Sunday, November 19, 2006
I've been watching news of the APEC summit with considerable interest. For one thing, coming on the heels of the election in which one of the principles was repudiated, I find it interesting and ironic that the meeting is being held in Vietnam, with the President of the US going there through Singapore (probably to ask Lee Kwan Yew how he was able to create and keep a one party government-giving only the appearance of a real democracy with none of the substance.). Then at the summit, Bush sits down with talks with the leader of a nation that: 1) routinely executes significant numbers of its citizens, 2) rules an non indigenous population by force, and 3) does not allow religious freedom. They do make great clothes for Wal-mart however.
As you can guess I am talking about China. Which despite its pretenses at greater economic opportunity, is still a repressive police state. Not quite on the scale of this guy, but not exactly an open place for discussion either. China's crimes are well documented, go to any of my Hong Kong blogs or over to the Peking Duck and nose around a little bit. You can also check here.
Now mind you I'm not saying that we should not deal with China, but its a little hypocritical to get up on our high horse about not talking to repressive regimes in one part of the world, and then turn around and talk with the very nation who is financing their adventures. However, they are still Ok to trade with. When Mr Bush says that, he needs to remember the Chinese mind set:
Americans [need to] think the Chinese lie and steal.
China's morality is not the same as ours. Ours is based on Judeo-Christian
values. China's is not.
Key to dealing with China is to get into a network. Real Guanxi.
Chinese mindset is the following:
Tomorrow never comes.
When it does, you can start all over anyway.
Never tell anyone what you are
doing unless you know what will be done with that information.
Take the opportunity, even if that means breaking a contract.
Nobody operates independently. Survival depends on a network.
Do not trust anyone and respect only those in your network.
Teamwork and transparency are a drain on the system .
That little tidbit provides great insight into why getting them to play ball on North Korea is so hard. However it is probably good advice for the Middle East as well. Question is: will Mr Bush listen?