Internet forum from People's Daily offers elaborate and engaging glimpse into Chinese perception of US post-9/11 policy...

"Subject: A nation bickering about smoking while Iraq burns"

A discussion forum feed published by a People's Daily blogger named Shanhuang on the day of the US invasion of Iraq that I stumbled upon this evening is full of some very astute and disconcerting thoughts on the US and the priorities of American culture. With the fourth anniversary of "Shock and Awe" passing just yesterday (with little notice since the media is more concerned over the Justice Dept. and the who is Anna Nicole Smith's baby-daddy) this thread provides a voluminous log of the day-to-day and week-to-week sway of the cerebral tides between the different factions that emerged around the world in the post-September 11th world, and has once again set me thinking about the perception of the US in China.

I have written recently on the flawed perception of the Chinese amongst nearly every person within Middle Class America. I fret regularly to my friend Victor about what I feel will be the ultimate determinant of whether or not China and the US will come to a peaceful understanding and cultural diffusion (a la Japan and South Korea)-- the oft overlooked and underestimated possibility that there could arise a jealousy and spite for China across the United States if/when the US loses its economic stranglehold on the global markets.

Political realities and national interests across the Western Hemisphere will undoubtedly result in a unified resistance to the first substantial threat posed it by another civilization in several centuries time. The lack of careful consideration of the how to best manage/balance the Sino-American alliance by the American press (which I will elaborate on in a subsequent post) coupled with a preoccupation with a sensationalized conflict in the Middle East among concerned citizens (a.k.a. voters) is likely to be remembered as the primary catalyst of opportunistic political pandering by politicians who were similarly complacent, or more accurately negligent, in their careful consideration of the countries interests.

An America that exists under the institutions of our founding Republican principles will not, and must not, allow China to establish an alternative political model under the banner of Mao, even if the guiding wisdom which underlies it be rooted in a less draconian code. There are several reasons why I believe this is an indispensable maxim, the least of which is my nostalgia for the greatness of the the colonial founder's experiment. However, the Chinese must also never become a casualty of US domestic politics in the same manner that the Soviet Union became the issue of greatest concern and source of ideological alliances during the bygone, bi-lateral era of the Cold War, because if the Chinese are anything, they are VERY proud (similar to most Americans as this article makes clear).

Consequently, I see the future of Chinese politics (in light of both the China and the United State's long term interests) through the lens of Japan's US-styled (authored) system, which is basically a rotation of leadership of one political party, the LDP, through the occasional polling of the general populace. So essentially, the political realities faced by the US in the far Pacific Rim as they compete in the 21st century global economy have the potential to be at once unified, at least stylistically between the Japanese and Chinese peoples. However, one need not get too close before the glaring differences in lifestyle and social values- as well as the echo's of bitter diplomatic rifts stemming from Japanese aggression at the outset of the 20th century- rush into view and cloud the thoughts of men tasked with forgetting about these issues and getting on with the jobs of making peace and creating wealth.

It is so easy to forget about China these days, as it seems the only region of the world that is worthy of the media's time, well at least the US media. So many thoughts are provoked by just this one statement; thoughts that send the mind irrecoverably into the depths of my political consciousness. With hope, this issue can soon emerge from suppression and regain its importance on the mantle of US foreign policy, in the spot now occupied by the criminal files of radical Islamic terrorists and politicians, where it will soon so apparently belong.