President Bush seems to be doing a good job vis-¨¤-vis China these days. I personally feel the Hainan plane incident could have been handled much better by both sides, but that¡¯s water under the bridge. Not sure how much press the APEC meeting is getting in the US as I don¡¯t see much on the wire services. For those that didn¡¯t know, this week has the greatest number of sovereign heads of state visiting China ever, 17 IIRC. There is also a huge number of industry leaders from Bill Gates to the Chairman of Hitachi for the commerce portion of APEC.
Short background. After Sep 11, China immediately expressed it¡¯s condolences to the US people. China has also been cooperative with the US in the UN regarding actions against terrorism. This week, there have been announcements that China is sharing intelligence with the US on Afganistan. Also, China has it¡¯s own problems with radical Muslim extremist terrorists carrying out domestic attacks. Historically, China has ALWAYS opposed ¡°interference in a country¡¯s internal affairs¡± because of it¡¯s own situation in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. So, from China¡¯s point of view, they are making a huge gesture by supporting the US attacking Afganistan.
After Sep 11, Bush¡¯s itinerary was shorted from visiting Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai (where the APEC meeting is being held), to just 2 days in Shanghai. Bush has actually come to Shanghai two days early. Sure, maybe it¡¯s more to build support internationally for what the US is doing in Afganistan, but nevertheless this is giving a huge amount of face to China and Jiang Zemin. It¡¯s a good move regardless of what the motivations are.
(I also wish I could have seen Bush¡¯s face and heard his impressions comparing Shanghai of today with the proletarian post Cultural Revolution hardline China of 25 years ago when he visited Dad in Beijing.)
The current administration is now doing a decent job of creating a good working relationship with the Chinese. Any thoughts? Disagreements?