U.S., China Relations On Slippery Slope
DANIEL SCHORR: Pre-occupied with controversies at home, you may not have noticed our relations with China have been going downhill to the lowest point in recent years.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr.
SCHORR: The Beijing regime acts as though it was dealing not with a superpower, but a super borrower, which the United States, in fact, is. At the global-warming conference in Copenhagen in December, a low-ranking Chinese official was assigned to meet with President Obama and veto any move for mandated carbon-reduction goals. China has refused to permit new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and has ignored a warning from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that it is isolating itself. A $6.4 billion sale of arms to Taiwan has predictably drawn fire from Beijing but in more striking terms than unusual.
The Chinese foreign ministry warned of serious repercussions, starting with sanctions against suppliers, which include the Boeing Aircraft Company. President Obama has placed himself behind Google in its censorship dispute with China. And China prevented that issue from being discussed at the World Economic Conference in Davos.
Next up, the Dalai Lama. Mr. Obama didn't meet with him when he was in Washington last October and that drew some criticism at home. The White House is now reportedly planning a meeting with the Tibetan religious leader. And Beijing is sending word that this may imperil plans for a Washington visit by President Hu Jintao.
Meanwhile, China has put on hold its military relations with the United States. The growing friction between the two countries does not seem to be a passing phase. China has rebounded from the worldwide recession faster than the United States. And it appears conscious of its growing power. And America, which has a vast part of its foreign debt in Chinese hands, can no longer consider itself the unchallenged superpower.
This is Daniel Schorr.
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