Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Here's a Chinese shovel to go with Hu Jintao's state visit to Obama's White House

January 18, 2011 | 10:12 am

Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao in Seoul 11-11-10

China's President Hu Jintao makes a state visit to the White House on Tuesday on a journey that the Obama administration is hyping to the max. So it must be important.

Jay Leno has revealed that the Chinese leader has no intention of foreclosing on all of its loans to the U.S., on this trip anyway. So the official visit will probably go smoothly.

Obama hosts a private closed dinner tonight at the White House for Hu. First,....

...Obama meets this afternoon with the secretaries of Defense, Robert Gates, and State, Hillary Clinton, presumably for any final adjustments in aligning strategy for the visit.

There will be lots of the usual talk about common ground and mutual understanding. Hopefully, the American leader may get a chance to chat with Hu about what Gates revealed during his recent Asian trip: That China's civilian leaders, who are supposed to be in firm charge over there being of the single party and all, seemed clueless about their military's recent test of a stealth jet fighter.

And that the same thing happened previously, remember when a Chinese missile blew up one of its own satellites in an obvious test of that capability of blinding any nosy eyes-in-the-sky. And the explosion littered that orbit with thousands of pieces of debris that the U.S. Air Force now monitors.

In advance of the visit, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner spoke of how complementary the two countries' lopsided trading relationship is, stressing the growth in U.S. exports to China. Watch for Hu to announce some lucrative contracts with American firms during his stay. Also look for the U.S. to continue talk about China's undervalued currency, human rights issues and those pesky North Koreans that China silently appreciates having as a thorn in the side of America's relations in Asia.

But, hey, with America's new open dialogue diplomatic policy, what are a few information gaps among nuclear-armed friends?

Speaking of diplomatic talk, if the next war involves shovels as a major instrument or weapon, it's looking now like China just might have the jump on the U.S. (Watch this energetic Chinese video because the comisariat may be watching you.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

Just click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons below to share this item with family and friends.

Photo: Jim Young / Reuters (Obama and Hu in Seoul in November 2010). H/T