Xi and the Sea (Lanes)

February 20, 2012

The presumptive next leader of the PRC just paid the U.S. a visit, and apparently the media here are quite taken with his more approachable, Chinese and American pop culture infused manner of communicating.

I think it is important to keep the substantive differences in the Sino-American relationship in mind, however.  The CCP isn’t going to let the yuan float or allow greater local political autonomy in Tibet just because the next head of the PRC references “Mission: Impossible” or other American cultural fare.

After all, this is a regime that has raised ‘pop culture as an opiate for the masses’ into an ironic art form

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In other reviews of scenes from the world stage, Iran has both cut off oil shipments to the UK and France and threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz.   Clearly the IRI is angling for a nomination in the yearly Shooting Self in Foot Awards, but as I’m looking back at Operation Ajax via the excellent All the Shah’s Men, I can’t help but think that the more things change the more they stay the same.  Particularly in the Middle East.  Sixty years ago Britain was furious that Iranian nationalism dare stand in the way of its oil.

Now Britain imports no Iranian oil, letting it coolly and consistently push for greater sanctions.   If only the US could say fifty years from now that the Iraq war moved us on a similar path away from oil period.

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