November 23rd, 2008
11:54 AM ET

A path out of the woods

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

For weeks the world has eagerly awaited word from the Obama transition team about the people who will head up the next American administration—the new secretaries of state and Treasury, the attorney general. But one of the more crucial positions in the Obama administration probably isn't going to be filled for months and will likely get little attention when it is—the post of U.S. ambassador to China.

Everyone knows that China is a major power and our representation there is important. But right now, we need Beijing like never before. China is the key to America getting through the worsening economic crisis. The American ambassador in Beijing (OK, this is a metaphor for all those officials who will be managing this relationship) will need to make sure that China sees its interests as aligned with America's. Or else things could get very, very ugly.


Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Raw Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Sergei Daghlovsky

    What is surprising is how little of China has been mentioned during the entire presidential campaign. Engaging China has to be more than just 'deterrance' or for purely economic reasons. Genuine engagement on all levels – particularly educational and cultural – is necessary in solving any future impasse, be it political and economic. Adversarial foreign policy should not be the cornerstone of the Obama administration. We don't become a world leader by trampling upon the rest.

    November 24, 2008 at 8:24 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    Totally agree with this, china bashing must stop and more china discussion to find common ground and then push some deals.
    Please include The other BRICS especially India where real peace between India and Pakistan will help with Afghanistan.
    One important post not talked about yet in the transition ( very dissappointing) but important to global economics is a resolution of the DOHA talks. Europe and America need to make more concessions here and get the thing signed, with say a review every two years of concessions until the next round is finalised when the concessions will be a top priority for re-negotiation as step 1 in any deal, if not already settled. who is going to be Trade King or Queen?

    November 23, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  3. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI


    I agree, Ambassador to China probably won't get much attention. However, I think China and the US are pretty much in the same boat. If China reduces its holdings of US debt and others follow, that could lead to a weakening of the dollar. That would not be in China's best interests either.

    I also learned a new word today, Chimericans. Always appreciate your insights! Thanks.

    November 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Pat Tibbs

    I agree with Fareed on this but then I agree with him on most issues.

    Like it or not, the U.S. is looked to as the leader of the world and we must find a way to right our economy while insulating ourselves against the possibility that China insulates its economy from ours.

    The Obama team has to hit the ground running and I'm encouraged that the President Elect is building a team of very talented people who are knowledgeable and experienced; who will not wait until Jan. 20th to formulate a plan for fixing the mess we're in.

    We elected Obama because we need change and because we recognized his brilliance. Let's give him a chance to prove we were right.

    November 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  5. earle,florida

    Excuse me for asking, but isn't China still a "Communist" country? The last time I heard, they haven't changed any of their political/idiology dictums....

    November 23, 2008 at 2:33 pm |

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