Time To Get Tough With China?

Vice President Biden cooled tensions in his talks with Chinese leaders, but many in Asia and the U.S. now question whether that’s the right course.

“We’re being too soft on China”—such are the increasingly audible whispers of an ever mounting number of China’s neighbors and U.S. foreign policy experts. They are still mostly whispering because of the enormity of such a change in policy direction. And they certainly don’t wish to trigger crises. But they do feel that the U.S. needs to get tougher with Beijing. To them, China unilaterally asserts its rights and demands, doesn’t budge, wears everyone down, waits and waits until everyone shrugs and goes along. Vice President Joe Biden handled his visit with Chinese rulers in the traditional manner: that is, he was strong in defending American values and concerns, but always far short of confrontation. And perhaps, Chinese leaders mistook his care as weakness. Perhaps they’ve seen this as weakness all along.

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Or as Winston Lord, a former ambassador to China, put it: “The Chinese do not shy from provocation and count on eventual foreign forebearance. It is time to parry this pattern and be willing to risk some dustups.”

Time To Get Tough With China?

Actually, it was time in 2007 (Article posted in 2007): It’s time to get tough with China | 1913 Intel