Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our man in Beijing

What a refreshing change to witness a US president arriving in the Chinese capital without the bloody flag of anti-communist free-market capitalist pinned to his sleeve---or his lapel. Intelligent, humble, respectful of differences, Barack may not have returned with visible trophies or concessions, but is that really how we are going to judge the success of these ventures?

China may be a basically poor country (now) masquerading as a rich one, but our interests on many levels are so throughly intertwined that it's not only good politics but a necessary bow to the realities of our relations that we treat the Chinese as equal global partners. Which they are.

I'm not an expert on any of these matters, but, from a brand marketer perspective, it seems pretty clear that China has thrown off the self-pitying 'we get no respect" mantle in favor of pursuing its national interests clearly and aggressively wherever it can and re-branding the entire nation. As we remain bogged down in two futile (and feudal), Treasury-sucking wars, they are busy rebuilding infrastructure, modernizing their defenses, setting up global supply lines for the natural resources they need to fuel their growth plans for the next 50 years, and leading the way in green tech, as Tom Friedman frequently reminds us in his NYT column.

The Chinese are building for the future, while we remain ensnared in outmoded 20th century thinking about international policy and economics. We wake up or they clean our clock.

Hooray for Obama, setting a new tone and new approach with other great nations and their leaders. I bet this is driving them stark raving mad in RedStateUSA. Lovin' it.

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