by Shamus Cooke
Global Research, February 5, 2009
While campaigning to be president, Obama gave the general impression that he would act “cooperatively” to solve international problems, moving away from the Bush strategy of irresponsible “unilateralism.”
But Obama took an aggressive stance towards China even on the campaign trail, including the accusations of “currency manipulation,” “violating intellectual property rights,” and “devaluing their goods.” Of course the average American cares nothing about these types of crimes, nor should they.
Some U.S. corporations, however, care very much about such things, as their profits are threatened by China’s rise. U.S. politicians looking for a good scapegoat also aim their fire at China, so they themselves can pretend to do something while continuing to do nothing of substance, aside from using US tax dollars to feed the money-hungry banks.
Obama is now following through with his promise to “aggressively confront China,” and the implications are profound.
It is no exaggeration to say that the U.S.-China economic relationship, which is central to the functioning of the larger world economy, is already in tatters. This precarious partnership was dysfunctional from the beginning: China was to build the world’s products and lend money to the U.S. so that these products would then be purchased.
Such an agreement can work in the short run but is based largely on colossal U.S. debt, the hyper-exploitation of Chinese workers, and the de-industrialization of the U.S. It was not meant to last, nor could it.
Bush worked madly to maintain good relations with the Chinese, brushing off demands of Republicans and Democrats alike to go on the attack.