Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Level the playing field

By Philip. J. Cunningham (China Daily) Updated: 2013-07-08 07:15

Level the playing field

US-China relations are entering a new era, the outlines of which are still somewhat blurred by the ever-expanding ringlets and ripples set off by the shock of former National Security Agency operative Edward Snowden's blockbuster revelations of intrusive NSA spying. US President Barack Obama has shown a cavalier disregard for the privacy and pride of ordinary people in America and around the world, while pretending nothing's wrong and it's business as usual.

At the time of writing, America's most famous "hacker" is still holed up in Moscow airport, trying to figure out where to go next. He could have gone to China, by his own reckoning would be a path to luxury and comfort, "petting the Phoenix", as he put it. But he left Hong Kong in a hurry and rushed to Russia.

Now he's saying he doesn't want to stay in Russia either, which seems to support the notion that he really is a freelancer at heart, hoping to steer clear of big power politics, though he has certainly stirred up enough East-West intrigue to bring back memories of the Cold War and US bullying. Bolivian President Evo Morales was humiliated by the moves of Washington's European allies to halt and inspect his flight on the suspicion that Snowden was on board. The result? Two countries in Latin America have made offers of asylum.

The Cold War was not a good thing but the division of the world into different camps had its advantages when it came to making clear expressions of sovereignty. For a couple of decades, China did what it pleased without having to answer to the US. It could offer refuge to American radicals and victims of US injustice without giving a second thought to Washington's reaction.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News
New type of urbanization is in the details