A Matter of Distance and Perspective

July 7, 2010

President Obama demonstrates that he does not understand the Chinese thought process in his response to President Hu Jintao of China over how to handle North Korea’s recent sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval ship.

The New York Times Asia Pacific section reports that President Obama has accused Beijing of “willful blindness” toward what North Korea has done.  Some American officials say this was an act of war. Obama indicated the way China is handling this would not solve the problem.

There are two voices to pay attention to. Leon E. Panetta and China’s spokesman, Qin Gang. Mr. Qin said, “China is a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, and on this issue our feelings differ from a country that lies 8.000 kilometers distant. We feel even more direct and serious concerns.”

Leon E. Panetta, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he believed that the sinking of the Cheonan was part of a succession struggle in North Korea.”

America tends to handle crises of this kind like a bull in a China shop, and what gets broken doesn’t hurt the US homeland. China, on the other hand, will handle this issue like delicate surgery.  One wrong move could end in disaster.  After all, who is closer to that nuclear bullring and how can Obama understand when China’s shoes won’t fit his feet?

See China and North Korea


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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