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What China Says about the United States

by Elizabeth C. Economy
November 19, 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) reacts while reading a local English newspaper before conducting a Web chat with Chinese internet users at the U.S. embassy in Beijing February 22, 2009. REUTERS/China DailyOur media are filled with pieces about China—China’s currency, Chinese human rights, “China goes green”, and on and on. Soon they will be even more clogged with predictive pieces about President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States, now just two months away. Scholars, journalists, and bloggers (myself included) will all attempt to draw verbal Venn diagrams to figure out what the Chinese want, what we want, and where the two circles might overlap. It can be a fun (for a short while)—if not a terribly useful—exercise.

In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting in the run-up to the visit to track on and off what the Chinese commentators and thinkers are saying about the United States.  They write as much about us as we do about them. To the extent that the media reflect public opinion on the one hand and the leadership perspective on the other, our understanding of at least part of the Venn diagram can be greatly enhanced by a periodic check-in with the thinking on the other side.

So, here are four very short opinion pieces (in English) from several Chinese newspapers. I’m beginning with the Chinese perspective on the recent visits of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to Asia. Our media portrayed these trips as a largely successful U.S. diplomatic effort. The Chinese offer a somewhat different perspective. See what you think and let me know.

Photo courtesy Reuters/China Daily

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by RousseauC

    “Our media portrayed these trips as a largely successful U.S. diplomatic effort”. I guess the success is characterized by what CFR experts and US media described as “failure to secure a FTA with South Korea and failure to rally support at G20 and APEC and displeasure among the Japanese for Obama’s endorsement of India’s UN Security Council bid…”

  • Posted by Paul

    The trip was successful in the sense that the U.S. is still with its allies. But argument for a stronger RMB, on the contrary, failed itself after QE2. This again fits into the general picture that the U.S. is strategically relevant but economically marginalized in this part of the world?

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