Human Wrongs
Move to Rename Chinese Embassy’s Street Is a Pointless Gesture
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  • lukelea

    Why not name it after Lu Hsun [Lu Xun]? Diplomacy should be the name of the game.

  • TheCynical1

    Great blog post. Sadly, we keep ignoring Teddy Roosevelt’s admonition to speak softly and carry a big stick, and we keep doing the opposite instead.

  • qet

    Wolf is a Republican and ought to know better. This is an amateur move straight out of the “name them and shame them” nonsense playbook of the current Administration, also amateurs. It is so. . . .so. . . . .juvenile!

  • gabrielsyme

    There probably is a role for Congress to play “bad cop” in human rights-related areas (though this instance is petulant and silly).

    It helps American diplomacy if State can say that they need concessions to avert legislatively-enacted sanctions, rather than threatening to impose them on the initiative of the administration. Of course, this would require Congress to act reasonably and leave a degree of flexibility that is necessary to US diplomacy; and neither Congress nor the current administration has shown much promise in acting reasonably or with foresight. But running diplomacy from Congress is a remarkably poor idea, even if Congress is sensible and the administration is as singularly incompetant as the current one.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “This move is weak and pointless.”

    Obama is so weak that congress has almost no way to display American resolve, and is left with token displays like this name change. It isn’t really pointless though as it demonstrates that a strong President would have the backing of congress to kick some Chinese butt. And it shows our allies that while they can’t expect American help as long as Obama is in power, a new President will swiftly move to regain their trust with actions over Obama’s leftist platitudes.

  • Anthony

    Stop the presses! Mead comes out against a Jacksonian. Remember, talking trash is a big part of the traditional Jacksonian approach. If Jesse Helms was still here, he’d be a very strong supporter of renaming the street.

    “More, integrating effective human rights work with something as volatile, complicated, and many-sided as the U.S.-China relationship is fiendishly difficult under the best of circumstances. Getting it right matters almost infinitely more than empty gestures like Wolf’s amendment. What would happen to human rights and many other good things if U.S.-China relations slide toward confrontation and war?”

    Notice how WRM sounds like a sensible realist when it comes to China. This stands in contrast with his rhetoric on Russia, where he seems to favor a very confrontational posture. While Mead is right that antagonizing China over the name of the street is a bad idea, I don’t see why he doesn’t take the same approach with Russia. China’s new air defense zone might not make a big splash like Putin’s intervention in Ukraine, but it’s actually much more consequential.

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