Bush’s Positive Legacy November 10, 2008Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
Tags: Bush, China, Geopolitics
The lack of a serious U.S.-China confrontation in the years since 9/11 is the most important dog that did not bark across the Bush-Cheney administration.
In the grand sweep of history, this is arguably George W. Bush's greatest legacy: the encouragement of China to become a legitimate stakeholder in global security.
This sort of effort at grooming a great power for a greater role in international affairs is a careful balancing act, and the Bush team sounded most of the right notes, from reassuring nervous allies in Asia, to avoiding the temptation of trade retaliation while simultaneously pressuring Beijing for more economic liberalization, to drawing China into the dynamics of great power negotiation over compelling regional issues like the nuclear programs in both North Korea and Iran.
We can always complain that Bush-Cheney didn't do more to solidify this most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century, but we cannot fault them for any lasting mistakes, and that alone is quite impressive.
Indeed, history will likely judge this success as greater than the Bush administration's failures in Iraq.