Politics in Washington and Beijing | Charles Duelfer

Politics in Washington and Beijing

With the United States self-absorbed in its own elections…staring at its navel…it is interesting to see other capitals focusing attention on the upcoming 18th Party Congress that begins two days after the US election. Leadership will change in China and their new team will be around for the next decade. Granted it is a process that is less amenable to the reality TV audiences in the US, but for long term international economic and political effect, it may be as more or more important than the US elections…especially in Africa and South America where emerging markets and resources are central. It is astonishing that there is virtually no coverage in the US press about the shift in leadership in Beijing. It is an opaque process, but one with major consequences. The world has become far more sensitive to Beijing. It has become less sensitive to Washington.
For example, you can bet that leaders in Tehran will be watching Beijing very carefully. Of course they will be attentive to Washington especially whether the next president will feel any more or less pressure to “deal” with Iran. But China will play a very large role and Tehran will be testing to see how the evolution of China’s leaders may affect their support of Iran and willingness to offset the US.

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