Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A648-W406

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A648-W406


Release Date: Aug. 20, 2011



Topic: The Awkwardness of the Current Sino-US Relations -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:中美关系的尴尬 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Awkwardness of the Current Sino-US Relations

-- Wei Jingsheng



Recently, a major event caused a lot of attention from both the Chinese people and the Western media.   During his visit to China, the person who received U.S. Vice President Biden was neither General Secretary of the Communist Party and President Hu Jintao, nor Premier Wen Jiabao, but Vice President Xi who likely will be the successor and is commonly called as the Prince by the Chinese people.


Xi Jinping and the visiting Vice President Biden, both of whom have no real power, planned five consecutive talks.  Two persons without real power having such solemn talks are already a little strange.  Yet, their talks received such serious attention by the international media, even more than for others.  What is the reason? 


The first is the straightforwardness of the Americans.  By going around the President and Premier who have real power with only a superficial desire of seeing each other's face, they went straight to the future president.  This is almost a little bit unreasonable.  The straightforwardness of the Americans is due to the fact that they have lost their patience with Hu and Wen after so many years.  Their meetings in the past were always going around the substance without real results.   Whether in economic issues, or on the topic of human rights and international politics, there were no results.  So the Americans simply put hope in the future, at least it could not be worse.


On the Chinese government side, there also were calculations.  Year after year, with the pressure from the US, the re-evaluation of the Chinese currency rate cannot be delayed without a reason anymore.  Hu and Wen's not talking with the Americans but instead letting a deputy without real power give the reception is a small trick by everyone.  After all, letting Prince Xi with his aggressive habits receive some pressure would be good, letting him learn the difficulty of managing everything rather than just giving some cheap and gloating talk to buy peoples' hearts easily, like what he did in Mexico a while ago.


To be fair, it is not easy for both Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.  On one side, they have to maintain the interests of the capitalists in both the USA and China, to protect the excessive profits made from the low human rights standard; on the other side; on the other side, they are facing pressure from both the USA and Chinese societies with the accusation of undermining the global economy, which certainly will earn them notoriety which will go down in history.  Today, when they are obviously left out by the Americans, they even have to thank the deputy who only knows nonchalant teasing for a shield.  Most of people do not have this kind of virtue of frustration tolerance.


Although Hu and Wen felt awkward, Vice president Xi Jinping was happy to accept this US-China meeting.  Through the hype of the international media, there was nothing to lose but to improve his own reputation.  Meanwhile, the successor position has been set, and there is no more worry of someone coming to grab the power.  This is exactly the right opportunity to end his period of hiding capacity and biding his time.  Thus, during Xi's talk with US Vice President Biden, he showed his own policy: Americans should take care of their own business, and not make the Chinese take responsibility for the United States.  That is the interpretation to take from the official words: Americans have the best capacity to endure and the ability to repair themselves.  We believe that Americans should take care of themselves and not trouble us.


This tone is even tougher than that of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.  The direct statement is that the existing Sino-US relations system will be maintained without change, and the interests of the big capitalists of both countries will be solidly maintained without change.  When these two issues are maintained without change, there is a guarantee of a stable foundation enduring before Prince Xi comes to power.  With the support of the interest groups of both China and the U.S., he will sit tight on the fishing spot of succession.  From another perspective, the view to entrust hope of reforming China's current system in the leadership of the new term probably does not have much basis.


It is very normal for Xi Jinping to make this gesture.  The Communist Party of China is already a regime for major capitalist interest groups.  Without guaranteeing the interests of the big capitalists, it is impossible to become a successor.  The future of the country and interests of the people will always be on the lower level.  This order is determined by the nature of the Communist Party. 


However, the nature of the United States is different.  It is a democratic country, which has to take care of the interests of the state and the people.  While contributions from the big capitalists have a strong influence on the politicians, the interests of the country and the people cannot be ignored.  Next year is a big election year; whether the Democrats are to stay in power will be determined by a change in the pattern of Sino-US trade in this one year, and a quick recovery of the U.S. economy.


Time is really running out.  In the past, the US administration has put hopes on Hu and Wen, but never got results.  So this time, the U.S. administration had to be a little unreasonable -- to use Prince Xi to stimulate the current power holders in China.  From Prince Xi's open gesture, the Americans have to be disappointed.  What the Obama administration hoped for was that the Chinese government comes forward to offend the international capitalists, while the Americans get all the benefits.  But this calculation was not wise.  Prince Xi is right; do not bother us with your problems.  We have our own problems.  If you democratic countries do not even dare to offend the interests of international capital for the interest of your country and your people, why should this one-party dictatorial state help your politicians take the benefit with a risk in the way of picking up the roasted chestnuts from the fire?  Moreover, in the existing benefit structure, we are the beneficial party, so there is no need for us to change. 


The succession system of a one-party dictatorship is relatively stable, because its self-reproduction has nothing to link with the interests of the people and the country.  A democratic state is different.  If one does not care about the interests of people, then one has to step down.  So this time the real awkward part is that of the Obama administration and the U.S. Democratic Party.  No matter how friendly the gesture they pose to the Chinese Communists, it is impossible for that Party to give up its own interests to take care of them.  Just as Prince Xi said: you are better to think of ways to take care of yourself.


Or we can observe from another perspective.  We may view this China visit by Vice President Biden as President Obama's last hope for the international capitalists.  They still hoped to reach mutual compromises with China which are beneficial to both; for China to make more concessions on the currency rate, to tweak the trade deficit between China and the U.S.  Then Obama could weather the storm, which will let the international capital continue to earn excess profits for a few more years. 


But this approach is too naive because it would undermine the basis of rule for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  If the CCP lost the support of big capitalists, Prince Xi's status could change in this long year.  Even if Hu and Wen might accept this compromise, for Prince Xi it would be absolutely unacceptable.  Although burning the bridge behind you is not moral, it is still possible.  However, if one dismantles this bridge before crossing the river, then it is foolish for sure.  The reason for Hu and Wen to relinquish haughty airs and let Prince Xi pick up this hot potato in style, is because that they have calculated that Prince Xi will not dismantle the bridge before he crossed over the river.  It also illustrates their shared position of solidarity in not making compromises with the USA.


So it seems that the awkwardness of Sino-US relations is primarily the awkwardness of President Obama.  He wants to eat fish without getting the fishy smell: on the one hand he wants to be the U.S. president, but on the other hand he also wants to be the president of international capitalists.  This is almost impossible in the current circumstances when both sides have a conflict of interest.  Vice President Biden's China visit should break all their fantasies.  Americans really should learn to take care of their own affairs, and especially should not pin their hopes on the hostile Communist Party in China.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on August 19, 2011.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A648-W406

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A648-W406


Release Date: Aug. 20, 2011



Topic: The Awkwardness of the Current Sino-US Relations -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:中美关系的尴尬 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生










































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