As the balance of energy, innovation, trade, wealth, power and influence continues to rapidly shift throughout the world, China and the US are finding themselves forced to confront a difficult process of constant adjustment. At the same time, much of what we have grown accustomed to when thinking about our own country and China over the past century is called into question.
We will not only find ourselves needing to recalibrate how we look at and treat each other, but how we look at our own political and economic systems. In short, more than at any time in our living memory, this reformatting of our relationship with China will require us to be better informed about what is going on in China, more politically astute about the strengths and weaknesses of each system and ever more diplomatically flexible about how we deal with each other.
The enormity of this challenge and the suddenness with which it has come upon us, is the subject of this "on-stage conversation" between New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and long-time China writer and Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations, Orville Schell.
Thomas L. Friedman
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. His foreign affairs column in The New York Times, which appears twice a week, reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflict, international economics, the environment, biodiversity, and energy. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six best-selling books: From Beirut to Jerusalem; The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11; The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century; and Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America. His most recent book, That Used to Be Us: How American Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, is co-written with Michael Mandelbaum.
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of 14 books, nine of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are Virtual Tibet, The China Reader, and Mandate of Heaven. He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many others. He is a fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a senior fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of the Overseas Press Club Award and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize for Asian Reporting.
Thomas Friedman explains that despite accusations, he does not support China's one-party autocracy -- though he does respect its embrace of Reaganism and capitalism. "What we envy is not their forced labor, the hard labor of their political prisoners," says Friedman, "but the harder labor of people just trying to build a different future."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman compares the economic rise of China on the world stage to the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, a key moment that escalated the Cold War and sent the United States into crisis mode.
Author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman praises Anderson Cooper for deconstructing Michele Bachmann's claim on his CNN show that President Obama's trip to India was costing tax payers $200 million a day. "She peddled a lie that she made no effort whatsoever to check, and yet she's on Fox every week," says Friedman on the state of journalism.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.Country, eastern Asia. Area: 3,696,100 sq mi (9,572,900 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 1,331,433,000. Capital: Beijing. It is the world's most populous country, the Han (ethnic Chinese) forming more than nine-tenths of the population. Languages: dialects of Han Chinese, Mandarin being the most important. Religions: traditional beliefs, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Daoism (all legally sanctioned). Currency: renminbi (of which the unit is the yuan). China has several topographic regions. The southwestern area contains the Plateau of Tibet, which averages more than 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above sea level; its core area, averaging more than 16,000 ft (5,000 m) in elevation, is called the Roof of the World and provides the headwaters for many of Asia's major rivers. Higher yet are the border ranges, the Kunlun Mountains to the north and the Himalayas to the south. China's northwestern region stretches from Afghanistan to the Northeast (Manchurian) Plain. The Tien Shan (Celestial Mountains) separate China's two major interior basins, the Tarim Basin (containing the Takla Makan Desert) and the Junggar Basin. The Mongolian Plateau contains the southernmost part of the Gobi Desert. The lowlands of the eastern region include the Sichuan Basin, which runs along the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang); the Yangtze divides the eastern region into northern and southern parts. The Tarim is the major river in the northwest. China's numerous other rivers include the Huang He (Yellow River), Xi, Sungari (Songhua), Zhu (Pearl), and Lancang, which becomes the Mekong in Southeast Asia. The country is a single-party people's republic with one legislative house. The head of state is the president, and the head of government is the premier.
Is there anything in China that we can learn? Well, dah! Like keep jobs and industries in your country! "Rediscovering America"? How about taxing corporations for products produced abroad? What is this an exercise in making people even more stupid after an "enlightened" conversation? His language is poor, his ideas are non-existence and his demeanor is all about wool, wool and more wool into your head!
Friedman is totally off his rocker. He talks about time when we used to build things that were "big, hard and heavy". Really???? We don't even remember what they were called? Like railroads, power stations, chemical plants, steel plants, industrial machinery. Arghhhhhhh! What nonsense!
Are you writing in English. I have been working in Asia and meet Anglos that are taken by the place. Women appear to be the answer when I delve into why. Westerners get treated like special people in Asia. We have a saying about Western men in Asia are punching above their weight.
The USA has dug this hole for itself through being so arrogant. As the above. theknopfknows says: the Chinese are a very different culture. We have spent to little time trying to understand them, just, how to embed our corporations. The only reason this was done peacefully is because they have so many people. The paradigm for sharing the earth has to be changed not just by the USA but everyone.
We can continue this jealousy oriented competition or we can co-operate to make the earth a great place for everyone. This includes stopping the screaming of nationalistic slogans. We are very far away from resolving these issues because we do not know how to use the assets we have which is people. Anyone can win "On Any Given Sunday". What this means is that someone will lose...and the competition continues for resources that not be renewed - NAME ONE.
Chinese are very smart people, they have in Buddhism a smart religion and philosophy: China is now an economic power house but they need America and together we will have a much better planet.
Poverty is the real enemy of our beautiful planet, take out poverty , all dictatorships and extremist will fold and disseminate into dust. Thanks ForaTv love you folks this conversation seems weak, the year of the Dragon will let you know who is the boss! Thanks again.
to borrow from above viewer : CONFUCIUS said "If man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand". "What the superior man seeks, is in himself,
What the mean man seeks is in others"
Friedman can't even bear to see US in its true self. Yes, we should all go back to in time and learn from history. A nation as recent as in the 60's was still trying to systemically segregate a group of its own minority citizen did not and could not have built its wealth and leadership position in the world based on excellency or promoting human assets. If someone like Friedman can't wake up and smell the coffee to recognize that US has created a false self-image that has been perpetuated from the inception of its nationhood. It is this false self-image that is hurting yourself. Most US citizens believe that they are exceptionally gifted, should be important, deserve the best, and lead the world, all that not earned through hard works or being excellent but bestowed upon for the good fortune of being born in good old USA. Most of the advantages that US enjoyed to gain its leadership position and build its corporate leaders are gone: cheap labour and free land and resources. US is still doing it but it is costing a lot more through military actions. Unfortunately, now mostly only the corporations are reaping the benefits not the nation itself.
Thanks ForaTv love you folks this conversation seems weak, the year of the Dragon will let you know who is the boss! Thanks again.
CONFUCIUS said "If man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand". "What the superior man seeks, is in himself,
What the mean man seeks is in others"