First of all, An Awkward Embrace will definitely be added to my reading list. I feel that a book like this is much need it our current times and the precarious relations that are present between China and the US. While I have some problems with a few of the suggests these authors make about how the US should proceed with China, they are make suggestions, which few can claim. I am in total agreement with what was said in regards to the US’s thinkers on China. They have spent too much time outlining everything wrong with China rather than offering of some solutions. For this reason alone, I will give this book my attention.
The point that really stood out to me as a bit hypocritical was when Dan was talking about China being a responsible stakeholder saying, “The authoritarian nature of China’s system is what concerns us, as it increases the likelihood that China will be less respectful of international rules than would democracies.” The way this statement is worded it is making the implication that democracies are inherently better at following international law. However, I feel that the US’s foreign policy since 9/11 says exactly the opposite. Countless international laws have been broken and ignored in the name spreading freedom and democracy. While China may have mounting problems domestically, internationally it has been playing relatively well by international laws, although its territorial disputes in the East China Sea could change this.
This article provides a well done overview of the political factions in China’s political sphere. I think the most interesting thing that I pulled from this was the the movement of the New Left. As stated in the article, the leaders and many members of this faction were forced out of the country during the tumultuous 1980’s because of their progressive views. However, they returned from the once believed capitalist and democratic utopia, the United States, with a belief in government involvement in the economy. However, the New Right faction did not have members that were forced out during those years yet hold very capitalist/laissez-fairebeliefs, which would have been heavily persecuted during the 1980’s in China. Like the article is hinting, these factions hold very evident similarities to many other western nation’s political parties. As much as Chinese and Western leaders will deny, the similarities between these two spheres seems to be overlapping with each passing decade. I think that the real question is when will these factions be recognized as separate political parties instead of factions within the CCP?
A great discussion about the opening of the U.S. marine base in Darwin and the reasons behind it.