Letter from Shanghai: Behind the U.S. decline of influence in China – Howard W. French

From the International Herald Tribune (link):

It is as established a part of the relationship as the purchase of new airliners and other big-ticket trade items. A Chinese leader’s arrival in the United States is prepared through gestures meant to clear the air on issues relating to human rights. Long- held prisoners may be released, exiles allowed to return home, sellers of counterfeit goods briefly closed down. When President Hu Jintao visits Washington soon, there may well be more of this sort of thing, but the tradition as a whole would not seem to have long legs.

Any number of indicators point to an end to this pattern drawing near. Put simply, American influence over China has peaked, and may have entered an era of long-term and perhaps accelerating decline.

In an effort to maintain U.S. influence, Senators Schumer and Graham are in Beijing. Read Non-Violent Resistance’s reaction to their press conference. For more on the Schumer-Graham visit, see “U.S. Lawmakers Hopeful on China Currency” from the AP, via the Washington Post and “China Tries to Charm Couple of Senate Skeptics” from the New York Times.

March 23, 2006, 9:57 AM
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Categories: China & the World