Sublime and Beautiful

Tougher U.S. Diplomacy

Posted in Uncategorized by chaoren on January 7, 2010

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that difficult times lay ahead for U.S.-China relations as the Obama administration appears ready to approve a multi-billion dollar weapons sale to Taiwan and President Obama prepares to receive the Dalai Lama. Both sensitive issues were in play just prior to Obama’s visit to China last November. But, in true diplomatic fashion, the U.S. put the weapons deal on hold and declined a visit from Tibet’s spiritual leader to smooth the way for what was widely regarded as Obama’s most important overseas trip to date. At the time, I was wary that the Obama administration was falling into a trap all too familiar to past U.S. administrations. The one where America tries too hard to win the cooperation of an intransigent China only to find that its naive gift giving has not been reciprocated thereby making its efforts to create a tit-for-tat relationship entirely tributary. Fortunately Obama has shown himself to be a quick student of U.S.-China relations. After giving China ample opportunities to prove its goodwill and cooperative spirit on everything from nuclear nonproliferation to global climate change, the Obama administration now looks set on toughening its diplomacy toward China. It’s about time.