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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 08:07 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 08:07 | SYDNEY

Is the US-China relationship Bush's 'greatest legacy'?

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11 November 2008 14:26

That's what Thomas Barnett argues in this op-ed:

This sort of effort at grooming a great power for a greater role in international affairs is a careful balancing act, and the Bush team sounded most of the right notes, from reassuring nervous allies in Asia, to avoiding the temptation of trade retaliation while simultaneously pressuring Beijing for more economic liberalization, to drawing China into the dynamics of great power negotiation over compelling regional issues like the nuclear programs in both North Korea and Iran.

We can always complain that Bush-Cheney didn't do more to solidify this most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century, but we cannot fault them for any lasting mistakes, and that alone is quite impressive.

Although that stuff about 'grooming' is a little condescending, I think Barnett is on to something. And as for 'drawing China into great power negotiations over compelling regional issues', I guess we can now add the G20 leaders' meeting that Bush has convened to discuss the financial crisis.

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