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Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 02:06 | SYDNEY
Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 02:06 | SYDNEY

Another look at Bush's China record

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12 November 2008 14:13

Dominic Meagher at East Asia Forum is far less kind to the Bush Administration's record on China than I was yesterday. Dominic's critique puts me in mind of this James Fallows anecdote, the moral of which is that, had it not been for 9/11, the same neoconservative faction that created the war in Iraq would have fomented a conflict with China.

We're never going to know if that's true, but because John McCain had so many of the same foreign policy instincts as President Bush, I argued some months ago that the danger of conflict with China would be higher under McCain than under Obama. Hugh White, some readers will recall, disagreed. He argued that, as a tough Republican, McCain had the political capital to 'do a Nixon' and create a sustainable modus vivendi with China.

What interests me, however, is the possibility that Bush may already have done this. It is way too early to say what will come of the G20 as an institution, but if, as Graeme Dobell speculates, it becomes a modern equivalent of the Concert of Europe, we may have George W Bush to thank for the decisive move that  makes China an active participant in the global order rather than a resentful and unsatisfied outsider.

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