Here’s an animation from the Washington Post, with the caption ‘The U.S. misreads the Chinese government, showing, I guess, just how badly the U.S. mislead Chen Guangcheng and brought him to new woes:
According to my understanding, if such an animation were to convey the facts of the situation, Mr. Chen would be in the lead. But, I might be wrong.
Just as sometimes I miss the point of editorials. And when I do I blame myself. I think maybe I don’t have enough background or insight. Or, I am somehow not reading carefully.
This might be true for ‘America’s Outdated View Of China’ in the Washington Post. Because I don’t get it.
The piece begin:
U.S. acceptance of the China = “Communist Party leadership” formula dates from the Nixon-Mao breakthrough. In the early 1970s, the regime’s rulers were indeed the only Chinese whom Americans could reasonably approach. But to persist with such a constricted understanding today is obtuse, even dangerous.
So far, so good. But, who in China could the U.S. ‘reasonably approach’? Should the U.S. conduct a series of town hall meetings from Harbin to Nanning? Should we deal directly with provincial governors to voice our concerns about how they are managing their territories.
No. Central governments ‘approach’ other central governments. And, for the moment that means ‘[A]Allowing “China” to mean only a small elite’…even if this…’is dangerous in that it adumbrates nearly a fifth of the world’s population.’ For that matter, in what nation do we approach any other than ‘a small elite?’
The danger from this, the piece suggests, is that:
It also prevents a square consideration of how long the regime will last — by far the most sensitive topic in the diplomatic language game. One cannot raise it; it is an affront to “the other side” even to think it (though Chinese elites, who consistently send their money and children abroad, seem to think about it themselves). And the question persists: If “China” means only “the regime,” what happens, some day, if it is not there?
I cannot imagine that U.S. diplomatic and intelligence services don’t continually ask the questions: ‘how long’ and ‘what if.’ And, I cannot image that these same questions are not being asked about all other major governments, even those democratically elected–what if the people through these b******* out? Then, what?
As far as I can see, the U.S. has a better understanding of China now than it ever has had. The fact that it chooses to maintain international protocol in its dealings with China does not lead me to feel that ‘…maybe this artist [Chen Guangchent] of miracle escapes can pull off a second miracle: changing the way the U.S. government understands “China.” Or that he needs to.