Ok, that one was before Obama "reset" his Presidency last Wednesday, so he gets a pass on folding up like a water-logged yard-sale card table in the face of Chinese objections to what we have been told over and over again is the single most important issue facing humans.
China threatened neighboring Cambodia against granting sanctuary to 22 Chinese Muslims, some of whom China had accused of participating in anti-Chinese demonstrations last summer.
Cambodia sent them back and, as a "thank you note" China "signed 14 deals with Cambodia worth $1 billion.
Here's a protocol tip: If you want to meet with senior Chinese leaders, don't meet with the Dalai Lama first. China "denounced" German Chancellor Angela Merkel, cancelled a summit with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, and according to Pomfret's piece
"suspended ties with Denmark after its prime minister met the Dalai Lama and resumed them only after the Danish government issued a statement in December saying it would oppose Tibetan independence and consider Beijing's reaction before inviting him again."
President Obama, on the other hand, "declined to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, before visiting China in November to avoid offending China's leaders."
Nevertheless, when President Obama went to China and acted like the new kid at school, the NY Times noted:
"China effectively stage-managed President Obama's public appearances, got him to make statements endorsing Chinese positions of political importance to them and effectively squelched discussions of contentious issues such as human rights and China's currency policy," said a [U.S.] China specialist.
China is the second largest economy in the world, behind only the U.S. but it is quickly becoming the most important economy because of the enormous potential for selling things to 1.3 billion Chinese (about a billion more people than are in the U.S.)
Now, they are becoming among the most important players on the diplomatic world stage and the U.S. and the E.U. seems to be at sea as to what to do about it.
No wonder there was no foreign policy section of the President's State of the Union speech.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone