Clinton Gets Tough on China


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In India, however, Obama raised several issues that were aimed directly at China. He talked about implementing the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement signed by President George W. Bush; forging partnerships in high-tech sectors like defense and space; and taking India off the restricted export list so it can be “treated the same as our very closest allies and partners.” Technology that can be used for military purposes is denied to China, about which Beijing has long complained. Obama also endorsed a permanent UN Security Council seat for India, something China adamantly opposes.

Obama also assailed the stolen election in Burma as “unacceptable” which kept the military junta in power. The U.S. president told the Indian Parliament, “Faced with such gross violations of human rights, it is the responsibility of the international community — especially leaders like the United States and India — to condemn it…..It’s not violating the rights of sovereign nations. It is staying true to our democratic principles.” Such a statement is guaranteed to get the attention of the Chinese dictatorship.

Kaplan devotes a chapter of Monsoon to Burma, describing it as a strategic area where Indian and Chinese interests collide. He writes, “The most direct route into the heart of China is through Burma….And China’s attitude toward Burma is, as it happens, similar to its attitude towards North Korea.” The current regimes in both places may be “demented” but Beijing has a long-term interest in keeping India and Burma secure buffer states, as well as using them for sources of raw materials. With Burma at the top of the Bay of Bengal, India has had to shift more of its military strength and infrastructure development to its western frontier.  If Obama understands the sensitivity of the Burma issue to both India and China, then his comments have to be seen as a jab at China.

When President Obama took office, he seemed determined to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while avoiding any new confrontations elsewhere. Beijing saw this as an opportunity to move forward on its agenda, especially when the West was shaken by the financial crisis. The days of American hegemony looked to be at an end. But China has moved too fast, alarming its neighbors. There has been an appeal to the U.S. to maintain a balance of power that can give the nations of Asia the freedom to develop along a more enlightened path than the model Beijing offers.

There are hopeful signs that at least some in the Obama administration have heard the call. But whether significant actions will follow is still unknown, because initiatives in the region are not coming from President Obama, who is personally still sending mixed signals about whether he wants to appease or contain China’s rise.  And such ambiguity is neither good for alliance cohesion nor for the deterrence of aggression.

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  • Cuinn

    And yet the Clintons were the ones who sold the USA out to the Chinese in the first place.

    • USMCSniper

      It is well known that Bill Clinton and his administration have facilitated sensitive technology transfers to the Communist Chinese in exchange for campaign donations and other favors. Not only were there technology transfers that amounted to treason, but multiple counts of espionage were covered up as apparent "payback" for donations received. Thanks to Bill Clinton and other accomplices, the U.S. government's response to the nuclear theft at Los Alamos was marked by delays, inaction and skepticism—even though some senior intelligence officials believed the theft was among the most damaging cases of espionage in recent history.

      • hijinx60

        Sniper: Wasn't a US currency printing press part of Clintons' package to China? I seem to remember it being so.

  • jacob

    Want to stop COMMNIST CHINA power ??

    ENACT IMPORT TARIFFS TO THEIR GOODS PRICES ON UNFAIR COMPETITION AND BRING BACK THE MADE IN USA TAG… ! ! !

    ISN'T THIS THE JOBS, JOBS, JOBS WHAT OBAMA HAS BEEN YELLING ABOUT ??

    BUT THIS SOLUTION NEVER OCCURED SO FAR TO HIM OR ANY AMERICAN POLITICIAN, RIGHT ???

    WHAT'S THE MATTER ??

    IS IT TOO EASY OF RATHER "POLITICALLY INCORRECT" ?????

  • WilliamJamesWard

    To think that China would sweat Clinton is a farce, she carries
    chop sticks in her shorts and Bill is their shill. Obama's trip
    was a boondoggle and an exercise in spending our tax
    dollars for his self satisfaction and shall I say he was just
    showing off and telling America to stick it. Two loons and
    they hold the Offices of President and Secretary of State,
    take that to bed and try to sleep……………………William

  • http://freetradedoesntwork.com Ian Fletcher

    The real problem with our economy is free trade, which is killing jobs and running down our industrial base. *Real* economics doesn't suport free trade.

    See my book "Free Trade Doesn't Work" for details; the website is at http://www.freetradedoesntwork.com.