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November 15, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright November 15, 2009. Used by permission.


All around the internet, China-watchers are commenting on Barack Obama’s inaugural China trip. Some links to check out:

1. At 11:40 PM Eastern Standard Time tonight, President Obama’s town hall meeting with students in Shanghai will go live on the White House website.

2. Ian Johnson of the Wall Street Journal asks “Is Barack Obama Unpopular in China?” Johnson explains that it seems initial enthusiasm for the president has dropped off in recent months:

Internet polls provide anecdotal evidence that China is just not as enamored with the U.S. now as in years past, when the U.S. was seen as something of a model. An economic crisis and several trade spats later, few in China admire the U.S. system, and that seems to be behind the blasé attitude around Obama’s visit.

3. Over at Time magazine, Bill Powell discusses “Five Things the U.S. Can Learn From China.”

4. James Fallows blogs about why Obama’s China trip matters at the Atlantic, arguing that this visit could set the tone for future Sino-U.S. cooperation (or lack thereof) on environmental issues:

Thirty years from now, the most important aspect of Barack Obama’s interaction with China will be whether the two countries, together, can do anything about environmental and climate issues. If they can, in 2039 we’ll look back on this as something like the Silent Spring/Clean Air Act moment in American history, which began a change toward broad environmental improvement. If they can’t….

5. John Pomfret of the Washington Post explores how China is changing the U.S., looking in particular at the ties between the PRC and Wisconsin:

China is now Wisconsin’s (and the country’s) third-biggest export market, buying more American soybeans, oil seeds, hides and animal skins, raw cotton, copper, nonferrous metals, wood pulp, semiconductors and miscellaneous chicken parts (a.k.a. chicken feet) than anyone else.

At the University of Wisconsin, as at college campuses across the United States, mainland Chinese dominate the study of science and technology and form the backbone of the engineering, chemistry and pharmacy departments. They receive twice as many doctorates in this country as students from India, the next-closest foreign competitor. And among foreigners, they register by far the most patents in the United States.