Sunday, January 23, 2011

US-China Summit

The two most important countries in the world have an entangling cord of self interest that cannot be broken. Between these two countries there are also contradictions and chaos that are difficult to rationalize. This is the status quo of China and the United States at this moment. If we merely look at the relationship between these two countries, then the newsworthiness of the contents of the China-US bilateral ties are enough to let the mainstream media from China and the United States to feel as if they had hit the jackpot and found the treasure.

Moreover, for this current visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to the United States, US President Barack Obama has accorded the grandest welcoming ceremony and high diplomatic protocol that were rarely used in the United States to receive a national leader. Adding to this, President Obama also used the "most private dinner" and the "most elaborated banquet" to entertain Hu Jintao....In this regard, whether we view Hu's visit to the United States from political contents or from merely the elaborated grand scale, the meeting between Hu and Obama was indeed a rare media feast for the press.

Diplomatic Event
Quite a lot of media have joined the crowd and watched the China-US diplomatic event passing by (in Washington, DC). However there were even more media channels devoting their energy to analyze the meeting between Hu and Obama. Just as the analysis done by the US Cable News Network (CNN) said: "If we can use one word to describe the China-US relationship, the relationship between these two countries can be described as 'complex'." As a matter of fact, the "complexity" of China-US relations is but the most essential nature and fundamental relationship between these two countries. The China-US economic and trade relations are related to business gains and advantages. However, amid such bi-lateral trade relationship, there exist bi-lateral disputes over the exchange rate of the Chinese currency Renminbi and the existing trade imbalance between the two countries. Coincidentally, out of the total Chinese foreign currency reserve as a result of the accumulation of China's trade surplus over the years, nearly $900 billion dollars of it has been used to repurchase the US treasury bonds. These bonds have in turn become a staunch financial support for the US Federal Government.

The geopolitical conflict of interest between China and the United States in Northeast Asia, the Cheonan ship incident, and the conflict between South and North Korea over the artillery shelling of Yeongpyeong island have eventually led to the strengthening of the US-Japan-South Korea alliance partnership. These developments in Northeast Asia have even led the world community to have glimpse of a possible development of a Cold War in the Korean Peninsula. But on the other hand, the United States has also considered China as a decisive force in resolving the pending North Korean nuclear weapon crisis.

Media's Interpretation
Because of this, the interpretation of the mainstream media on China-US relationship can also be quite complex, even contradictory. Take The New York Times as an example: On one hand this US media said the Chinese national leader has brought a message of peace and harmony to the United States; and on the other, this US media also questioned the authority, power and credibility of Hu Jintao. Similarly, when China's "People's Daily" emphasized the rapid and positive development of China-US trade ties; yet at the same time, this Chinese media also candidly said that the Chinese market has already become "a tree that can shake off money" of the United States. It further counter questioned the rationale of why the United States should still be unhappy about China.

Because of the complexity of China-US relations, it is unrealistic for the media from China and the United States to praise the elaborated and luxury meeting between Hu and Obama loudly and to hold high expectation that after the Hu-Obama meeting, the contradiction between China and the United States will all be eliminated and the hard ice between the two countries will all be melted. It is not practical to think that the China-US relationship has entered a period of springtime after the Hu-Obama meeting.
It remains a fact that the respective Chinese and US media will, regardless of whether their political philosophy is leaned toward right or left, will always stand on the side of their own country. Under such complex and contradicting circumstances encountered by China and the United States, we are not at all surprised that the Chinese and the US media will also engage in a kind of media war eventually.

It is worth mentioning that over the past year, the disputes and arguments between China and the United States have made the media from both sides of the countries feeling uneasy. As such, both the Chinese and US media are still full of expectation and optimism over the meeting between Hu and Obama. China's Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China Central Television (CCTV) and other media in China have elaborately highlighted the New energy Agreement signed between China and the United States. The Chinese media stressed that this round of meeting between Hu and Obama has opened a new chapter in China-US ties.

US Ungrateful Attitude
The Chicago Tribune is deemed as a good representation of the US media with optimistic outlook. It quoted Mayor of Chicao Richard D. Daley as saying that the visit of Chinese President Hu to China was "big deal." It reported that the Chicago Mayor has used the word "big" five times in the sentence. The excitement over Hu's visit to China as reported by the US press was palpable. Washington Post, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and other US press have also given high hope for the positive outcome of the meeting between Hu and Obama.

No matter how the Chinese and US media interpreted the meeting between Hu and Obama, the message given out through the high profile meeting between Hu and Obama to China and the United States as well as to the world community is a good and favorable one. President Hu Jintao said: "Cooperation between China and the United States will benefit both the countries but confrontation between China and the United States will cause losses to both China and the United States." The Joint statement issued by President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama after their meeting has stressed that these two nations would establish comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnership relationship. This has reflected the inner desire and wish of the governments of the two countries.

There is one thing we must mention here. China has signed a $13 billion dollar worth of clean energy bill, bought Boeing aircrafts and signed a big agreement worth $45bil dollars with the United States. China has taken pragmatic action to express China's goodwill and sincerity to the United States. This shows that although the China-US relationship is very complex, as long as both countries are willing to change their traditional thinking process and release goodwill to each other, there is no knot that cannot undo.
The question we have in mind now is that after the gala meeting held between Hu and Obama, while the United States enjoys the economic big feast given by China, will the US political and media circles again relapse to their own attitude and repeat their ungratefulness to China as the Chinese saying goes: "He is one who sucks the milk but turns back to scold the mother "? If this is the case, then the fantastic scene of the meeting between President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama will become the clouds in the sky that resemble nothing. This will lead the world community to feel happy about the good meeting between Hu and Obama for nothing.

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