U.S.-China relations: Paving the way for Cold War II?
Kristof again: "There are plenty of legitimate reasons to be angry with China's leaders, but its trade success and exchange rate policy are not among them. The country that is distorting global capital flows and destabilizing the world economy is not China but the U.S. American fiscal recklessness is a genuine international problem, while blaming Chinese for making shoes efficiently amounts to a protectionist assault on the global trade system." I'm not sure that it's all the Democrats fault. Republicans, whatever the sincerity of their laissez-faire rhetoric, are just as capable of protectionism as Democrats. Indeed, Kristof is simply wrong to assert that Bush's adoption of protectionist policies is a result of Democratic pressure. Come on, when has Bush ever given in to such pressure? And let's not forget that any "souring" of U.S. relations must be attributed at least in part to Chinese nationalism, which is on the rise and not going away anytime soon -- see Robert Kaplan's excellent piece in the June Atlantic. And then there's North Korea, another wedge issue that needs to be dealt with seriously by the Bush Administration.
Regardless, these are the issues that we need to be thinking about if we are to avert a second Cold War, one perhaps more perilous than the first. ($2.35 for Kristof? No, I'll stick with $4.30 -- or maybe a few cents less.)