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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


the tiger's tail

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, October 30, 2007 permalink View blog reactions
The China Rises blog notes that the Beijing Olympic Games has constrained China's behavior in an interesting way:

Looks to me like countries once reticent to invite the Dalai Lama are now doing so with open arms, and making a big show of it.

They know China will come back and blast them for “severely hurting the feelings of the Chinese people,” threaten “severe consequences” and maybe even cancel some meetings. But foreign diplomats calculate that a window has opened to welcome the Dalai Lama.
Beijing has reason to be wary. It seems that with the Olympics looming, wherever the Dalai Lama travels, he is received in grand fashion. And Beijing’s warnings don’t carry much weight. After all, how can it retaliate against the West without harming itself?

This is an intriguing development. I've been somewhat leery of the Olympics providing legitimacy to China's approach to human rights. However the reverse dynamic is also at work, whereby China must moderate its own behavior to safeguard its own prestige and enormous investment into the Games. The Games thus become an instrument of policy in a sense. I wonder if this reticience on China's part will last much beyond the Closing Ceremonies, though.



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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.