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China: Sino-U.S. Relations Strategic Adjustments

Published on: June 6th 2009 13:30:28
As China’s power and influence grow, and Washington struggles with a floundering economy, the Obama Administration has adjusted its policy accordingly. Although China continues to have an abysmal record on human rights, lacks any real interest in supporting the U.S. in the U.N. on issues such as Iran’s nuclear program, and continues to pursue a contentious military build up, the U.S. has important political, diplomatic, and military issues where it needs China’s cooperation. The result is that the Obama White House’s China policy is mirroring that of both the Bush and Clinton Administrations. China’s possession of such a considerable amount of U.S. debt also contributes to a more pliant policy profile on Obama’s part. This translates into a current avoidance of contentious issues. U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s current presence in China, ahead of President Obama’s visit in the fall, is evidence of the changing Sino-U.S. diplomatic partnership. By treading carefully and focusing on such marginal issues of common concern as climate change, Mrs. Pelosi revealed Washington’s strategic approach to China as a global power. Beijing has quickly recognized its current advantage.

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