New York Times says President Obama's views on China have evolved
Mark Landler has published an excellent summary in the New York Times of President Obama's changing approach toward China.
As Landler describes it, the president has moved from optimism to realism in confronting Beijing:
a journey that began with hope and accommodation but fell into disillusionment after Beijing started flexing its muscles on trade and military questions and proved to be a truculent partner on a variety of global issues.
The president has also found the lopsided U.S. trading relationship with China to be a hindrance:
In meetings, Mr. Obama liked to tease two of his advisers, Mr. Bader and Lawrence H. Summers, who had helped negotiate China’s entry into the World Trade Organization during the administration of Bill Clinton. “Did you guys give away too much?” he asked them, according to a senior aide, who described it as “a running joke.”
What the president faces is a huge, growing U.S. trade deficit with China, one that has jumped by more than $200 billion since China's 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). It's terrific that Landler chose to highlight the poorly negotiated trading relationship between the U.S. and China. Indeed, Beijing has proven to be a bullying partner, one who has consistently violated trade agreements while systematically undervaluing its currency to gain an export advantage.
Thankfully, the "China issue" has finally taken center stage in the presidential campaign. Hopefully meaningful action could be on the horizon.
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