With the presidential election heating up, there is less attention in the US on the Beijing Olympics. This is exactly what I predicted about two years ago in email conversations with other AIUSA volunteers. Regardless, the show must go on. The latest press release from AI focused on activist Hu Jia.

I am, however, impressed by a few intelligently written articles about China last month. The January 7th issue of Newsweek was a special double issue with half of it dedicated to China. I was particularly taken by Melinda Liu’s article tracing back the last 30 years of China through her experience as a journalist stationed in Beijing and also through family ties. It’s amazing to read about the drastic changes the country went through and those changes surpassed the speed of change in any other country in the world. And then there is the article about China earning its position as a superpower.

Meanwhile, James Fallows’ article in the Atlantic Monthly explored China’s $1.4 trillion trade surplus and how it became the pillar of the American way of excess spending and negative savings. It’s a long article but it’s definitely worth the time to understand the complicated mechanism the Chinese authorities imposes on its banks and currency. Starting from the tight control at the top, everything else appears to me turn into a chain reaction. The big question is whether the US can survive when the huge trade imbalance with China tips over itself.