October 11th, 2012
05:21 PM ET

China’s latest snub undermines its leadership case

By Brian Klein, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Brian P. Klein is an economic consultant and former U.S. diplomat who was based in China. The views expressed are his own.

In a rare and telling diplomatic snub this week, China refused to send People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan to the IMF/World Bank meeting held in Tokyo. The slight, related to the ongoing stand-off with Japan over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea, says more about China’s prospects for greater global leadership than a bilateral territorial disagreement.

For several years now, China’s economy has grown along with its ambitions for recognition. Internationalizing the yuan as a reserve currency, more influence over international lending institutions and respect as a leading business and financial center have been chief among them.

But the meeting boycott this week marks the latest in a string of retaliatory acts, including using informal trade measures meant to punish countries acting in ways China dislikes. Imports from the Philippines, for example, were suddenly subjected to enhanced inspection and quarantine over a dispute in the South China Sea. Rare earth exports critical to Japan’s electronics industry were also halted in a 2010 island spat after Japan detained a Chinese fishing vessel captain whose ship rammed a Japan Coast Guard vessel. These steps suggest a troubling and regressive tendency in Chinese foreign economic policy.

Since joining the World Trade Organization back in 2001, Beijing has enjoyed many of the benefits of membership while at the same time using protectionist measures to give domestic industries significant advantage. Trade has been used increasingly as a political tool contravening over a decade of engagement to keep these two policy spheres apart.

Refusing to attend the annual international finance meeting will further damage China’s hopes for greater recognition. At a time when the risks of global recession are increasing, retrenchment adds doubts about any potential leadership role. While Beijing might think its status as the world’s second largest economy makes it vital to any discussion, the reality is that the world continues to turn without it.

Xi Jinping and the rest of China’s new leaders in waiting inherit a country in transition. Rising domestic wage pressure, a slowing economy, and renewed doubts about the security of joint venture intellectual property suggest China’s global economic influence may soon flag, not inexorably rising. If slower growth becomes a trend rather than a temporary blip and anti-Japanese business sentiment grows into a broader missive against foreign companies, the lure of China’s growing market would dim significantly.

Embracing the complexities of international discourse rather than shying away from them mark an important maturing stage. Equally important are policies that further open and encourage reform that increases international participation in China’s domestic economy. This enhances both the perception and reality that China is dedicated to continued global integration. Pulling a no-show at an international gathering in a neighboring country does not.

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Topics: Asia • China • Economy • Japan

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soundoff (105 Responses)

    China is a bully bent on domination,a not too attrative to reign the leadership among nations.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Lol

      Chinks will be chinks. We need to cut off trade with the chinks and let them go farm rice again.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        Idiot will be idiot, even with all the education available in the States, Lol still manage to talk like this, WOW!

        October 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • Tim

        first of all this article is late. in addition, the position of this article is clearly biased. go on sfgate and read the article related to this one to get a more open-minded analysis of the situation. this absence was a protest against unfair territorial divisions that have never been addressed properly, not a whimsical decision. we shall see how the world economy goes when China decides not to play nice anymore; don't forget to consider the U.S. debt to China.

        October 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Frank

        LOL you are just a racist hiding behind a nickname

        October 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Frank

        LOL you are just a racist

        October 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
      • Maersk

        And kwok zuckers like you have a kwok zucking mouth.

        October 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
      • duanchong

        firstly I just want to ask how old are you.You are Staying in your home for long time and do not have a knowledge of the outside world,exceptionally China.Cutting off trade with China will do harm to both side,only idiot will do something like this,you are the one;

        October 13, 2012 at 5:47 am |
      • Vincent

        Lol is a lunatic who wants to incite hatred among cultures. Ignore it and don't fall into the trap. "It" is not an American based on its use of language. Even if "it" is, don't blame all Americans for it. "it" is only a mad dog that bites randomly.

        October 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
      • Lol

        I can't understand you! Ching chang chong, chinga changi chinki chong. You follow?

        October 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
      • Maersk

        I hate chinks too bro.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • Vincent

        Chinks are the ugliest Asians.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • duanchong

        I can't wait to get round-eye surgery!

        October 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Tim

        I'm a chink lover, but they no love me back!

        October 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • Charles

        All chinks want to come to USA.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • leo

        hey watch ur mouth! don't put your country's reputation tarred and feathered. even though china may be a pain in the ass, using pejorative phrase would avail you nothing but damage your credibility

        October 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • rvastag

        Sounds like a plan.

        October 15, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Mike

        @lol, stupidity is the only word that describes you, sad

        October 16, 2012 at 1:06 am |
      • Jim

        The first one to go farm rice si your country.

        October 16, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • Maersk

      I can see China forced you to bend over. I can also see you are forced to zuck Chinese kwoks.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  2. marc

    This snub is vastly superior to fabricated claims for waging war and killing hundreds of thousands of innocents on a nonthreatening country (think Iraq). Articles like this totally lack perspective. The invasion of Iraq, an independent non-threatening sovereign nation, by us discredits ALL discussion of being an international responsible stakeholder. And it doesn't end there. We are commonly the standout on many international treaties, e.g. UN resolutions on Israel, Kyoto, UNCLOS, landmines, etc. etc. etc. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • Lol

      If we snubbed these chinks they'd cry racism. Stupid communist rice farmers.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Lol

      Why don't you speak your own chink language instead of using English, because it's the world's official language and your chink language isn't ?

      October 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        Your messages represent sophisticated RedNeck English! Pethetic!

        October 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • Win Te Pu, Canada

        folks what happens if I use the "n" word? Forum police may leave me alone to sprout more garbage?

        October 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
      • Maersk

        Why don't you stuff your kwok zucking mouth with a big black dudo?

        October 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
      • Lol

        No understand you. Ching chang Chong Chingi chanki Chink Chong. You follow?

        October 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • shenghaishiweini

        where are you from?english is used after lots of people were killed.you will speak chinese if china kill the people from all over the world.

        October 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
      • Mike

        You are pretty stupid, go get an education.

        October 16, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Bill rich

      I totally agree. We should not wage war against Iraq. We should all do it like PRC and kill tens of millions of our own people instead. Every nation must civilized now and kill at least 80 million of its own people.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Juan

        @Bill Rich,
        I thought you already did. They were once called the American natives.

        October 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  3. j. von hettlingen

    this site is jammed.

    October 12, 2012 at 6:35 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Christine Lagarde wasn't amused and appeared to scold Chinese and J apanese leaders like school children. She told them their countries are too important to the world economy to be "distracted by territorial division".

      October 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        China is more concerned about a smooth transition of leadership after months of distraction. No senior politician wants to be seen in J apan right now. One has learned that in times of political flux, it is best to keep one's head down and never look soft on issues of nationalism and territorial sovereignty.

        October 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
      • Maersk

        The Chinese leaders don't want to be seen with you zucking their kwok either.

        October 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  4. bobby jon

    This article is garbage. Fact: The Philippines was warned of their pest infested bananas half a year before the consequent import restrictions. That it happened at the time of heightened tensions is incidental. Integrity in journalism has gone down the toilet of late. CHECK YOUR FACTS.

    October 12, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Ur Septim

      How about the case of Norway where its export salmon was left rotting by China after the Nobel Peace award of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010? I believe until now China doesn't have its relation with Norway normalize due to the Nobel affair.

      October 12, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • Maersk

        Dick head, how about the fact that Oba Mao received a Nobel peace prize for his continuation of sending U.S. soldiers to commit crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan?

        October 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
      • Frank

        Chinks are evil. They will let your produce rot, and then claim health concerns for rejecting it.

        October 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Lol

      You silly chink, all I hear is chink chank chong.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        You silly Lol, all I hear is Blah, Blah, Blah....

        October 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • Maersk

        You silly kwok zucker. All I see is kum ozzing out of your kwok zucking mouth.

        October 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
      • Maersk

        Russians are better than Chinks.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Charles

        They can be blindfolded with dental floss!

        October 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Lol

      chink name is not bobby, chink name is chinky chang chong.

      October 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Bill rich

      I can't believe there are people as stupid as Bobby Jon.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • john

        He's paid chink.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  5. evildragon

    When will companies & nations ever learn that China is not a friend ? Keep buying products made in China and keep making them rich. Once they're in power you'll see extent of their bullying.

    October 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • warringhawk

      The US is a bigger threat to everyone, just look at your history of wars after WWII.
      QUIT THROWING STONES WHILE YOU'RE IN A GLASS HOUSE..... unless you're looking to severely injure yourself, which is what the US media is doing to it's credibility!

      October 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
      • VY

        You should go learn Chinese history. They are in the process of repeating history but in a greater scale. They dominated Vietnam for 1000 years and fight among group of people living in the place what you now called China, This time, they will try to take everyone down. Just look at what they can do to their own people. If you don't believe me, go to China and say something the government and see if you can still can come out.

        October 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • warringhawk

      I really don't like chinks, or their evil plans. They pay me to say good things about chinks.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • warringhawk

        Racist copycat, LOL, you will get no where in life! & karma will get you back for being such a narrow minded hateful person!!!

        October 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jim

      The one refuse to buy China's goods will put him finger in the fire!

      October 16, 2012 at 4:59 am | Reply
  6. sneakytiger

    I agree the US is bad. Wait til China comes to power. It will even be worse than the US. The US is hampered by religion and democracy. China does not have those limitations. Take forced abortions for example. One child per family. China does not have to follow the morals of any religion. It does not require that people vote in favor of laws. It will crush the tiny countries in Asia. It does not hesitate to silence people or groups of people who do not march to their beat.

    October 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • VY

      For those who think the Chinese Gov. is friendly, I hope they will soon see their real face. Do we get news like the Chinese Gov. is harassing and killing innocent Vietnamese fishermen on CNN or US news. I haven't seen one yet.

      October 13, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
      • Lol

        Do not worry friend, we hate Chinks in USA. We just need to find way to do it legally.

        October 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • john

      I think you may want to give an example of how religion and democracy helped to stop the war to Iraq. Maybe taking the fake evidence to UN and pray: oh, God, please don't let them know that the stuff in this bottle is all just some salt. LOL

      October 13, 2012 at 2:54 am | Reply
      • john

        I love chinks, but they never give me love me back!

        October 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  7. chocholalali

    Does China wanna become India and have millions homeless starving kids running around in streets? no. So before you judge its one child policy, think about 1.6 billion people with each family having 5, 6 kids and the problem this will quickly post to the rest of the world.

    October 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  8. Win Te Pu, Canada

    If the "n" word is not allowed on most public media, nor the "j" or the insultint "k" word, why is CNN allowing the useless insults like "chink". Those are pure trash persons. I won't mind if you let them continue racially attacking my race, just then leave the n words in too and what kind of jungle you get. Don't mistake sophisticated Chinese persons for being stupid or afraid. We just look down on the behavior of your news orgazation as another Fox rag.

    October 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Lol

      Chinks will be chinks.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Win Te Pu, Canada

      I want round-eye surgery! I tired of being a chink!

      October 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  9. Frank

    Are racists like lol allowed in the US? Is CNN not ashamed? Should I call the police?

    October 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      I love chinks, they just don't love me back.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Bain

      Which police you gonna call? The Chinese Internet police? They have no jurisdiction here.

      October 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Lol

      I don't live in the US. I live in the slum. I have reason to be bitter.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply
  10. DJ

    After traveling thru China for 15+ years and living there for 4+, the simple fact is the CCP leadership are NOT sophisticated enough to manage a country as complex as China's.
    Until the last old remainders of Mao's Red Guard thugs die-off, China has no hopes of playing nicely with the civilised children.
    Even educated Chinese nationals predict the 'red' flag will soon change its colors... 15 years; Max.

    October 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Vincent

      DJ, you have interesting observations. So for the past 14 years, China moved backward instead of forward under CCP's bad management? Where did you go and what did you see?

      October 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  11. Amy

    It seems that America get insanely jealous of China's development

    October 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • VY

      I don't think anyone is jealous of a blood sucker.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
      • john

        Oh, they do. If India is as strong as China today, the Americans will be jealous about their left hands.

        October 13, 2012 at 2:59 am |
      • Lol

        You are right again friend. Chinks steal all technology and factory from USA. They are chinks, nothing to be proud of. Thieves!

        October 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  12. AIDs

    Get over it. Even the US also snubs Ahmadinejad's UN speech in home country at New York.

    October 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  13. Maersk

    "Editor’s note: Brian P. Klein is an economic consultant and former U.S. diplomat who was based in China. The views expressed are his own."

    It should have been written like this: Editor's note: Brian P. Klein is just a typical American kwok zucking kwok zucker employed as diplomat to badmouth China. The view is everyone's and it's a known fact.

    October 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • Maersk

      I am ashamed of China's evil.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
      • asianvoice

        I suggest that if you want to say something about China,you'd better say after you go to china and have a look,Otherwise, close your mouth.

        October 15, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  14. Rick

    Number one army. Number two economy. Number seven world's highest concentration of millionaires. God bless China and I feel sorry for anyone passed this super power off. Long live the Communist ideology. China and Russia

    October 13, 2012 at 2:31 am | Reply
    • Rick

      China will surely burn in hell.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      I and China sincerely apologize to the rest of the world for having our collective heads up our communist holes. See, years of repression have rendered us so sensitive that we feel the need to go to war over anybody that says anything negative about us. After all, we made the first computer in 1998 and are so awesome that the whole world should but worship us.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  15. Rick

    Oh in case you guys don't know this. Most Chinese supports the war. It's National pride. Some may say there is a resemblance between Communism and National socialism. Btw we don't care about anyone's comments especially from CNN comment section. Haters going to hate no matter what. Lol

    October 13, 2012 at 2:38 am | Reply
    • 赵荣智


      October 13, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • Lol

      You name Rick and you a chink? Rick is not chink name??

      October 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  16. Frank

    CNN is now the S..t hole where cowardly racists like Lol reside. I am surprised CNN dies not care.

    October 13, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Frank

      I love chinks, but they no love me back!

      October 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
      • jsjj

        if you really love chinese, then you should know what 'chinks' mean to chinese and you still used it ?

        October 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  17. kevin


    October 13, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Frank

      Please speaka English here.

      October 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • kk


        October 14, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  18. David

    Let the foreign multinational abandon factories in China, Let see what happen to them.
    They bullying Asian neighbors.

    Don't trade with this communist, Majority of fake products are made in China.

    October 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  19. Lol

    I'm a lunatic. I need attention! If you don't give it to me, I'll bite you like a mad dog. Save me, save me please!

    October 14, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
  20. Lol

    I did something really bad to my moms and sisters but I can't stop. I need someone else to blame. I need help. I want to stop but I can't. I smell and people run away from me whenever I'm near. I want to die. I know I deserve it but I'm a coward. Help, help, help......

    October 14, 2012 at 2:06 am | Reply
  21. most are not Americans here

    Most of the loudest mouths in here are Vietnamese and Philipinos. Americans maybe bigoted and narrow-minded but they tend not to be as openly crude as these folks and their English is usually not sub-standard. LOL .

    October 14, 2012 at 3:12 am | Reply
    • Lol

      Don't forget us! We Indians have better Ignlish!

      October 14, 2012 at 3:31 am | Reply
      • 花开溪边


        October 15, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • mostamericansarechineseslaves

      Oh really. Americans are "loud mouth braggarts", that's the fact.
      Go and bow to your chinese boss, else he'll fire you.

      October 16, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
  22. most are not Americans here

    I agree. This article is one sided. But then the author was a US diplomat. What did you expect??

    October 14, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
  23. here is it

    test for it .

    October 14, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
  24. theorycraft

    :< why is there no report button? this has turned into racial bashing. cept for the joke about the kwok zucking... that actually made me smile. But the ones that are derogatory copy and pastes? Jeez...

    Also, I love this article because yes, if China thinks this snub will have other nations begging for forgiveness, it has its head too far up a dark place. Other countries are annoyed, and some may understand the extent of national pride in its politics, which owns its banks, but theyre not going GAIN anything from the snub.

    October 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  25. dce97

    If friends come, there is fine wine
    But if the wolves come
    Those who greet them have hunting guns

    October 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • 花开溪边

      是的!exactly! 希望我们的政府采取更强硬一些的行动来夺回钓鱼岛。怎样才能一剑封喉,而不会在亚洲板块上引发大的动荡?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  26. shenghaishiweini

    look your comments.i feel bad.of course i am a chinese.i don't know why you hate china or chinese or so called chinks!i just want to say thank for watching what ia happening in china.everyone has different viewpoint at one thing.you never know the real china if you never come to this country.the real china is wonderful even though there still has lots if poor people,i think US has lots of poor people.
    by the way,US has token lots of misery to the people who live in middle east,you think US has given them democracy.but the people who died in the wars won't enjoy the so called democracy.and more people is suffering for the disturbance.you bad Amercian is the source of the evil.chinese love piece.the US will be removed from the map if chian has enough power.and i think the day is coming.
    us has no its culture.you have to acknowledge it.
    in the end,every country always does for itself.so close you mouth and go to sleep.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  27. asianvoice

    Mr Brian P. Klein ,Why do you always have to talk nonsense?Why can't you just tell the truth?I want to know if abusing China is your greatest interest?
    In the past 34 years, the Chinese government has been committed to the development of economy and the improvement of people's life,but the United States government has been curbing China's developmentat any time .Yankees
    take trade protectionism and banned zte and huawei company' investment in us, Incite neighboring countries surrounding China against China.Always act as international police at any time Interfering the internal affairs of other nations,as the biggest war crazy killed countless innocent people every year.Only You and your american Is the biggest unscrupulous.
    Damn it, please close your mouth.

    October 15, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
  28. Brian_Klein_is_the_snub

    well, that is true.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  29. csx4j


    October 16, 2012 at 4:11 am | Reply

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