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Veteran Advisor

China The Bully

As its economic clout grows, China's diplomacy gets uglier, preferring crass bullying to gentle persuasion. Case in point: its shabby effort to get the prime minister of Britain to remove a poppy from his lapel.

That's right — a poppy. In Britain, it's customary to wear one of the bright flowers in the weeks leading up to Nov. 11 to commemorate the 1.5 million British who died in World War I to protect that nation's ancient freedoms.

The poppy figures significantly in the famous World War I-era poem, "In Flanders Fields," written by Lt. Col. John McCrae of the Canadian Army. Its first two lines, memorized by generations of British schoolchildren, reads: "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses row on row." It is thus a moving symbol of the selfless sacrifice of those who died on Flanders and other fields around the world so Britain's democracy wouldn't perish.

But to China, the poppy symbolizes something else — its 19th century Opium Wars against Britain.

Wisely, British PM David Cameron wore his poppy, and as diplomatic flaps go it wasn't much. Still, it illustrates a growing tendency by the Chinese to use diplomacy to bully others, even on minor issues.

We've seen a lot of this lately from China's communist regime — even though Britain and the U.S. have both helped China to emerge as a major world economic power.

President Obama entered office with an outstretched hand to China, hoping for cooperation in key areas and creation of a "G-2" made up of China and the U.S. Instead, the U.S. has been greeted with a diplomatic belligerence and refusal to compromise verging at times on outright hostility.

• Since the start of the year, China has declared the South China Sea its property — along with the rich trove of minerals it holds.

• It restricted exports of rare earth minerals to Japan, a barely concealed attempt to economically threaten a key U.S. Asian ally.

• It created a major incident over its competing claim to the desolate but resource-rich Senkaku islands, knowing the U.S. is committed by treaty to protect Japan's 115-year-old claim.

• It caused a diplomatic flap over U.S. naval exercises with South Korea and failed to sanction its ally, North Korea, after that country sank a South Korean ship, killing 46.

• It harshly criticized the Nobel committee for giving its Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

• And it refused to bend to requests of the U.S. and others to let its currency rise to rebalance world trade.

Over the past week, China has sullenly watched as Obama has traveled along the edge of its empire en route to the G-20 meeting in Seoul. At that meeting, China will pound the table to get more clout without putting up the money to match that power.

A new report says China's economy could overtake ours in as little as two years. We doubt it, but if China truly wants more clout, it should do what the U.S. has done for decades — spend selflessly to protect, feed and develop other nations.

It would be nice if someone at the G-20 pulled the Chinese aside and told them that bullying isn't welcome at this meeting or anywhere else, and that such behavior will only cost them respect and influence in the years to come.

5 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: China The Bully

Kind of reminds me of Craig the bully. Does anyone second that motion?

Veteran Advisor

Re: China The Bully

I guess I've never seen him as that....more of paper tiger actually, but I do wonder if he sees the irony in having supported a political movement that was primarily funded under a fascade of faux populism by the very international financiers, industrial and import/export interests who profit immensely from the global ventures and undertakings that foment what he's showing us here?


The same oligarchs and plutocrats played the religious right wing into giving us 8 years of GWB, And they never suspected having been played like a piano. Why wouldn't those same high level crimnals think they could do the same with folks who were itchy over personal economics after having grown quite comfortable with the Parker's Brothers currency....and now were seeing themselves as one unlucky shake from landing on a hotel covered Boardwalk?


That sentiment and fears are, actually, quite correct. But the ensuing politics were hideous. It's difficult to keep from losing by simple acclamation. They are about to see in what shakes out of this new GOP Congress that their anonymous votes didn't place them all on some magic list that insulates them from reality.

Veteran Advisor

Re: China The Bully, credit for article

Credit for your paste Millie

Good thing China is the only country that throws its weight around like this. Just think what the world could be like if other countries tried telling sovereign countries on the other side of the world how they should do things.

Why it could be a dangerous world to live in.

Better shut China down so they do not claim things or influence people to not wear poppies.

Best just keep sending armies out to attack other countries and demand others not get new weapons to protect themselves under threat of invasion if they do.

Yep, China is a real problem like no other country in the world.Robot Mad

Re: China The Bully, credit for article

Bill -  Gilligan is not beyond the little plagairism now and again.  We know his writing style so something with thought behind it somehow looks suspicious.  He might like to add the link instead of gently attributing it to himself.

Veteran Advisor

Re: China The Bully

  They have taken the (false) theory of prosperity of WalMart and applied it to politics.


  A person just has to laugh, because if anybody contemplated how f#####g insane it actually is, they would beg for 12-12-2012 to really happen.