My Google Alerts has been emailing notifications to my blackberry nonstop with news on Kim Jong Un’s lavish birthday celebrations and more importantly, President Hu Jintao visiting President Barack Obama in Washington next Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Hu’s visit bears much significance on the U.S. – China relationship. Foreign policy experts have their fingers crossed hoping that this visit will appease the hostility between the two after conflicting interests in a number of issues including: exchange-rate policy, Internet censorship-Google, human rights, environment concerns, and North Korea’s deadly attacks on Yeonpyeong, South Korea. With grave economic issues and Chinese militaristic growth hovering over the discussion table will enough time be allotted to resolve stances regarding how to deal with the unruly North Korea?
Nuclear stability concerns will most definitely be raised as China prioritizes softening U.S. & South Korean response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. But what about the thousands of defectors who lead perilous lives fearing repatriotization? Will the rampant poverty rates and unimaginable human rights violations in North Korea even be mentioned during this rendezvous?
Diplomacy is a tricky art form that greatly confuses this fledgling Political Science student. Can the North Korea card be the thorn to China’s side that the U.S. will take advantage of to quell the emerging dragon?
Note: I’m visiting Washington D.C. for a school program and scheduled to attend a vigil in front of the White House on January 19, 2011 at 7pm. The vigil is to protest against Chinese repatriotization policies of North Korean defectors. Don’t know if I will be able to make it if my school events do not end in time, but I hope to and feel out the political climate. It would be an interesting opportunity to see the grass-roots responses to this gigantic political move between states.