Iraq is screwing the US. It's sucking up all of our foreign policy experts and in turn, allowing China to supersede the US in the Asia Pacific Rim countries. Currently the 21 member nations/economies are all in Sydney at this years annual APEC leaders meeting. APEC in 2007 is offering something is a little different this year.
We in the blogging community have focused in on the extreme security apparatus that the NSW government has erected to 'protect the leaders', which in turn is leading to the largest assault on civil liberties in Australia since its inception. In short the security apparatus displays a 21 nation assault on democrazy. The issue is important, yet there are other underlying concerns that we should be paying attention to.
"APEC has grown from an informal dialogue of 12 Pacific Rim economies to a major regional institution with 21 members, accounting for about 40 percent of the world's population, about 56 percent of the world's gross domestic product, and about 48 percent of world trade."No one is focusing in on the historic moment of the first time China will be represented by their President directly. Usually China is represented by a ministerial level position. In fact, President Hu Jintao has been in Australia for the past week. He was the first head of state to arrive for the 21 member 'political festival'.
APEC remains America's primary vehicle for advancing both economic cooperation and trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region. US Department of State
In my view this is a sure sign of China's ambition in the Asia-Pacific region. The decision by President Hu Jintao displays China's rising preeminence in the region. They are filling the power vacuum as the US focuses in on 'blood oil' in Iraq. The Middle East debacle has forced US foreign policy experts to neglect the Asia-Pacific region for years. Perhaps Richard Armitage said it best earlier this week when he stated,
"in every measure, China is making real hay right throughout Asia...It's not that we're ignoring Asia a little bit; we're ignoring it totally. We're playing foreign policy at the moment like five-year- olds play soccer, everyone is going after the ball at once rather than cover the whole field...Right now, we're just so preoccupied with Iraq that we're ignoring Asia totally."APEC 2007 offers the US a unique opportunity to discuss US/CHINA relations directly, even intimately...with an entire security structure built around them, yet Bush and Rice instead must leave early to prepare for the Sept. Petreaus Report.
"In almost every measure - military budgets, population growths, the need for raw materials - our interests will force us back to Asia," he said.
The Australian 9/3/07
Mr Armitage, in an exclusive interview with The Australian, lambasted what he described as her "disastrous decision to miss two out of three ASEAN regional forums". Dr Rice missed the ASEAN meeting in Laos in 2005 and again earlier this year in Manila. She has also declined to stay for the second day of this year's APEC leaders' summit in Sydney on Sunday, which Mr Bush is skipping. Mr Bush will be represented at Sunday's meeting by US trade representative Susan Schwab. Dr Rice will fly home with the President rather than spend the day with 20 other Asia-Pacific leaders. The Australian 9/3/07Pathetic. Another opportunity missed. China not Iraq, not Iran, is where US foreign policy must be directed. Iran and the nuclear option is important, yes. But one cannot forget the macro level view of international relations. China is our 'true' rival. China is who we will be dealing with for decades. Our current relationship with China will lead to our next Cold War. Cold War II if you will. In fact, China is now thought to be providing weapons to the Taliban through their proxy, Iran.
...the US President, who has shortened his trip to Australia to return to Washington in time for a crucial report on the progress of the Iraq war
The Australian 9/5/07
"Diplomats have told Chinese leaders that on several occasions arms manufactured in their country have been recovered after attacks on Allied soldiers by Afghan insurgents.Think about it...Iran is not hacking into the Pentagon. Iran is not injecting the world with lead based products. Iran is not exporting toothpaste laced with antifreeze. Iran is not purchasing the entire secondary mortgage market of the US. CHINA is! Our current administration continues to fail US. Their priorities are backward...not forward looking. They are defending the status quo, while allowing the US to crumble around them..all in the name of 'blood oil'. The same people who gave US Cold War I are finalizing their plans that will definitely lead US into Cold War II. Their homeland is rising.
Among the weapons found in the hands of the Taliban are Chinese made surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, land mines, rocket propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs. news.scotsman 9/4/07
Same Players. Different Scandal.