Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Politics of tit for tat


Understanding the complexity of international relationships between nations these days might seem extremely complex.
When it comes to dealing with the Chinese, it might seem extremely frustrating and bewildering.
Let Lex unravel the mystery and explain it all.
In the most simple of terms it is a tit for tat strategy when it comes to understanding the Chinese mind.
Having listened to experts sit around and talk hot air about the Stern Hu imprisonment in China on charges of espionage, and having heard politicians wring their hands in desperation while considering how to to offend the Chinese; I am here to shed light on the complexity of the situation.
Stern Hu is an executive of Rio Tinto who was doing his job in China.
Rio Tinto, an Australian mining company that the Chinese (Chinalco) tried to buy recently and were thwarted when BHP Billiton (another Australian mining company) stepped in.
The Chinese lost face. A business deal gone sour is humiliating to the Chinese.
No surprise that they would adapt a tit for tat retaliation move.
What a better way than to grab a pawn and accuse him of espionage?
Embarrassing Australia seems a perfectly good way of restoring honor to the Chinese after the Rio bid failure.
It seems that those experts in Chinese culture haven't come forward to explain the importance of honor within Chinese culture.
We have much to learn about the concept of honor and how it influences international politics when dealing with China.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

3 comments:

Jeannie said...

Interesting. But it seems that "we" are always bowing to the cultures of others. Tit for tat isn't a way to restore honour. It's revenge. And that feels better. It's time we called the play what it is.

Hammer said...

Doesn't seem that anyone respects our culture because dishonoring someone in the west has few consequences.

FJ said...

Sounds like the Aussies need to go out and arrest a few Chinese businessmen...

Labels