January 28, 2010
Obama and the World: China

In the final installment of our two-week-long series, Obama and the World, we focus on China.

Adam Segal, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and John Delury, associate director of the Center for U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, join Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss U.S.-China relations.

They discuss Taiwan, China’s role on the world stage, and the U.S. response to the Dalai Lama.

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14 comments

#14

[...] Adam Segal discuss Taiwan, Tibet, and China’s role on the world stage. (Video from Worldfocus, 6 min. 29 [...]

#13

Jason:

How can you be so sure that I am Chinese?

It is mostly the daring, and perhaps only those who have a bit of the scoundrel in them, that would emigrate. The immigration judges know full well that each and everyone of them lies, and yet admit them for political reasons anyway.

The Chinese are confident perhaps for good reasons. At least they are seeing things DONE - the world’s largest dams and water projects, fastest high speed trains (and in 4 years, the biggest such network with a 15,000 km, 360kph system), almost $2.5 Trillion in foreign currency reserves savings, largest steel and cement industries, and now going towards being the biggest with green technologies. In the accomplishments the common people see hope, and they develop well earned faith for the leaders. They see a system in which all the top ruling cadres come up the ranks through decades of hard work, at each level being vetted by their contemporaries according to ability and loyalty to the cause of improving the lives of the people, and so at the end only the best and most dedicated rise to the top. There are bad apples of course, but they are weeded out and dealt with severely - no high comfort “white collar facilities” for criminals, no siree. The Chinese are more and more convinced that today the highly efficient system beats the Western silliness of “electing” leaders whose only qualifications are the ability to look good on TV, and be able to tell lies (”campaign promises”) convincingly.

China’s Ginnie index is actually improving, even whilst America’s worsens. This month the Chicoms announced another multi-billion dollar program to ensure higher rural income. I forgot who it was who said that America is getting too successful with capitalism - which requires big, fast growing markets to grow and make everyone prosper. But when that growth hits a wall, the successful capitalists feed upon each other, and mostly upon the rest of society, especially the weak ones on the bottom. In the last 10 years, the transfer of wealth in American society was truly breathtaking - from the bottom 80% to the top 20%, who today owns more than 95% of all assets in America. The United States is still the world’s richest nation, and its richest are the richest in the world, and getting more so, as they suck up all the fat while the rest languish. That’s the main reason why the Chinese seem so much happier.

The China one party system would never work in America - Americans are way too individualistic (some say selfish) to work together towards the same goal like the Chinese would. Don’t know whether it is a blessing or not, either way. Polls just take the temperature, they do not show the way to a “better” system. The Chinese in China in the last few generations had been asked by the govt. (the same Chicoms) to sacrifice much, doing the work of 2 generations in 1, and bearing the burden of 3 generations (single child means a 4-2-1 social architecture, with the parents caring for both their child and the 4 grandparents). But they did persevere and are doing relatively well. 9 or 10% growth a year means doubling of living standards every 7 or 8 years - even if you start at a lower place, it is the momentum and the feeling that you are seeing improvements every year, that cause people to be content. The social contract in China is rather different from that in the U.S. Maybe it is not better or worse, but just different.

#12

Zhu, Bajie Says RESPONSE: Wow…You know I was soooo impressed with your looooong response.

Heres mine.

Since things are so great in China as far as 85% of the population is concerned then I say the many many many chinese seeking asylum in the West (YOU TOO?)
should be denied as they must be considered simply economic opportunity seekers then…right?

Isn’t it interesting that a people who have no free elections could feel so content? The people in Iraq have more freedom than you do oh but wait a minute! Let me guess! You are one of those chinese who made it out…lives in the West and takes advantage of all the rights and freedoms we give to you and has no problem with the fact that
Hu Jia is rotting away in a prison cell…right?
It’s good to live under the WhipHand of the CCP and we should remember that when your chinese brothers and sisters stand before the immigration judge…they are lying and you are right.

#11

Why should the US be so paranoid about china’s growth? It is a large country, where the most dense population live in the world. If anything, the US should increase its ties with china. Sell its arms directly to china, there by increasing the budget to fund war spending.

#10

Why are the Chicoms so confident in their dealings with the world? China offers to cooperate with everybody, but not to the unreasonable detriment of its own national interest. The Chicoms are confident that they have the support of the vast majority of the Chinese people.

1. There is no reason to change. The Chinese people appear to love the Chinese government. In survey after survey, done by WESTERN entities (such as Mastercard and PEW Research), the Chinese consistently demonstrate that they trust the Chinese government - more than 85% believe that their lives will be better in the years to come, and Beijing’s approval ratings amongst the Chinese is consistently more than 75 or 80%. That compares rather favorably against the president that Mr. Bolton last worked for. Just compare for yourself the videos (still available on Youtube) of Katrina vs. the Sichuan quakes. The Chinese soldiers did not even bring guns – they did bring shovels and went right to work. Contrast the orderly efficiency of the aftermath of the Sichuan quakes (nobody without a shelter, nobody without food or water for long), with the utter chaos you see elsewhere when there’s an earthquake, even those under American aegis.

2. The Chinese government appears to be running a rather efficient and well performing gig. With the government activities a mere 17% of the GDP (OK, that was BEFORE the recent stimulus), and average taxes (not the marginal rate) running at less than 20% for individuals, and inflation kept largely under wraps, the retail growth was digit growth, and the overall economy grew at 10.7% in Q4 2009.

3. Crime is relatively low, even though China jails its citizens at only about 1/30th of the rate compared to America (0.1% including the re-education camps, compared to America’s 0.7%, and China has about 4.3 times the population of the States). Could be that the higher rate of capital punishment worked as deterrent, but even taking the high number estimate used by Amnesty International, the 5,000 a year is still MUCH less than the 22,000 killed by gunshot in the U.S. each year.

4. Despite the lack of resources, the Commies continue to train more scientists and engineers than anybody else, and continue to provide a large number of Ph.D. candidates for America. Huawei (the phone and network equipment maker) as the world’s No. 1 in PCT patent filings in 2008, with over 1,700 PCT applications filed. China has also learned much from the world, and now leads in construction systems engineering – its infrastructure building expertise is unmatched (if you want on time and on budget, have the Chinese build it – see the various soccer stadiums in Angola), and its 922 km long, 350kph high speed rail (actually the HIGHEST SPEED commercial passenger rail in the world today) was finished in a mere 4 years, including planning!

5. Performance aside, the crux of the matter is of course that the Chicoms don’t wanna leave. That is a FACT (no more and no less than the Republicans or the Democrats don’t wanna leave). China is led by an elite that believes that at the current level of development (about 1/8th of the per capita GDP of the U.S., according to the CIA), the Chinese are best served by the existing system. The empirical evidence bears this out - China is the ONLY major economic system that can garner the almost double digit rate of growth for the last 30 years. Until there is less of a disparity (say when the Chinese has a per capita GDP of $25,000?), the ruling Chinese elite’s judgment is that there should be no change to multiparty.

6. The justification appears reasonable, as the Chicoms watch the drama on the American political scene . ONE Scott Brown totally shuts down healthcare reform for America. In the same amount of time that America debates health care reform (and is still debating, after 16 years), the Chinese system has already tried 2 or 3 iterations, discarded what does not work, and amplified what does. It may not be suitable for a rich country like America, but the single party system certainly works well for China.

7. As for whether it could have been or might have been better going multiparty, the Commies point just next doors at India, the largest, “free”, democracy in the world, which happens to be at about the same level of development (similar to China. It takes India 23 parties to form a ruling plurality, and they hardly ever get anything done. The Indian society is hardly not “free” of corruption or social ills, and the growth rate is only 1/2 that of China. High speed rails? Dream on.

8. Going back to Google and secretary Clinton’s demand that China stop the internet regulation, that is truly a nonstarter. The Commies looked at Symantec’s 2009 internet survey showed that the most popular search words for American children searching the internet, the 4th and 5th were “sex” and “porn” respectively. The system simply has failed the people, and as a direct result, the medical fact is that over 70% of Americans carry incurable STD (the herpes virus, according to the CDC – actually in a 2005 study the reported number was over 95% in the subjects tested). Half of the population, nee the “fairer sex”, is perennially seen only as “c*nts” and valued accordingly. Today, the biggest application on the American side of the Internet is porn. You don’t believe me, try these search words and count the number of hits: FM, FFM, FF, MM, MMMMMMM, bi, trans, rape, barely legal, S&M, BDSM, snuff, etc. It is also a much more violent society. I think it was in a recent NPR interview that the new chief of police in LA (Beck?) was talking about the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter by organized crime for “Internet Banging”. It’d give anyone rational pause, to open up the Net to such irresponsibility mistaken for freedom.

9. Tibet not only is an internal domestic issue for China, the facts are also that China manages its minority relations much better than America. Beijing annually spend tens of millions on preserving the LANGUAGES and CULTURE and ART of all of China’s 56 ethnic minorities, including the Tibetans. In the Tibetan SAR, if the natives so choose, they can go to bilingual schools, or at the lower levels (up to 6th grade) they can choose native language schools. Now you show me ONE school in America that teaches ONLY Cherokee, or any of the other native languages. Plus you go on national TV in China, and not a week goes by without ethnic minority performance art being shown. The natives participate fully in social and political society – in the Tibetan SAR, the local legislature is more than 50% native. Native Tibetan women, who before the Commies came to power, were relegated to “lower than dirt” status by the Dalai and his gang, today are judges, police, teachers (and professors in colleges), and have as much opportunity as the men. Compare that fact for fact with the fate of the native Americans. America has little to teach China in this regard – it is the other way around – America should learn from China on minority relations.

#9

Obama had best be careful with the country that holds our purse strings.

#8

DJC;
When the nation, as in the past, spends more on non-prosterity projects and ingores it’s people there will be a growing lack of faith amongst it’s own folks as with other nations as they look on. The US needs to cut back and take care of thier own more and allow time to regroups in the next decade to come back strong. Many other nations have already spoke out in the disbeleif that the US let’s it’s own peolpe fall into bankrupcy even at the hands of it’s upward spiralling medical insurance cartells. Time to step back and regroup.

#7

There will always be a contentious relationship between the two Chinas. China, also has to be protected. Taiwan has many friends in the U S, plus they buy U S armaments.

#6

I liked that you touched on the Dalai Lama more new should be reported about him and how China is trying to destroy Tibetan culture. It is not just a domestic issue for China.

#5

The US isnt interested in Overthrowing the Chinese Government, it just has no leverage with them since they hold so much of our Debt, and thanks to obama it just keeps growing, and we keep losing power World Wide because of it, it’s damaging more than our Currency, it’s reducing our stature in the world, has anyone thought about what the US could be doing with the Intrest Payments we make on this Debt?, over $500,000,000,000.00 a year?…..we are being Lead by Morons, who ne ed to experience the Unemployment lines.

#4

#3 DJC is that your plot for a movie?

#3

The not so secret, secret strategic objective of the US political elites is the de facto overthrow of the current Chinese government. The fast growing economies of the Asian Pacific Rim are viewed as a rising strategic threat to US global hegemony. The Central Intelligence Agency is actively engaged to undermine the Chinese government with financing of separatist groups. Fortunately, China isn’t Iraq which was bombed and invaded under the pretext of phony Weapons of Mass Destruction.

#2

John Deluri gave a very nice presentation this evening and at the same time his youth was evident.

#1

America,and Europe find the current situation regarding China’s growing hegemony hard to swollow. During the past 200 years the West (US/Europe) has dominated the world,and has been reluctant too understand,or even co-operate in diplomatic fashion (it’s my way,or the highway ,mindset?)with any semblance of mutual discourse. If America/Europe wanted it…or needed it,…it could or would bully the country into submission. Important Sidenote:… Please be advised of an issue between Japan,and China in 1965 of great concern regarding todays military prowlness of China. China triggered Japanese (Tokyo first calling for Beijing to recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty),and United States concerns about the country’s emergence as a nuclear power after Beijing tested it’s first atomic bomb on Oct.16,1964. Japan wanted the United States to use Nukes against China in early 1965 after talks with President Lyndon B. Johnson. President Johnson reneged on their plea,a rather harsh request. Fastfoward to past,and present day,and China’s Naval Nuclear Submarine Base from infancy to adulthood. In 1983 China developed,and built the new “Submarine-Launched JL-2 Ballistic Missle (SLBM)” roughly comparable to America’s Trident C-4 (at that present timeline) which it tested fired successfully sometime in early/1999. By Jan/2001 it tested again the retrofitted/upgraded prototype with great success,and by June 15,2005 test-fired a new long range submarine ballistic missle believed to be the Ju Lang-2 with great results mind-you [ie.)stolen US Defense Documents Scandal?],thus creating their new Naval Arsenal which can mass produce about 4-6 every two-three years in their hidden facilities where quick launching is unnoticed because of the immediate deaph of the “Sea of China” at port. The amount of nuclear warheads per missle can be four,and each submarine capable of carrying several missles with a range of 9,000-10,000 km.! Finally, back to China’s infrastructure,and growing pains. There is so much open space in China never built upon,…analogous to america’s wild,wild west,or even the roaring-twenties throughout most of the country. Unfortunately,this is not so for America,… where we don’t have open-space but old rubble,and brokened down,withered recycled glory?

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