Don't worry, Peter Beinart, we care about rising U.S.-China tension

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/16/2013

Peter Beinart, writing for the Daily Beast, wonders why more attention isn’t paid in the American media to the relationship between China and the United States:

The lack of a robust American political discussion about China is strange. The business press is obsessed with China. Ordinary Americans know that China’s economic rise substantially impacts their lives. …

So why isn’t the rising tension between America and its largest competitor a big political issue? Because although contemporary American foreign policy isn’t isolationist, contemporary American political commentary is.

In a nutshell, Beinart figures that the foreign policy adventures America embarked upon after the September 11 attacks have spoiled the country’s mood for more overseas engagement. Even if such engagement, he explains, is already taking place in a physical way.

It’s a quick and thoughtful commentary that’s worth a look. But to add two points: Despite any rising tension with China, America buys – and buys, and buys, and buys – an awful lot of China’s stuff.

And because we do, we’re arguably bankrolling China’s aggressive foreign policy positions.

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