Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama Visits China



This week President Obama made a trip to Asia and His most important stop was in China.  Considering China is a communist country, the relationship with the United States has never been warm and inviting.  The US knows that we need China for their work force and their ability to buy our debt, and they know that the US has the thirst for the products they produce.  It is a relationship of need rather then one of want or respect.

Obama  met with Chinese President Hu Jintao to discuss economic policy, climate change, and to establish joint cooperation in meeting these challenges.   Both men know that when one country is not fairing well the other is affected.  Working together is in the best interests of both countries and they are willing to do so to benefit each others interests.

Not much was actually agreed upon during the two day meeting other than they agreed to work together and be partners going forward regarding the major issues the world faces.  Some analysis' will say  that this was a failed trip because nothing was signed and there was no firm agreement on any of these major issues Obama came to discuss.  If you look at it from a historical perspective however, keeping close contact with our once and potentially future enemy is always a smart move.


Take a look at 1933 for example, Adolf Hitler was elected Head Chancellor of Germany.  This is a full 6 years before World War 2 started.  Did you know that Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and even Joseph Stalin never met Hitler in person?  3 of the most powerful heads of state in the world never actually sat down with Hitler to settle their differences.  Now Churchill was not Prime Minister of Great Britian until 1940, but his predecessor Neville Chamberlain met him twice, but only right before the war to prevent it from occurring.  Roosevelt and Stalin were in their position the entire time Hilter was in power.  

Part of the reason WW2 occurred was that the relations with Germany were non-existent.  Hitler was able to build up an army (which was forbidden by The Treaty of Versailles after World War 1) for 5 years and built an infrastructure that would surpass every other country in the world.  Along with doing this, Germany was allowed to spread the word of hate for years with very little international pressure.

The United States and China keeping close contact even if they don't accomplish anything is a good.  This allows the lines of communication to stay open for the times that our countries do disagree, there will be a dialogue first.  Unfortunately long term there is almost no getting around  the fact the the US and China will butt heads.  As China becomes more and more powerful economically and militarily, it may cause major problems down the road.  Keeping that open dialogue  may prevent future wars, something that obviously was not done in the 1930's.  Even when the Soviet Union was in power our leaders kept in contact because even though we were enemies, we did not want war.  

Obama is showing that we have learned from the mistakes that caused WW2.  Keeping our friends close and our enemies closer.  For as long as we are on this earth China will never be a friend, but at best an acquaintance.  Our two countries will lead this world for the next 100 years together, and the worlds ability to survive during that time and into the future may very well depend on how well we get along.

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