China rising to occasion

Just in case you are wondering, let me confirm that I’d make a lousy president. There is no way that I could have survived the visit of China’s President Hu Jintao this week without provoking some kind of international incident which would no doubt be known for years afterward as the Abbott and Costello Affair.

“Who is sitting here?”

“Yes, he is.”

“What?”

“No, Hu.”

“Who?”

“That’s what I said.”

Kidding aside, you’ve got to hand it to the Chinese these days. They are flexing their international muscles and the message is unmistakable: Who are we? We are the country that wants to be the world’s dominant power in economics, trade, research, education and technology. America? Uh, yeah … you and Great Britain can go tend your tomatoes at the Superpower Retirement Home.

Part of the way China is pulling off this trick was on display during this week’s visit. Chinese officials proudly declared themselves ready to negotiate as equal partners; but when pushed on environmental concerns or human rights or any number of other thorns, they are quick to slap on a different mask. That’s when they portray themselves as a “developing” country, which might suffer great harm if held to the standards of others.

There may be some truth to that. China has made enormous strides, but it still faces the huge challenges that come from having more than a billion citizens. (For example, parking room for the annual All China picnic.)

But this is also something of a stalking horse. Sure, they’ve got problems, but they also have a hugely aggressive space program, they are cranking engineers out like sausages and they are engaging the world’s markets with shrewdness and tenacity. In other words, they are moving every day more firmly into position to say they are no longer struggling, but dominating. 

They are not there yet. But for a country that measures its history by millennia, a few more years of waiting while they amass their power is nothing.

Who are they? China. That’s Hu.

–CNN’s Tom Foreman is a regular on “AC360°”/www.ac360.com and “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull.”

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.