China: stark oder schwach?

IRVINE (KALIFORNIEN): Die chinesische Regierung hat in letzter Zeit ihren Anspruch auf umstrittene Abschnitte der internationalen Gewässer vor Chinas Küste mit ungewöhnlich scharfen Worten geltend gemacht. Dies hat zu einer Verschärfung der Spannungen insbesondere zwischen China und den USA geführt, wo Außenministerin Hillary Clinton betont hat, die Regierung Obama sei nun bereit, sich einzuschalten und mitzuhelfen, eine faire Beilegung der Streitigkeiten im Südchinesischen Meer zu gewährleisten. Sprecher Chinas haben dies als Rückfall in die Zeit kritisiert, als Amerika dachte, es könne und sollte der Volksrepublik Grenzen setzen.

Man kann Chinas pathetische Rhetorik – und seine harte Reaktion auf die gemeinsamen Militärmanöver zwischen den USA und Südkorea – als weiteren Hinweis dafür interpretieren, dass die chinesische Führung inzwischen enorm selbstbewusst und begierig ist, ihren Einfluss geltend zu machen. Die Realität freilich ist komplexer. Sieht man genauer hin, erkennt man, dass Präsident Hu Jintaos Worte und Taten häufig durch eine Mischung aus Unsicherheit und Großspurigkeit geprägt sind und dass chinesische Regierungsvertreter den Aufstieg des Landes abwechselnd hoch- und herunterspielen.

Natürlich gibt es Momente, in denen die chinesische Führung aussieht, als wüsste sie, dass sie Erfolg haben wird, und wolle, dass andere das anerkennen. Selbst vor den derzeitigen diplomatischen Kontroversen verwiesen Chinas Politiker schadenfroh darauf, wie viel effektiver ihr Konjunkturpaket dabei sei, die negativen Auswirkungen der Finanzkrise aufzufangen, als das Obamas.

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