It was bound to happen. The iconic flagship of our voyage into the digital age has run up against the hard realities of state power and international relations. Internet naiveté is giving way to global realpolitik. Now that Google is in a major flap over its deal with the Chinese government to censor itself, what will become of Google’s “foreign policy?” And what, if anything, should the American government do? This case simply foreshadows the complexities of designing “foreign policy” in the digital age.
Two recent developments in China point to the tools of media and public opinion control available to the Chinese government and how they are used.
Most recently, Japan-China relations have deteriorated on the heels of an old dilemma: How Japan handles history.
SHANTOU, GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA
In China there’s been a year’s worth of growth in the few months since my last dispatch.
You name it, and it has grown in China. Some examples: the Chinese trade surplus, the Chinese trade surplus with the U.S., and the Chinese trade balance with the rest of Asia, which has gone from deficit to surplus.
China, is an excellent example of the complexity of the American image abroad. U.S. China relations are intertwined at every level of politics, economics, and society and becoming more so daily.
Let me put this in a factual context.
China is now the seventh largest economy in the world. Within five years it is likely to be the fourth largest.