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September 09, 2007


Gen Kanai

Thanks for the incisive and frank commentary. I've read a number of the blogs that have been covering WEF Dalian and haven't seen anything as good as what you have here. Those of us who couldn't attend appreciate your insights.


Thanks for commenting on the cultural differences, this is much neglected.

China and I

Amazing post, you did! Tell us more abou the WEF. What happened?

Michael Turton

A couple years ago a Chinese academic who advises the Chinese government on foreign policy issues told me that the best way for China to build global power, good will, and international credibility over the long run is to mind its own business, avoid criticizing the U.S. whenever possible, sit back and let the U.S. destroy its own power and credibility by itself.

Should add: and earn interest buying US bonds to keep the war going. Iraq is without a doubt China's greatest victory.

Excellent post, especially the observations on speaking. "It's what you do, not what you say that counts." Bingo -- yet so many westerners spend their days wondering why they can't make Chinese words and Chinese behavior align themselves....and it goes in the other direction -- Chinese under-read what westerners say....


Tom - Daai Tou Laam

I'd seen a brief mention of this in one of the Torygraph's blogs. Thanks for fleshing the story out a bit more.

Michael Rank

I love your explanation of why Ch leaders give boring speeches, spot on!


"... if you're already powerful, you don't want to act like there is a need to win anybody over. If you act like you care what people think of your speeches, you're admitting weakness. You leave it to loyal henchmen like Sha to say provocative things on your behalf, but avoid stooping to verbal sparring yourself..."


Quite thoughtful for westerners I must admit, but like every other China watchers, always the negativity. Imagine if Ron Paul gave a Chinese journalist the finger when he ask "what's with the American warmongering?". You guys would be cheering up and down! Well, business as usual here I guess, nothing out of the ordinary.


It's remarkable that people like Friedman get a platform for their ideas - he is, after all, just a journalist who's found a market for his work in the policy/op-ed space. Although he's written a couple of books that purport to be about economic development, he has no training or background in economics. Additionally, he has no relevant knowledge or experience of China.

So why are we even listening to him in the first place?

There seems to be a chronic excess of pundits such as him who have opinions about everything and expertise on nothing.


I don't agree with everything Friedman says but he's basically correct about China not pulling its weight - in fact China is more of a problem for the world than an asset so far. And the statement that China doesn't interfere in other countries and treats other countries as equals is hilarious. It doesn't even treat its own people as equals.


I love the hypocrisy of the China critics here and everywhere else. It was only five years ago when Americans worried that China would use force and not diplomacy in dealing with the world. In the last few years, China has been so successful in diplomatic relations around the world that it's has the West extrememly paranoid. Now we hear that Americans want China to use their muscle (or carry their weight) in the world. Can you imagine the sky-rocketing alarmists bells ringing if China were to do so. But of course that's not the "weight" they want China to bear. In other words, China has to do the dirty work of Americans. Essentially be blind obedient slaves of the West so if anything goes wrong, the West can easily point the finger of blame at China and have all the hate directly away from them.

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