Thursday, September 22, 2005

Zoellick on China's Rise

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick bluntly warned China last night that it must begin to take concrete steps to address what he called a 'a cauldron of anxiety' in the United States and other parts of the world about Chinese intentions.
So begins the article from today's Washington Post that I predict will cause Thomas Barnett's head to explode. I have previously blogged on Dr. Barnett's tendency to go apoplectic anytime someone describes China as anything resembling a threat (and his tendency to use foul language to do so). In one of the posts of his that I cited (available here), Barnett had this to say about Zoellick:
I've said it before and I say it again: Zoellick is by far the smartest man in the Bush Administration. Honest to God, I'd name him president tomorrow.
I could be misreading this all as I have been unable to find a full transcript of his speech, but it seems to me that Zoellick is now taking a harder line on China, something that will undoubtedly upset Dr. Barnett. I report, you decide. Zoellick continued:
Uncertainties about how China will use its power will lead the United States -- and others as well -- to hedge relations with China... Many countries hope China will pursue a 'peaceful rise,' but none will bet their future on it.

Update: Did the quotes in the WaPo article linked accurately represent the entirety of Zoellick's speech? Decide for yourself. The transcript is now available at the State Department website.