In late January this year, I was suffocated by the fact that China and Hong Kong were flooded by the news and images of the Sino-American meeting. I was fervently told in every detail that the Chinese President Hu Jintao (also the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party) has made a landmark journey since the visit of Deng Xiaopeng in 1979. A shopping list of China is confirmed and announced: China will buy 200 Boeing 737s and 777s that worth 19 billion USD and 100,000 jobs will be created. Other contracts include: a railway contract for General Electric, Cummins involving a project of hybrid bus, and Honeywell, joint ventured with a Chinese company. All of these deals guarantee 235,000 US domestic jobs, and a 45- billion USD bill in total will be signed by the Chinese. China is incredibly rich. It is an economic miracle with more than 8% GDP growth over the last 20 years. It has created over 14 million jobs worldwide, and now China is becoming the saviour of the US economy. Both eastern and western observers argue that China is peacefully rising and is becoming indispensable to the world economy.
The media never exhausts to provide minor specifics of the historical meeting: I was informed that President Obama had dyed his hair a week ago— it was interpreted as a subtle expression to show his humblest and sincerest gratitude towards an authoritarian but rich leader. The media kept educating us that we are supposed to be happy, because Sasha Obama, the 9-year old daughter of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, practiced Mandarin with Hu Jintao as a way to demonstrate the importance of Chinese language in the 21stCentury. More than three hundreds of Confucius Institutes would definitely second such statement.
Hail Hu Jintao of the Middle Kingdom. Welcome to the Free World.
“The course of love never did run smooth.” Harry Reid, Democrat Senate majority leader, called Hu Jintao a “dictator” (He later backed off and shook hands with Hu). Ileana Ros-Lehtinen refused to go to the State Dinner, while Dana Rohrabacher condemned the Communist Party as a “gangster regime”. Tough human rights questions were vigorously posed by reporters, including forced abortion, “one-child policy”, Tibetan issues, and other human rights violations. Hu answered prudently, “a lot still needs to be done in China, in terms of human rights.” All of these might have created some embarrassment. As Washington Post sarcastically remarked, “Who had the worst week in Washington? Hu Jintao.”
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* Published in the Fifth Issue of Political Reflection Magazine (PR).
Antony Ou is a PhD Researcher of University of Sheffield, the China Review editor of Political Reflection Magazine, and the China Representative of CESRAN. His monograph, Just War and the Confucian Classics: A Gongyangzhuan Analysis, has been published and is available at amazon.com.
© Copyright 2011 by CESRAN
For details, please consult the following CESRAN article: Gokay, B. and D. Whitman (2011). “Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons.” Retrieved 19 January 2011, from http://cesran.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1156%3Acrouching-tigers-hidden-dragons&catid=61%3Amakale-ve-raporlar&Itemid=79&lang=en.