Re: poly: The Handicap Principle

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Wed Jun 10 1998 - 09:51:12 PDT

I saw a rather shocking headline on the Yahoo news page this morning:

  Clinton to Go Live in China

I guess he doesn't like it here, huh? The story itself was less dramatic:

  BEIJING (Reuters) - China has agreed to let President Clinton deliver
  a rare live radio and television address to the Chinese people during
  a state visit later this month, a diplomatic source said today. Chinese
  authorities even agreed to let Clinton field questions on a live phone-in
  radio program during, said the source. China's tightly controlled state
  television and radio shun live broadcasts for fear that something could
  go wrong. Chinese authorities also banned the sale of a book on sex
  scandals involving Clinton to avoid embarrassing U.S. officials.

(An hour later, the headline had been changed to "Clinton to Talk Live
in China".)

Having been reading the book Robin recommended, I had a particular
reaction to this story. Rather than a diplomatic victory for Clinton,
it actually shows China's strength. China is confident enough in its
power that it knows Clinton will not dare say anything which the Chinese
government would be unhappy about. By giving the leader of the free
world an opportunity to speak directly to the Chinese people, China
handicaps itself and thereby shows its strength. It can actually be seen
as a significant loss of face for Clinton and for the West.

Received on Wed Jun 10 17:09:25 1998

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