Wednesday, September 05, 2007

But a reminder why people like a World with the West

Not everyone thinks that a world where China--at least present-day China--could play a greater role in setting forward the rules and regulations of the international system would be a good thing.

What does "playing by the rules" mean? Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib, who heads Indonesia's version of the Food and Drug Administration, says that when Jakarta complained to China about contaminated products (mercury-laced makeup, dried fruit treated wtih industrial chemicals, etc.), Beijing's response was that Indonesia should lower its safety standards.

So we may in fact be seeing states hedging against both American and Chinese dominance--embracing a "world without the West" when it reduces America's freedom of action but also demanding a "world with the West" in terms of maintaining level playing fields. Devin Stewart, Director of the Global Policy Innovations program at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, observes: "The things that make China frightening to 'the West' as a shaper of international norms and as a possible dominant power in the global system are the things that will make problems" for acceptance of Chinese leadership.

From an Indian perspective, an ideal world is one where America, China and Russia balance each other out and for a country like India to have good but compartmentalized relations with all three, friendly to all three but never drawn into an alliance of one against the others. So I think that you will have two global orders and will have many states shifting back and forth between them.
Hm. A level playing field? Like the one where the world sends stuff to the US, and the US sends collossally mis-rated mortgage-backed securities to the world?

That ain't a level playing field either.
I see China is beginning to quietly dump its holdings of US Treasuries ...
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