Steven Weber and Ely Ratner are smart guys. Their op-ed today in the Los Angeles Times, on globalization, made a lot of sense. Dominant nations are looked upon to solve some of the injustices of this world. And all the US really has to do, in order to regain its respect, is to act as though the rest of the planet exists, and to engage in some true global social responsibility.
Big nations have to act like big-minded nations.
I suppose I depart from the authors about Red China. They believe that as American power declines, Communist Chinese power rises. And that brings hope, they think.
It brings me a sense of concern, especially in the countries in which Red China operates. I would have thought this month’s ballistic missile test would be enough to remind people that the Bamboo Curtain exists. Perhaps the op-ed was written before the test became public.
Casting aside political ideology, whichever nation leads us in the 21st century—right now, it still looks like the US—it must behave like a large nation, a leader that has the highest moral and ethical standards.
It is not a nation that cries like a baby each time things don’t go its way, but believes in its own righteousness because it is backed by justice.
It is not a nation that gets so offended by little things, such as someone else’s ﬂag being displayed, that it cries foul and accuses people of politicization.
It is not a nation that gets upset by history, but seeks to make the world better.
On that last note, I was told an amusing, but true, anecdote, about Red China getting upset at the 50th anniversary of the UN because the ﬂag of the Republic of China—a founding member of the UN—could be seen. To appease the Reds, the Communist Chinese ﬂag was Photoshopped in. And if you read your history correctly, the People’s Republic of China did not even exist when the UN was founded.
This sort of behaviour keeps reminding us that we are dealing with a nation that does not understand nationhood, or the responsibility of being a global power. It acts like a small nation, because it knows its foundations are weak, like the child who hides candy behind his back and says he has never seen it. Or the bully whose anger is founded on insecurity. And when that behaviour rises to the fore and adopts a position of inﬂuence, we are in trouble. Posted by Jack Yan, 22:21
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