Wednesday, September 05, 2007
But a reminder why people like a World with the West
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.
That ain't a level playing field either.