George Gilder has penned a most curious op-ed in The Wall Street Journal concerning China.
Gilder criticizes the Obama Administration's new approach to China. Whether Obama's new stance towards China will bear fruit is worthy of debate. However, Gilder does make one strange observation:
A foreign policy of serious people at a time of crisis will recognize that the current Chinese regime is the best we can expect from that country. The Chinese revitalization of Asian capitalism remains the most important positive event in the world in the last 30 years. Not only did it release a billion people from penury and oppression but it transformed China from a communist enemy of the U.S. into a now indispensable capitalist partner.
Could you imagine if Ronald Reagan had said Constantine Chernenko was the best we could hope for from the Soviet Union? Somehow I doubt the practitioners of Catholicism, Falun Gong plus a score of dissidents would agree their fellow countrymen have been released from penury and oppression nor would they agree the revitalization of Asian capitalism eclipses the fall of The Berlin Wall. Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic and a former political prisoner, certainly doesn't agree. What would Gilder have to say to the wife of Gao Zhisheng?
Gilder goes on to argue that China is as threaten by radical Islam as the United States. That might very well be true. But China certainly isn't behaving as if it is. China is vigorously opposed to the imposition of sanctions against Iran. Now if al-Qaeda or some other Islamic terrorist organization were to pull off an attack in China on the scale of 9/11 or greater then Hu, Wen and company might change their tune. A shoulder to shoulder alliance with the Chinese could be to the War on Terror what Stalin joining the Allies was to WWII. Yet I think that is wishful thinking. But even if that were to come to pass we all know what happened to U.S.-Soviet relations once Germany fell.
Gilder concludes his article by asking, "How many enemies do we need?" What makes him think China isn't already our enemy?