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Thayer The U.S. Promotes Democracy, China Lectures the United States

Thayer The U.S. Promotes Democracy, China Lectures the United States

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Published by Carlyle Alan Thayer
An analysis of Secretary Clinton's speech in Mongolia promoting democracy and indirectly criticizing China's development model.
An analysis of Secretary Clinton's speech in Mongolia promoting democracy and indirectly criticizing China's development model.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Carlyle Alan Thayer on Jul 14, 2012
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07/17/2012

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Background Briefing:The U.S. Promotes Democracy,China Lectures the United StatesCarlyle A. ThayerJuly 11, 2012
[client name deleted]
How do you interpret Clinton’s statement in Mongolia and China’s reaction? Is there
going to be any progress during this meeting or is the thing going to stay stalled withChina insisting on bilateral talks?ANSWER: Secretary Clinton was in Mongolia to attend the fourth meeting of theGoverning Council of the Community of Democracies and to launch the LEND(Leaders Engaged in New Democracies) Network. She had to make the point thatdemocracy and democratic values are universal and can flourish in Asia as well as
Europe or North America. She hit at the Achilles heel of China’s development model
by challenging the assumption that economic growth and authoritarian rule leads topolitical stability. This touched the raw nerve of the Chinese who still view the U.S. asout to engineer peaceful evolution in China. Chinese commentary once againretorted that U.S. policy only stirs up conflict. The Chinese media called for peacefulcoexistence.The most interesting commentary came from the
People’s Daily 
that argued
Clinton’s policy showed the hidden American agenda towards Vietnam. Vietnam, the
commentary declar
ed, “is following the path of China, realizing rapid developmentby taking the road of gradual reform.” The sub
-text was if Vietnam wanted a
strategic partnership with the U.S. against China, it would have “to give up its currentpath of development”, in other words, change its political system. The People’s Daily
further argued that Vietnam cannot have its cake and eat it, meaning Vietnamcannot have good relations with China and the United States and keep its domesticpolitical forces under control. Expressing concern about U.S. in-roads in Vietnam, the
People’s Daily asserted, “The only viable path for Vietnam is to coordinate withChina to limit the US pivot to Asia.”
 
In summary, China has tried to deflect Secretary Clinton’s message by harping on
two themes. The US pivot to Asia is all about gaining a military advantage in order tocontain China. Second, the US seeks regime change in both China and Vietnam byencouraging democracy and human rights, in other words by peaceful evolution.Given the power shift now underway in China, nationalist sentiment over Chinese
sovereignty claims in the East China and South China Seas, Clinton’s remarks touched
Thayer Consultancy
ABN # 65 648 097 123

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