Monday, May 31, 2010

China and the U.S.: "Frenemies"

"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."*

These words could be used to describe the uncomfortable interdependent relationship between the United States and China.

The cover story for the March 22, 2010, issue of Time was "10 Ideas for the Next 10 Years". One of these ideas is that the "frenemy-ship" between the U.S. and China will shape the next decade. "China and the U.S.: The Indispensable Axis":
Rather than being cold war adversaries, however, the U.S. and China will form an indispensable axis for global governance. That doesn't mean the two will be best friends — don't expect a new special relationship similar to the U.S.-British alliance of the 20th century. There is no precedent for this unique evolving relationship, one in which the two sides will both compete and cooperate, perhaps simultaneously, as they shape and support a global system they can benefit from.
Kudos to John Hersey for for his illustration of the U.S. and China, holding hands, while never taking their eye off each other. Meanwhile the interconnected web of trade partners orbits around them.

HT to Hunter

*This has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Niccolò Machiavelli or Petrarch, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use by "Michael Corleone" in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo & Francis Ford Coppola: My father taught me many things here — he taught me in this room. He taught me — keep your friends close but your enemies closer. -- Wikiquote

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