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Jan 10

One certainly recognizes this approach in the Canadian context. An excerpt from a review in the the NY Review of Books (Jan. 10, p. 53–text subscriber only but maybe here):


How China Gets Its Way
January 10, 2013
Jonathan Mirsky

China’s Search for Security
by Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell
Ding Lin/Xinhua/Corbis

The new members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee arriving to meet with the press, Beijing, November 15, 2012. From left: Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli…

one of the truly brilliant contributions of China’s Search for Security is the authors’ exploration of “face.” Everyone knows this means “favorable personal recognition.” What may surprise readers, even some China specialists, is their discussion of how Beijing deploys face as both a bargaining tool and, if necessary, a weapon in China’s international relations. China uses the concept of face to warn others not to shame it in public, and it has succeeded by persuading both foreign leaders and diplomats and businessmen that China, perhaps uniquely, dislikes public criticism. Of course no one likes to be criticized, but Beijing has somehow inserted into its dealings with foreigners the concept of “quiet diplomacy,” if difficult matters cannot be avoided. My own experience revealed that what actually happens is that no discussion occurs while outsiders are assured it took place. In 1991, then Prime Minister John Major assured foreign correspondents in Beijing that he had “banged the table” about human rights with Premier Li Peng. Anson Chan, a senior Hong Kong official who was in the room, informed me that human rights went unmentioned.

Nathan and Scobell point out that the Chinese, ever-sensitive about slights and loss of face, are often blunt in their dealings with others [see second link below], and can “extract humiliating concessions from a negotiating adversary…

Very relevant:

Dealing with the Dragon Devil, or…

…”When it comes to trade with China, we are all hypocrites now…

Dragon’s Canadian Diplomacy: “shut up”

Tibetans are Burning, Part 2, or, the Dragon Would, Wouldn’t it?

Beware the Almighty Dragon Dollar
…there’s always the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, now the chief Canadian propagandist for Beijing’s corrupt princelings and party tycoons, to tart things up with opinion pieces in the dailies and chat show appearances to make us all feel better about ourselves…

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute

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