Nov. 13, 2014.(AP)

Smoke billows from a coal-fired power plant in Beijing, China, Nov. 13, 2014.(AP)

Disagreement over human rights grows out of a more divisive problem that sits unacknowledged like the proverbial elephant in the room. Because nobody quite knows what to do, we are hardly inclined to recognize, much less discuss it: the United States and China have fundamentally irreconcilable political systems and antagonistic value systems. If we want to get anything done, we must pretend that the elephant isn’t there.

De-escalate China’s Cyberwar

Editorial Board – USA Today

Even as China helped hand President Obama a victory on the nuclear deal with Iran, hackers linked to China have humiliated his administration by breaking into U.S. computers to steal government files and industrial secrets.

There have been reports of a pending cyber security deal, but they sound underwhelming because they appear to focus on both nations agreeing not to destroy each other’s infrastructure, rather than striking a wider agreement to keep Chinese hackers out of U.S. business and government computers. The recent loss of millions of personal security dossiers from the Office of Personnel Management was infuriating, both because of the administration’s failure to safeguard the files and China’s brazen willingness to steal them.

The administration has been considering sanctions against China over hacking, but held off pending Xi’s visit. Obama should use his face-to-face meetings with Xi to reiterate what he said earlier this month: that if China cannot grasp that the U.S. considers this a core national security threat, “we can choose to make this an area of competition, which I guarantee you we’ll win if we have to.”

President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, first lady Michelle Obama and Chinese first lady Madame Peng Liyuan wave from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Sept. 25, 2015.(AP)

President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, first lady Michelle Obama and Chinese first lady Madame Peng Liyuan wave from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Sept. 25, 2015.(AP)

How China’s Generals Already Gamed Xi’s Meeting with Obama

Michael Pillsbury – Defense One

A few weeks ago in Beijing, many of the officers and what I call “scholar generals” predicted with pride what Xi would do during the summit—and what he had agreed not to do—predictions that they shared with me personally.

According to the hard-liners’ recommendations, Xi should avoid security issues and instead use the visit to volunteer harmless but warm-hearted “American-style” phrases and mentioning American books he admires. Sure enough, news reports state that  Xi Jinping used his index fingers to make a gesture indicating a Chinese character “ren”, or “person” in English when delivering a major speech on China-U.S. ties during a welcome banquet in Seattle.

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