Oh happy days, citizens. All our troubles with China are but a distant memory.
President Xi Jinping is paying us a visit and after sitting down with Barack Obama the pair almost immediately announced that a new deal had been reach. Neither country is going to engage in cyberspace warfare over intellectual property. Don’t you all feel better now?
The United States and China have agreed that neither country will conduct economic espionage in cyberspace in a deal that addresses a major source of tension in the bilateral relationship.
The pact also calls for a process aimed at helping to ensure compliance.
The agreement, reached in talks Thursday and Friday between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, has the potential — if it is upheld — to alleviate one of the most significant threats to U.S. economic and national security.
“The question now is,” Obama said in a joint news conference with Xi on Friday, “are words followed by actions?”
When President Obama – not exactly known for being the shrewdest negotiator in the board room – is concluding a deal by questioning his partner as to whether they will actually live up to the promise you know we’re on pretty thin ice. Then again, why would anyone doubt the sincerity of the Chinese? It’s not like they go around breaking promises all of the time.
China entered into a type of cap and trade scheme with the United States which was being negotiated back during the President’s first term and supposedly “finalized” last year. Of course no sooner was the deal announced than people noticed that the Chinese had no intention of making any changes for at least a decade, and much of the claimed reductions were coming from things they already planned to do as old equipment as taken out of service and modified. Also, they manged to buy themselves ten years worth of good will without putting anything on the table up front, leaving themselves room to simply change their mind a decade from now.
Another great example of their promises is the fact that China has repeatedly promised to engage in human rights reforms and to stop treating their subjects like slaves with absolutely no rights. We’ve been hearing that since the Nixon administration. How’s that working out?
Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and Communist Party have unleashed the harshest campaign of politically motivated investigations, detentions, and sentencing in the past decade, marking a sharp turn toward intolerance of criticism, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.
“Under President Xi, China is rapidly retreating from rights reforms and the Party’s promise to ‘govern the country according to law,’” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Repression of critics is the worst in a decade, and there appears to be no end in sight.”
This “deal” isn’t worth the paper they didn’t even bother to print it on. It serves the purpose of getting at least some of the critics to tone down the catcalls while the White House plays host to and throws dinner parties for somebody who is absolutely no friend of ours. The Chinese have been taking us for a ride for ages and if they didn’t hold so much of our paper somebody would likely have given them a swift kick in the pants long ago. But at least Barack Obama got a promise out of them, so that’s better than nothing, right?
If so, it’s not much better.