I think it's really happening now.
Can anyone imagine a western power, in this case France, trying to 'limit the damage' and reacting to China's pressure 20 years ago? 10 Years ago?
What's happening here is a test run on China's part to see how much influence and pressure it can exert to get it's way.
PARIS — After a wave of anti-French protests in China, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is sending three top officials there this week in a diplomatic charm offensive to limit the political and economic fallout from the controversy surrounding the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Thousands of protesters targeted outlets of the French supermarket chain Carrefour in China over the weekend, demonstrating against what they see as France’s sympathetic support for pro-Tibet agitators.
France has become the main focus of the protests in China, notably after footage of a Chinese athlete in a wheelchair protecting the Olympic torch from protesters as it passed through Paris earlier this month turned her into a national hero and talk show star.
Among the three top officials, the president of the French Senate, Christian Poncelet, was headed for Shanghai on Monday, to be followed by a former prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, on Thursday.
On Friday, it will be the turn of Mr. Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte, to reassure the Chinese leadership that France has no intention of straining relations.
This is pretty much a carbon copy of how the US has been acting for the last 50 years. China is taking a page from the US play book (who took a page from the UK play book... and on and on back to the Romans).
I think we're seeing the beginnings of the 'power' transfer happening right now. I also think the 2008 Olympics may be looked back on as the time China began the process of taking the lead as most powerful and influential nation in the world away from the United States.
Guess I should brush up on my Mandarin.