The Obama administration rolled out the red carpet for the President of China, Hu Jintao. I think Mr. Jintao may have been offered a honorary Golden Globe, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Whatever it takes to improve relations with the Chinese. State dinner? No problem. I wonder what’s on the menu?
The Chinese may not be a superpower yet, but they are an economic force of international importance. And they are the largest holder of U.S. debt at 900 billion with Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, despite a rocky human rights record, their manipulation of their own currency which makes their goods cheaper to buy, and their penchant for stealing intellectual property.
The thing is, money talks. When you’re holding most of the chips, you get the royal treatment – champagne on the house. We don’t want to make our largest creditor mad. If he asks for a cold Coors light, don’t question his judgment, even though you know it is not the best beer the U.S. has to offer, and may even be the worst. Don’t give in to the temptation to suggest a PBR or a Sam Adams Winter Lager instead and risk offending the Chinese President.
If President Obama can manage some concessions from the Chinese leader in exchange for the red carpet treatment, a nice steak dinner and a domestic beer, I’d say the beer summit would be a major success, one that the Republicans could do little to diminish.
And what concessions would be most welcome? First, Obama needs to press China on human rights abuses. Second, he should demand a stop to currency manipulation. Let Chinese goods compete on a level playing field. Third, the President must make the case for more access to Chinese markets. Let the people taste a Sam Adams, drive a Chevy Camaro and make iPad art. Fourth, open up the Internet to allow the people of China to decide for themselves what’s going on in the world. Fifth, stop the pirating – the truth is, Hollywood movies are a tad overrated. Sixth, stop the theft of intellectual property – come on, just buy the software already.Innovate more. It’s fun, and addictive too like iPad art.