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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Obama Asia tour: US-Japan treaty ‘covers disputed islands’ – A Case of Dipping into One’s Savings to Live Large?

April 25th, 2014 4 comments
Obama makes toast to Emperor and Empress of Japan

Obama makes toast to Emperor and Empress of Japan

It’s never good to dip into one’s savings just to live large.  Gluttony and largess – when one can ill afford it – is foolish … and a sign of decadence.  To me, the U.S. so-called pivot to Asia – emblemized by President Obama’s trip to Japan – represents just that.

The New York Times – even with its usual spin PR in over-drive – already calls the trip a “setback.”  In an article titled “Obama Suffers Setbacks in Japan and the Mideast,” the Times reported:

TOKYO — President Obama encountered setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects on Thursday, as he failed to achieve a trade deal that undergirds his strategic pivot to Asia and the Middle East peace process suffered a potentially irreparable breakdown.

Mr. Obama had hoped to use his visit here to announce an agreement under which Japan would open its markets in rice, beef, poultry and pork, a critical step toward the trade pact. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not able to overcome entrenched resistance from Japan’s farmers in time for the president’s visit.

This trip was supposed to show that the U.S. is back – and that the pivot is back on track.  Yet, on the Washington Post, you will not see any article on Obama’s Japan trip on the top (home) page.  On New York Times Home Page, you see just one (the one linked above) – with that one lamenting the visit’s failure.

If the “pivot” is back, it seems hard to tell.  The U.S. seems distracted by other world events in Middle East Ukraine. Read more…

A rare Xi Jinping interview from year 2000 translated

October 29th, 2012 6 comments

Having just read an interview (translated by Nordic Institute of Asian Studies) of Xi Jinping when he was still governor of Fujian Province back in 2000, I am struck by the differences between the current Chinese political system versus the American. Think about Obama before becoming president. The largest budget he’s ever managed was probably his 2008 election campaign. From that, he would inherit a budget in the trillions of dollars. In contrast, Xi went from village to cities, and then provinces. He would be placed into bigger challenges as he excelled, and not to mention, observed in the seat of the vice president for a full term before the National Peoples Congress formally anoints him into president. As much as the Western press would like to criticize the Chinese system, it is a genuine form of meritocracy. Today’s Romney or when President Obama was still a senator would probably not stand a chance becoming president in China. Read more…

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Elizabeth Economy’s Wish List for the upcoming Romney-Obama Debate on China and Foreign Policy

October 20th, 2012 5 comments

Elizabeth Economy (of Council on Foreign Relations) made a list of topics for the upcoming Romney-Obama debate in hopes for a better American public discourse on China. With both of their campaigns almost competing to see who can be more harsh in criticizing China, Americans are polarized more than ever on this critical relationship, and Economy is right that there needs to be a more thoughtful conversation. While I applaud her efforts, I think her list still leaves a lot to be desired. For conflicts between the two countries to truly dissipate, the issues must be couched in terms both sides recognize. In this post, I offer alternative framing of the issues and explain why. Read more…

“Blame-game players should apologize” by China Daily USA’s Chen Weihua

October 11th, 2012 6 comments

Henry Kissinger recently told his audience at a Wilson Institute forum that Romney’s and Obama’s campaign rhetoric against China were ‘deplorable.’ Some expat bloggers suggest that China should accept that this is a election phenomenon as if this sort of behavior is ‘normal’ and ‘proper.’ That’s wrong and Americans should take the China-U.S. relationship more seriously – especially in our modern age where many Chinese do understand English and pay attention to what these candidates say. The American public is continually polarized to take on a war-like footing against everything ‘China,’ and it is hard to imagine how the long term trend resulting from it can be positive. Following is an Op-Ed by China Daily USA’s Chen Weihua arguing why the two candidates in fact should apologize for their irresponsible fear-mongering. Read more…

A simple take on the Hu Jintao U.S. visit with respect to Western media

January 21st, 2011 11 comments

I am sure many of you have been following Chinese President Hu and U.S. President Obama’s speeches and Q&A’s with the media over the last couple of days. The governments are absolutely trying to be constructive in their relations. For that, it’s been refreshing to see.

After hearing them speak directly, I must say though, the nuances in the Western media are largely lost. They are not going to be respectful of China having a different political system as Obama acknowledged. They are not going to accept that China has a different history as Obama apparently understood. They are not going to be respectful of China as Obama has shown.
Read more…

PBS Newshour: Presidents Hu and Obama Answer Questions on U.S.-China Relationship (Part 2)

January 21st, 2011 No comments

PBS Newshour: U.S.-China Relationship Based on Cooperation & ‘Friendly Competition’ (Part 1 – Statements)

January 21st, 2011 No comments