Monday, March 09, 2009

Deja Vu

This train ain't never late, neither.

The nation of China, our partner in global trade and paragon of human rights, is testing the new President of the United States. Again. This weekend, they went with ships instead of planes and tried to harassing a vessel of the US Merchant Marine in international waters.

The timing of this just happens to coincide with the anniversary of the Dalai Lama's exile from Tibet and last year's pre-Olympics unrest. I'm sure that was not intentional at all < / sarcasm >.

For those of you wondering why I used the terms "again" and "deja vu," a similar incident was perpetuated by the Chinese in the first months of the Bush presidency, when one of their jets "accidentally" collided with a US plane in international air space. The US plane had to make an emergency landing in China, and China, faithful partner in trade that they are, refused to release the US plane or its crew until the President Bush apologized to China for flying planes in international airspace, for being struck by Chinese jets, and for landing at an airstrip in China instead of ditching in the sea.

For those of you that follow Eastern culture, an apology would be a huge loss of face for the United States. But since, in the West, apologies mean little these days, Bush went ahead and apologized, got our people and plane back, and restored our ability to continue outsourcing jobs and buying cheap imports from China produced in less than optimal labor conditions. We were content to exact our revenge in the form of Michael Phelps.

But we never heard about that incident again, 'cause some Americans might be more than a bit agitated at China's behavior, in addition to their human rights record, and their stealing our manufacturing record. But you may hear about it in the coming days as pundits try to make sense of China's latest test of a United States President. As a popular worldwide political figure, an apology or embarassment to President Obama at the hands of China would be a huge social coup in the East.



Dante said...

This is a bit tougher situation than Bush faced. Technically, the plane in Bush's scenario should never have entered Chinese airspace which it had to do in order to land. I agree with the pilot's reasoning and probably would've done the same myself but it gave Bush an out. The USNS Impeccable did absolutely nothing wrong. Obama apologizing would be a lot bigger problem than when Bush apologized. I really don't know what Obama should do here. If it were me, I'd see to it that one of those aggressive vessels had some sort of unfortunate accident due to their aggressiveness but that's just me. The Chinese are just as addicted to our capitalism as they ever were to British opium. When push comes to shove, I don't really think we have to show them much respect when they're being jackasses.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

They're not going to get one right now.

I do think the Chinese will continue these little tests in an attempt to provoke a similar situation with a similar outcome.

And, yes, I would like to see an unfortunate accident befall aggressive Chinese vessels. Perhaps they could suffer unfortunate engine troubles and the US ship could offer them a tow to Somali waters?

Then Beijing could apologize to the Somali pirates to get their ships back...