The Foreign Service Journal, September 2012

14 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 2 market, a behavior Yao describes as “gambling against the odds.” In addi- tion, both sides suffer from structural problems that hinder efforts to forge closer economic and commercial ties. The East Asia Forum ( www.east ), wa s created in 2006 and is still directed by Emeritus Pro- fessor Peter Drysdale of the Crawford School of Economics and Government at Australian National University. Cov- ering issues facing the economies of East Asia, its contributors hail from Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Aus- tralia. A common thread among its com- mentaries on Sino-American relations is the idea that both sides have plenty of work to do to improve their relation- ship. Washington must undertake seri- ous financial sector reforms and could take lessons from Beijing’s crisis man- agement skills, while China must ad- dress its human rights issues and the concerns of its neighbors over the threat its military poses. Refreshingly, a Feb. 14 article by Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin Uni- versity, finds “Reason for Optimism in Sino-American Relations.” Jin notes that the Obama administration has pur- sued senior-level exchanges with the PRC, promoted “smart power” diplo- macy and enlisted greater engagement by Beijing in multilateral diplomacy. Not all those overtures have paid off, of course, and much remains to be done, but there has been genuine progress. — Eva M.A. Moss, Editorial Intern A Rebalancing Act On July 18, the Center for Ameri- can Progress ( www.americanpro ) ho sted Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Lael Brainard for a discussion of the fu- ture of the U.S.-China economic rela- tionship. In introducing Under Secre- tary Brainard, CAP Chairman John Podesta cited her extensive experience, dating back to her role in the Clinton administration handling the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis and facilitating Beijing’s 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization. Brainard began by emphasizing the extent to which the decisions China makes in the next several years will af- fect the global economy. For that rea- son, she explained, the Obama administration has consistently press- ed Beijing to abide by international norms, and made clear the economic and political costs of not doing so: “China can no longer insist on one set of standards for big leaders and another for itself.” That philosophy motivated the administration’s recent decisions to file WTO complaints against China regarding auto tariffs, rare earths and solar panels. How the United States and China manage these points of tension and pursue areas of mutual interest will have important effects on the economic future of both nations. As Brainard observed, “What matters is not just what hap- pens on paper but what also happens on the ground.” Finally, she discussed the adminis- tration’s ongoing “strategic rebalance to Asia.” With half the world’s population, many of its most dynamic economies, and as a key source of U.S. jobs, the Asia-Pacific region represents a tre- mendous economic opportunity for the United States. China is at the heart of this initiative, but it also poses a variety of new challenges for the U.S. econ- omy. — Eva M.A. Moss, Editorial Intern C Y B E R N O T E S WWW.AFSA.ORG When contacting an advertiser, kindly mention the Foreign Service Journal. AFSA Insurance Plans AFSA Scholarship Scholarships/PlannedGiving.aspx AKA Hotel residences Churchill Corporate Services, Inc. Clements Worldwide Rockingham Senior Living Foundation Tetratech WJD