President Barack Obama warned Beijing that its prosperity has been based on free trade and the stability provided by the presence of the US military in Asia even as he lauded China’s success.
At a press conference on Wednesday with Hu Jintao, China’s president, Mr Obama urged Beijing to end discrimination against US companies, allow its currency to appreciate and respect human rights, including in Tibet. Mr Obama stressed that China offered enormous opportunities for the US, saying: “We want to sell you planes, we want to sell you cars, we want to sell you software.”
Kudos to Obama for at least faking sincerity. He still opposes free trade, but the continued decline of the United States' economy under his control is proving even to him his statist ways are flawed. Obama's lip service to free trade does not mark a move away from his job-killing policies, but are intended to mollify employers, whose lobbyists can easily be bought off with platitudes and empty gestures.
Obama's changed tone doesn't reflect a change in substantive policy, but it does show he does react to negative stimuli. Continued political pain is prescribed to treat his malignant statism.