Wednesday, April 19, 2006
President Hu's Coming to America
According to Clifford Coonan,
While Mr Bush has only given Mr Hu an hour of his time for a state lunch, the global balance of power is changing and in future meetings, the Chinese will set the timetable.
The rise of China is posing awkward questions for the US, along with the realisation that its days as the world's economic superpower are numbered.
Some analysts see America entering a period of "managed decline" not unlike that which Britain has experienced since the end of the Second World War and the end of empire.
If we're going into "managed decline," shouldn't we hire a manager?
The impression I get is that everyone is pitching in to keep President Hu away from the National Embarrassment—
Mr Hu was all business at the start of his tour. Dinner at Bill Gates' house in Seattle, followed by a café latte with Howard Schultz, chairman of the Starbucks chain of coffee shops, then on to the Boeing plant, before moving to the east coast, with an itinerary that includes a speech at Mr Bush's alma mater, Yale.
In the run-up to Mr Hu's visit, the Chinese released a number of key political prisoners; offered an olive branch to Taiwan, albeit one that Taipei cannot accept; signalled better relations with the Vatican and offered hope that the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, may visit China.
For his part President Bush caused to be slaughtered a rainbow of peoples.