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VICE News and the New York Review of Books have partnered to create Talking Heads, a series about the big issues of the day as seen by the Review's distinguished contributors.

In the first episode, Orville Schell discusses his essay "China Strikes Back." He recently joined Jimmy Carter on a visit to China, where the former president received a less-than-warm welcome by the country's leaders. Carter re-established diplomatic relations between the United States and China, but how close are the two countries 35 years later? Schell explains how the snubbing reflects a dramatic shift in US-China relations.

VICE News sat down with Schell to discuss the significance of the diplomatic slight against Carter, and how the US might benefit from a better understanding of the "Chinese Dream."

Read Orville Schell's essay "China Strikes Back!" -

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Comments 2567 Comments

This commentary, and the comments here, all focus on China and, especially, the USA, neglect completely the fact that a lot of other countries, including India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and others, are pushing back against a newly hostile and aggressive China. You simply cannot blame all this on America. China will reap what it sows. In this case fear.
ends all
Albert Woodeasy
Only 2 thoughts came to my mind from this reading of your article: 1) the Jimmy Carter episode in which he was dealt a depressing disappointment was no accident as you alluded to. You are right that this incident was by design, but the reason and rationale behind that was definitely beyond anyone's speculation. Top tier leadership in China is seldom forgetful of their old friends, that incident Must had been coincidentall to some significant event at the time in 2013-2014!
2) it is incorrect to allude in any form that the basket of Chinese yawnings lack western style humanistic desires, they might not have expressed in manners and ways familiar or obvious to the western Media, the desires for a more transparent and accountable government, better integration into the larger world society, and a freer domestic society is exactly what Xi's China Dream is all about, somewhat contrary to your illustration to the opposite that is had none of the value of liberty advocated in the West. Its the Western Media that missed some of the key elements of this China Dream.
The U.S. under Trump is losing relevance
Talking about presidential manners...
Yiran D
The thing is that is a former president, who has limited influence to the White House now.
commies are pure evil, chinese are not---persons brainwashed don't count as human.
Michael Law
When American government moved 60% of their naval warship to Asia, what you expected from China?
Amy Zhao
Humiliating US president? Does Steven in Late night show allow China to take over his job?
Unreliable Narrator 66
What Schell, an astutue observer of China missed, was that Xi's meeting with Obama signalled to Chinathat Obama had no interest in meeting Xi halfway, but rather, was more interested in containing China's ascent, which is exactly the policy the US persued. This was the begining of the end for Chinese belief a partnership with the USA as equals could ever exist. What has followed tracks to that outcome: that China is forced to compete with the USA for influence and power. We can already see the decline in US influance in China from that equasion.
Peter Christopher Vertannes
I think that Schell may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps Xi Jin Ping simply considered Carter to be of less importance seeing that he is no longer a head of State as he once was. Perhaps it was simply an entirely different matter all together. I think Schell is simply disappointed that former President Carter was not treated in the manner he had wished.
Peter Christopher Vertannes
I disagree with Schell if what he is suggesting is that the reason for Deng visiting the US was for the sole purpose of establishing a good relations. Schell is overjoyed with the fact that Deng was open and receptive and overtly friendly with Americans during his visit, a stark contrast with what we see today. We must not forget, however, that Deng Xiao Ping was as sly and cunning as his predecessor was. The main reason why Deng began his overseas tour of countries such as the US and Japan was to gain some knowledge and insight as to how their countries were successful and this was made possible by the fact that he had become the paramount leader and Mao no longer existed.
Popopo Po
I don’t understand why he says” the power between China and world” why he has to put China against the whole world and then he adds” between China and USA” why he implicitly saying USA is the world? Is that arrogance or the trick to control people’s sentiment?
China is communist . US and China are too different to judge correctly . China remains communist. I lived 35 years in comunism. Communism sucks !
Clark Hui
There's a super famous song lyric line in China, saying"we welcome friends with good wine, and welcome enemy with a shoot gun."
Frank Roth
America is # 1 for all things good! We have the most POWERFUL MILITARY with the GREATEST WARRIORS, America has the Greatest Economy in the World All other Countries in the world aspire to be just like America, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. God & Allah have bestowed their blessings upon the USA and never in the History of the World have they ever done so.
James Thompke
Has anybody stopped to think why the young (America) punk on the block (world) is what it is?" I cringe every time I hear our country say "we are the fastest gun in the west". Those old westerns always had somebody calling just trying to challenge that. Our country is what?: 200 plus years. Add a thousand too most other countries.
The Generalist
Lol! Winnie the Pooh is an arrogant fool. He wants wealth, power, respect and global standing, but is not willing to do any hard work to EARN it. Typical communist! This also sound like the dream of Imperial Germany, and we all know where that road led.
American economic crisis is coming soon.
America may be on a down turn? And your a professor?
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