Obama and China

Nothing really out of the ordinary about the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s outlook on U.S.-China relations under the Obama administration. It did bring to mind the rocky start the Bush administration got off to with China. Despite the rough transition, though, China policy has been one of the highlights of the Bush foreign policy legacy, to the point that Tom Barnett suggests history might consider this, and not the failure in Iraq, as the outgoing administration’s lasting mark.

It also made me wonder about the conventional wisdom by which all of America’s emerging rivals for global influence are waiting to pounce on the Obama administration in order to test his resolve. Don’t worry, I haven’t drunk the kool aid, and I know geopolitics isn’t a game of paddycakes. But given that an Obama administration either represents a continuity of solid relations or an improvement of bad ones pretty much across the board, the political calculus still seems to argue in favor of trying to get on his good side.