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China, Press, U.S. Policy »

[18 January 2011, Comments Off on Hu Jintao’s State Visit (Radio Interview), Tags: , , , , , , , , ]

Media: Colombia National Radio – “Coffee and News” Morning Show (Live).

Subjects: Issues likely to come up in the state visit; human rights; valuation of the Chinese Renminbi and risk of a “currency war.”

Length: 8:07.

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India, Publications, U.S. Policy »

[8 November 2010, Comments Off on Obama in India: Testing a New World Order, Starting with the Security Council, Tags: , , , , , , , , ]

Image courtesy of Flickr's tomdz

Date: 8 November 2010.

Publication: The Huffington Post.

Author: Daniel Michaeli.

The future of American global influence will be decided in Asia, and India’s success could be a prerequisite for America’s long-term position in the region. So President Obama just made a substantial step towards securing U.S. interests in Asia by endorsing India’s aspiration to greater global and regional influence. He declared today in New Delhi, “I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.” Indians have been waiting for this for a long time.

Successive U.S. administrations have avoided taking a position on India’s Security Council aspirations. Diplomatic non-answers denied New Delhi a clear path to U.S. backing, a source of exasperation for many Indians. And the U.S. approach also obscured legitimate American concerns about the limits of U.S.-Indian cooperation on some foreign policy issues of great importance to the United States.

The only problem is that when Obama endorsed India’s membership “look[ing] forward,” he actually ignored these legitimate concerns, too.

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U.S. Policy »

The President Needs to Make a Public Case for Engagement With Asia

The world as seen from Washington, DC.*

The fact that President Obama canceled yet another trip to Asia (after having canceled his March trip and deciding to skip Indonesia in November) is disappointing. This makes sense from the narrow American political perspective; Obama is afraid the Gulf oil spill could become his “Hurricane Katrina” incident, exposing the U.S. government as aloof and unable to respond to crises.

But the message sent to the Asia-Pacific region is not a good one.

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China, Press, U.S. Policy »

[3 February 2010, Comments Off on Complications for the U.S. and China (Radio Interview), Tags: , , , , , , ]

Media: Colombia National Radio – “Coffee and News” Morning Show (Live).

Subjects: Sources of U.S.-China disagreement, particularly the arms sale to Taiwan and President Obama’s expected April 2010 meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Length: 9:13.

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U.S. Policy »

Obama on American Competitiveness
[28 January 2010, Comments Off on Free Trade = American Jobs, Tags: , , , , , ]

Obama State of the Union

Obama speaks, and Biden is impressed

The 0verall success or failure of President Obama’s State of the Union address last night won’t be known for some time. Dan Balz of the Washington Post reports that the real issue coming out of the speech is whether Congressional Democrats and Republicans will or won’t change their behavior in the coming months.

But an aspect of the speech that certainly deserves praise was the president’s focus on American competitiveness, including comparisons to China, Germany, and India. It was unusually honest for a president to acknowledge that the U.S. could end up playing second fiddle to another economy if it doesn’t “get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.” This kind of honesty is welcome and overdue.

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China »

Stance at Climate Conference Brings Costs for China

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to say in a podcast that a deal at Copenhagen was “held to ransom by a handful of countries.” His climate secretary wrote, more specifically, that it was China that had “vetoed” crucial proposals the entire developed world and most of the developing world stood behind.

The Financial Times reports seeing “a more assertive China” at the summit. And at least one paper’s conclusion from Copenhagen is: “China won, the world lost.”

But did China really win? It kept the Kyoto agreement intact and avoided binding cuts, both of which helped to secure China’s policy maneuverability and economic growth prospects. Nevertheless, Chinese obstructionism–which included peculiar tactics like failing to show up to a meeting with President Obama–still carries significant costs.

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India, U.S. Policy »

Is India on America’s Strategic Map of Asia?

When I listened to Prime Minister Singh’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations during his visit to Washington, I was struck by how well Singh seemed to understand his audience. In spite of major differences in American and Indian approaches to global issues from climate to nonproliferation/arms control to human rights, Singh spoke of common values–an approach that speaks to the way Americans of all political stripes think about the world.

But even as Singh and Obama spoke of shared interests and shared values, there is something lacking in Washington’s approach to the strategic aspect of the relationship. The biggest question coming out of the trip is: was Singh able to place India back on America’s strategic map? Read More »