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Thread: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death threats,

  1. #11
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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Di Salvo View Post
    The Chinese Communists don't interpret President Obama's "pivot to Asia" as well being intentioned. They see the pivot as an attempt to prevent the rise of China.
    On that we agree. Finding a way to overcome those misperceptions is a significant policy challenge. There are no simple solutions and it might require a fairly lengthy period over which confidence can develop.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    God help Mr. Chen and his family. He made a critical error in seeking American assistance. Now he and his family will experience prolonged agony at the hands of the faction of the Chinese Communist Party that hold them.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    As far as economics is concerned, because it is in the United States' economic interest to do so. Given China's comparative advantage in certain areas, American consumers benefit from wider choice and lower prices than would be the case if the U.S. severed all trade with China.

    Moreover, it is in the United States' broader interest to have a constructive relationship with China, recognizing that there are some signficant differences between the two countries. China is a great regional power. It is also a rising or to use Henry Kissinger's more precise terminology, a "returning" power. Attempts at containment would be futile given China's many other international relationships. Attempts at containment would only risk creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of an adversarial and possibly even confrontational relationship. That outcome would be particularly dangerous if China's relative power continues to grow.

    Having said all that, the U.S. should continue to press China for human rights improvements through diplomatic channels and it should also maintain its commitments to its East Asian allies. Ron Paul-style abdication of U.S. alliances should be avoided. While the U.S. cannot reasonably expect China to transform itself into a liberal European or American style democratic republic given China's institutions, history, and culture, it can and should persistently insist on the more modest and attainable goals of China's improving its human rights practices and respecting its neighbors' interests. A constructive bilateral policy coupled with sustained American commitments to its East Asian partners can facilitate those goals. An adversarial policy can thwart those goals.
    A very well thought out statement that I mostly agree with but at some point you have to ask yourself, why are we doing business with people like this, are we bringing them up to our level our are they bringing us down to theres. We need to wean ourselves off of Chinese made products and we need a president that will make that a prority.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    A very well thought out statement that I mostly agree with but at some point you have to ask yourself, why are we doing business with people like this, are we bringing them up to our level our are they bringing us down to theres. We need to wean ourselves off of Chinese made products and we need a president that will make that a prority.
    American consumers like Chinese products because they are, for a host of reasons, cheaper and more price-competitive. That's not something that any President can easily change.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    American consumers like Chinese products because they are, for a host of reasons, cheaper and more price-competitive. That's not something that any President can easily change.
    I am not blaming obama and am not saying Romney would do any different but a president has the bully pulpit and could make this an issue if he chose to do so.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    A very well thought out statement that I mostly agree with but at some point you have to ask yourself, why are we doing business with people like this, are we bringing them up to our level our are they bringing us down to theres. We need to wean ourselves off of Chinese made products and we need a president that will make that a prority.
    If the U.S. wishes to consume fewer imports, it needs to become more competitive. Unfortunately, the kind of political courage required to get to the source of the problem by pointing out that while American workers and companies are world class in some industries, they are not world class in others is rare.

    A President needs a bold and coherent vision and the leadership capacity to rally the nation via investments in education, science, etc. Transformational leaders along the lines of an FDR, JFK, or Reagan who could do so are also not common. Given the absence of transformational leadership, it is not too surprising that the nation lacks a broad vision and appetite for risktaking in the critical sectors of tomorrow ranging from space to alternative energy. Instead, the nation's overall aspirations have continued to narrow. As a result, the U.S. is at growing risk of becoming a status quo state, even as the world around it continues to change. With enormous fiscal imbalances looming in the medium- and long-term, the current lack of vision and boldness could well result in a temptation to make drastic but shortsighted reductions in investment, in a bid to avoid politically contentious but essential structural changes to taxes and mandatory spending programs. Such an outcome could further limit the nation's strategic flexibility. Today, the U.S. still has a lot of flexibility. Maintaining a business as usual course will lead to far less flexibility tomorrow. The opportunity cost will be the increased possibility that another country or group of countries will achieve qualitative breakthroughs that make it possible to leapfrog the U.S. in one or more critical sectors or technologies, some of which may have military as well as consumer implications.

    Finally, a President also has only limited latitude. If the nation is to become more competitive, the private sector will also need to join the effort. Corporate R&D will have to increase markedly. Yet, with the economy still recovering, the private sector remains abnormally risk-averse, focusing on increased short-term profits via cost minimization, but at the risk of foregoing much larger future profits due to reduced R&D, etc.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 05-02-12 at 10:50 PM.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    If the U.S. wishes to consume fewer imports, it needs to become more competitive. Unfortunately, the kind of political courage required to get to the source of the problem by pointing out that while American workers and companies are world class in some industries, they are not world class in others is rare.

    A President needs a bold and coherent vision and the leadership capacity to rally the nation via investments in education, science, etc. Transformational leaders along the lines of an FDR, JFK, or Reagan who could do so are also not common. Given the absence of transformational leadership, it is not too surprising that the nation lacks a broad vision and appetite for risktaking in the critical sectors of tomorrow ranging from space to alternative energy. Instead, the nation's overall aspirations have continued to narrow. As a result, the U.S. is at growing risk of becoming a status quo state, even as the world around it continues to change. With enormous fiscal imbalances looming in the medium- and long-term, the current lack of vision and boldness could well result in a temptation to make drastic but shortsighted reductions in investment, in a bid to avoid politically contentious but essential structural changes to taxes and mandatory spending programs. Such an outcome could further limit the nation's strategic flexibility. Today, the U.S. still has a lot of flexibility. Maintaining a business as usual course will lead to far less flexibility tomorrow. The opportunity cost will be the increased possibility that another country or group of countries will achieve qualitative breakthroughs that make it possible to leapfrog the U.S. in one or more critical sectors or technologies, some of which may have military as well as consumer implications.

    Finally, a President also has only limited latitude. If the nation is to become more competitive, the private sector will also need to join the effort. Corporate R&D will have to increase markedly. Yet, with the economy still recovering, the private sector remains abnormally risk-averse, focusing on increased short-term profits via cost minimization, but at the risk of foregoing much larger future profits due to reduced R&D, etc.
    Reagan had the balls to call the Soviet Union the evil empire, now we have a new evil empire and we are feeding it. If we had a president that called China that and said we need to make it a national priority not to feed this beast, we could start turning things around.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    America can't turn things around for itself without a transformation of the political culture. Domestic opponents in America treat each other as if they were Nazi Germany.

    The divisions within the American body politic blot out a consciousness of a common fate and shared interests. This lack of shared consciousness has been experienced by other peoples in the past. It usually results in bad things happening to those people.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    "...'I would like to say to President Obama: please do everything you can to get our family out,' Chen told CNN, according to a translation of his quote.

    He also accused US embassy officials of pushing him hard to leave the safety of the embassy on Wednesday where he had sought refuge for six days after fleeing his home in the eastern province of Shandong.

    'The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital, but this afternoon, as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone,' Chen told CNN by phone."

    China activist appeals to Obama to get him to US - Yahoo! News Canada

    The state security bureau that had Mr. Chen under house arrest has been humiliated that he escaped and sought shelter in the US Embassy of all places.

    The Party is going to make an example of Mr. Chen, and make Mr. Obama lose face in the process. That's why Chen was allowed to invoke the name of Mr. Obama for protection. The Chinese people are going to see that invoking American protection comes to naught.

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    Re: Activist Chen Guangcheng chose to stay in China to protect family from death thre

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Di Salvo View Post
    "...'I would like to say to President Obama: please do everything you can to get our family out,' Chen told CNN, according to a translation of his quote.

    He also accused US embassy officials of pushing him hard to leave the safety of the embassy on Wednesday where he had sought refuge for six days after fleeing his home in the eastern province of Shandong.

    'The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital, but this afternoon, as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone,' Chen told CNN by phone."

    China activist appeals to Obama to get him to US - Yahoo! News Canada

    The state security bureau that had Mr. Chen under house arrest has been humiliated that he escaped and sought shelter in the US Embassy of all places.

    The Party is going to make an example of Mr. Chen, and make Mr. Obama lose face in the process. That's why Chen was allowed to invoke the name of Mr. Obama for protection. The
    Chinese people are going to see that invoking American protection comes to naught
    .
    Sadly I agree, this administration is going to leave Chen twisting in the wind figuratively and possibly literally.

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