Written by Frank Li
The first Obama-Xi summit is about to happen (June 7-8). It should be a good thing, regardless of the expectations or outcomes, because improved understanding through dialog between the two largest economies on earth is always a good thing, not only for themselves, but also for the rest of the world.
For me, this is yet another opportunity to shed some light on U.S.-China relations. Two notes about this summit:
The U.S. requested the meeting. Xi agreed to stop by, in California, at the end of his trip to Latin America and Mexico.
There seem to be numerous issues on the table (e.g. US, China hold talks before Obama-Xi summit expected to be long on issues and short on trust). However, they are for the U.S. side only. There are few issues on the China side!
1. Xi's priorities internationally
Xi became China's President in March 2013. Since then, he has visited many countries, including Russia, Africa, and Latin America! Although schedules and convenience mattered, it showed his priorities as follows:
Russia was his first trip abroad as the President. For more, read: The Xi-Putin Summit, China-Russian Strategic Partnership, And The Folly of Obama's 'Asian Pivot'.
The U.S. was not on his short list, and then, only when the U.S. requested it!
In short, to me, here is a subtle message from China to the U.S.: you are not as important as you think you are.
Does this message make sense? Yes, a great deal of sense, to me! Americans should take note and here is why: The U.S. is a very consumer-friendly country, with many laws favoring consumers. However, in other parts of the world and throughout human history, it's the other way around: a creditor (e.g. producer) has far more power than a debtor (e.g. consumer)!
2. The issues on the U.S. side
Here are three big issues off the top of my head:
North Korea and Iran.
Business deals, such as Smithfield Deal Signals China's Need for Meat, Dairy, Other Food Buys.
Simply put, all of them are self-inflicted issues.
Let me explain these issues, one by one ...
2.1 North Korea and Iran
Here are two writings of mine from more than one year ago and they are still valid today:
Three fundamental questions for you:
Cyber-attacks: did you know that we, Americans, invented them? For example, read: Obama Ordered Sped Up Wave of Cyber-attacks Against Iran.
Did you know that our military spending is 50% of the world's total military spending (It's The Out-Of-Control Spending on Military, Stupid!)? Why so big? If your answer is for self-defense, you simply do not get it!
Cyber-attacks vs. military attacks, which one is worse? For more, read: What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?
2.3 Business deals
We owe China more than $2T. What's wrong with their trying to buy some American companies? They are not allowed to buy hi-tech companies. They are not even allowed to buy some wind farms (Obama blocks Chinese wind farms purchase near Navy base). Now, are we going to prevent them from buying a food company?
Have we really been so deeply brainwashed that we all truly believe that a debtor has more power than a creditor?
3. The issues on the China side
There are no U.S. issues on the China side, other than just staying the course with some sweet talks from time to time.
Xi said, last year (i.e. before becoming the President), something like this: "I do not want to be told by some big bellied foreigners about what to do."
President Obama is certainly not big bellied physically. What about intellectually? Remember, he is way short in experience and achievements as compared with President Xi. For more, read: Top Three Leaders: the U.S. vs. China.
I have repeatedly stated, over the past five years, that "the Chinese system (i.e. capitalism + autocracy), albeit with many endemic problems of its own, appears to be slightly better than America's" (Saving America, Chinese Style).
Here is another simple example to illustrate the difference between the U.S. and China: what's the job of the President? Apparently,
For President Xi, it is chasing the Chinese dream.
For President Obama, it is chasing the next election. For more, read: Obama's Top Goal: For Dems To Win The House In 2014.
Need some concrete evidence? Last week, President Xi was in Latin America and Mexico, making huge commercial deals, for the benefit of his country, while President Obama was in Chicago, doing huge fund-raising for democrats (Chicago braces for Obama fundraising visit), for the benefit of his party!
Once again, "In China, there is no election but only governing. In America, there is no governing but only election."
Oh, a very important international matter: Syria. Here are two pieces of news:
Sound like a little bit of the Cold War again? Yes, to me! Here are two key differences:
China is largely engaged with Russia now. Remember the Xi-Putin summit mentioned earlier?
The U.S. is no longer the economic monopoly it was in the past.
Why have the times changed so much? China is improving its situation while ours worsens! Here is another concrete example:
More seriously, we, the U.S., have been destroying ourselves, both domestically (i.e. democratic socialism) and internationally (i.e. democratic imperialism). For more, read: Top 10 American Misconceptions about Democracy.
Here is an appropriate quotation:
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Who said it? Abraham Lincoln!
Stop self-destruction! Stop blaming others for our own problems! Stop China bashing!
To know more about China's future, read this: China's next chapter.
For a thorough understanding of the U.S. and China, read my book: Saving America, Chinese Style ...