Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lessons learned

In China, Xi Jinping addressed a group of students at a symposium. He told them that government officials must uphold their principles. He told them that government officials must have personal integrity. Personal integrity is the most important quality for a government official, according to Xi.

Remember, back at the beginning of 2010, Japan told America that our two countries should work together to “shape China’s choices.” On one level, that meant we would reveal the truth in order to convince China to revalue the yuan.

But in retrospect, I think Japan wanted to teach China a lesson. You cannot do things the western way and hope to succeed. If you try to reach prosperity by violating your principles, if you lie, if you commit acts of terrorism, if you rip people off, eventually, your trickery will catch up with you. Your actions will invite retribution and they will make you susceptible to extortion, as there are people who know what you’ve done and they can use that knowledge against you. The best way to avoid getting stuck in that situation (which is where the West is now), is to uphold your principles and live with integrity.

I believe Japan wanted to teach China this lesson so that when China becomes more powerful she will behave responsibly. If this recent symposium is any sign, perhaps Japan was successful. Perhaps having the Obama administration show China how not to run the world has encouraged China to pursue “more responsible interactions with the rest of the world.”

By the way, right now someone is “telling” me that Japan also wanted to make sure that I learned this lesson.

Ooh, those treacherous guys. They really take the cake.

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