Sunday, February 14, 2021

How to Handle China

This is a big one...and a tough one. Brian Katulis tackles it at The Liberal Patriot:
"China represents the best test case for Biden’s notion of a “foreign policy the middle class supports” – as yet a policy not fully clarified in practice.
Five ingredients for communicating China moves successfully to Americans:
1. Put the policy first.
The Biden team is off to the right start in working to get its policy straight as the first step. Too often in today’s hyper-partisan and advocacy-driven foreign policy debates, leaders and even think tank analysts put politics and communications first.
On policy, the Biden administration wants to cooperate with China on climate change and the pandemic, but compete on technology and economic issues, while also defining what the impact of calling China’s treatment of the Uighurs a genocide will be. There’s a lot going on there – and teasing it out to achieve strategic clarity is a daunting policy task."
Read the rest, including the other four "ingredients", at The Liberal Patriot!
And while I'm on the subject of China, let me recommend this extremely interesting article by Branko Milanovic on the Foreign Affairs site. MIlanovic discusses the ways in which high inequality may be eroding the Chinese model. Essential reading--to deal with China effectively, we need to understand what is really happening in the country.
"China’s model of political capitalism has produced staggering growth and lifted millions from poverty—but not without widening the gap between the country’s rich and poor. Inequality has become the Chinese system’s Achilles’ heel, belying the government’s nominally socialist tenets and undermining the implicit contract between the rulers and the ruled. Inequality erodes the trust that Confucius thought even more essential for good government than food (or, in today’s terms, material prosperity).
Addressing this problem requires understanding its sources and its reach. In China, the task is not always a simple one. China’s inequality looks at first glance like the predictable product of rapid growth and urbanization. But aspects of the country’s distribution of wealth and income are more particular. They rise from the nexus of economic and political power within the Chinese system, and they suggest that the country’s leadership faces a difficult choice as to how, and whether, to restrain the growing power of a new elite."

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