China’s indignant reaction to the announcement of U.S. plans to sell weapons to Taiwan appears to be in keeping with a new triumphalist attitude from Beijing that is worrying governments and analysts across the globe.
From the Copenhagen climate change conference to Internet freedom to China’s border with India, China observers have noticed a tough tone emanating from its government, its representatives and influential analysts from its state-funded think tanks.
Calling in U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the United States would be responsible for “serious repercussions” if it did not reverse the decision to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, minesweepers and communications gear. The reaction came even though China has known for months about the planned deal, U.S. officials said.
“There has been a change in China’s attitude,” said Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a former senior National Security Council official who is currently at the Brookings Institution. “The Chinese find with startling speed that people have come to view them as a major global player. And that has fed a sense of confidence.”
Maybe so, but having a putz in the White House as Commander in Chief doesn’t help things:
And about the emerging hegemon that is mounting attacks against us each and every hour of each and every day? There was not one word on the most extensive and continuous attempt to intrude into our computers, disrupt electronic infrastructure and steal technology and information. The president had exactly two things to say about China: “There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products,” followed by “Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy.”
Actually the Chinese are not reforming, restructuring or revamping their economy, though the U.S. should make better trains. Nonetheless we needed to hear more about the country that is supposed to replace the U.S. as the global superpower in 10 years’ time, the nation his administration says is essential to the solution of every major global problem.
Maybe he thought we would not notice or would not care that he neglected China in the State of the Union. But Obama’s failure to address the challenges posed by that nation and by others sends a chilling message to America’s allies and friends. While the global community faces daunting tasks, Obama devoted almost all of his address to swaying a domestic audience and to scoring points against Republicans.
This is only the beginning, folks.