Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species published in 1859, once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” If true, the new administration is off to a good start with China. Why? The Middle Kingdom’s global status has increased significantly and President Obama appears to have recognized it.

For example, in 2008 China became the world’s third largest economy and America’s second largest trading partner. And China can be a very important partner in our efforts to end the global economic crisis, denuclearize North Korea and prevent further development of its multi-stage long range missile, fight global terrorism, and seek and implement environmentally-friendly energy alternatives.

The importance of this partnership was reflected in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s February 20th visit to China, where she delivered a message of cooperation. When asked by U.S. reporters about various contentious issues, she explained the need to reach consensus with the Chinese on broader issues, and agree to disagree on difficult ones.

Although problems remain, the Obama administration recognizes that China makes a better friend than enemy and is implementing a policy of constructive engagement.

Unfortunately, many Members of the 111th Congress have not recognized China’s new status or how a favorable U.S.-China relationship can benefit the world, and are likely to push anti-China legislation. The outcome of this coming battle will define U.S.-China relations for some time.

This article appeared in Impact Analysis, March-April 2009.

John Manzella
About The Author John Manzella [Full Bio]
John Manzella, founder of the Manzella Report, is a world-recognized speaker, author of several books, and an international columnist on global business, trade policy, labor, and the latest economic trends. His valuable insight, analysis and strategic direction have been vital to many of the world's largest corporations, associations and universities preparing for the business, economic and political challenges ahead.

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