Following on the Fareed Zakaria Newsweek post, here's more sensible talk about China (thanks to China Digital Times for this). Chalmers Johnson, formerly chair of the Center for Chinese Studies at U.C. Berkeley spoke to Amy Goodman from Znet about his new book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, last in a trilogy of works critical of American foreign policy. His comments on China are a nice riposte to some of that alarmism now so prevalent in the Beltway; I'm not ready, yet, to dismiss as alarmist his own dire prognoses about America's fate. Not ready to buy them entirely, either, but I'll read the book.
I was at Cal in the mid-80s but never took a class from Chalmers Johnson, to my great regret. I was busy stuffing my head with Soviet studies courses--all of which became more or less irrelevant in August of '91.
On the subject of Beltway attitudes toward China, I wrote a piece for the Red Herring some time back about Chinese networking equipment vendor Huawei, and interviewed James Mulvenon, a former Rand Corporation analyst now at another D.C. defense think-tank. Mind you, this guy was described to me by one well-known Beijing-based telecoms consultant as "the closest thing to a Cold Warrior in the China telecoms scene." He had a great quote on Washington attitudes toward China generally:
I live in Washington, and there's a certain percentage of people here who see the Chinese as some faceless guy stroking a white Persian cat on his lap in a floating volcano island headquarters."