Snap Fact #108

Post date: Feb 21, 2012 4:8:48 PM

Snap Fact #108

Under President Obama US-China Relations Are The Best In Many Years!

In practically every formal statement by U.S. officials, from President Obama to Secretaries Clinton, Geithner, and Gates, U.S. representatives hammered home a single message. The message was that America welcomed rather than feared China’s continued rise. “I think it will eventually be studied for its skillful combination of hard and soft power, incentives and threats, urgency and patience, plus deliberate—and effective—misdirection,” Fallows wrote. “The strategy was Sun Tzu-like in its patient pursuit of an objective: reestablishing American hard and soft power while presenting a smiling ‘We welcome your rise!’ face to the Chinese.”

Many China hawks have become more impressed with Obama’s China policy in recent months — especially his strategic moves to check Beijing’s military power. His announcement last November of a U.S. military training base in Darwin, Australia was a big hit among conservatives wary of China.

“Frankly, the Obama administration is doing very well strategically with respect to China in terms of the South China Sea issue and repositioning U.S. forces out to the Pacific, ” said Larry Wortzel, a Republican appointee to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “U.S. forces will be crossing the contested waters, the Chinese-claimed waters of the of the South China sea more regularly…..It’s a very good strategy at a very good time — a creative way of reassuring friends and allies.”

President Obama’s China policy has been “as decisive a diplomatic victory as anyone is likely to see.” That’s a quote from an article in the Feb. 20, 2012 edition of the Atlantic, by James Fallows. A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is one of America's most respected journalists.   For his always-perceptive, sometimes prescient writing, he has won the National Book Award, the American Book Award and the National Magazine Award. Based in China since 2006, he is now chronicling that country's explosive growth and its staggering ramifications for America and the world. The article is an assessment of the first three years of the Obama administration, which includes an analysis of US relations with China as a test case to examine how well the President is doing overall, as his term enters its final year. 

Fallows pointed to the Obama administration putting U.S. relations with China on a better footing than in many years, a task that had to be among the very most important for any president of the early 21st century. Yet even as Obama was politely listening to lectures about China’s new superiority, members of his administration were executing an elaborate pincer movement to reestablish American influence, real and perceived, among the growing economies of Asia.