Archive for May, 2012

Beijing Bullies

May 1, 2012

China is a bully. OK, let’s separate the Chinese people from the Chinese government (the Peoples Bullying Party); it’s the government that is the bully.

The country of this particular bully has an area of 3.7 million square miles, a population close to 1.4 billion, and has an economy nearly as big as ours. Like any other ordinary bully, this one wants to throw its weight around and take whatever it wants. If someone gets in its way, or suggests that its actions are unfair and that it should be stopped, China will growl and grunt and make taunts and threats.

Bullies like to get their own way, and are used to getting their own way since they have learned that belligerence is a very effective tactic.

The only way to deal with bullies is with force, since that is the only thing they understand. The Chinese like to say that they should be allowed to “save face,” which is little more than a cultural veneer covering the fact that the bully winds up getting what he wants.

It’s time to disallow them from saving face, precisely by getting in their face and saying, “NO!”

In the talks with Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner, their Chinese counterparts (or any handy official from the China Film Group, since he would be a good actor) will say, “Give us back Chen Guangcheng.” We should ask why. They will say that he is a criminal. We should tell them, “No, he is not a criminal. You are the criminals for treating him the way you have. We fear for his safety, so we are taking him back to the US with us.”

At this point the Chinese official will turn purple, since he is not used to having someone tell him that he is a liar and a bully. His anger and his face color index should not however become a deterrent, since by now all Americans are well-versed in the concept of “standing your ground.”

We have become too frightened of losing access to China’s markets, and are too frightened of offending China. The US government is too receptive to pressure from American business interests, and in turn we become overly dependent on China.

If you were stranded on a desert isle, would you wish to share that watery prison with a bully? Or someone more disposed to reason and compromise? Don’t even get me started on the Chinese apparent lack of a sense of humor.