The President couldn't have picked a better city to showcase a China changing at almost breakneck speed: The spectacle of a U.S. president chatting with callers on a radio show in Communist-ruled China about ways of getting Japan's stagnant economy restarted seems almost outlandish. Even more so, perhaps -- the Prez was asked about one of his areas of expertise: fast food. A local leader at the morning roundtable bemoaned the passion for McDonald's and KFC among China's children, wondering if it might lead to problems of obesity.
Why is Bill Clinton in China? It's the economy, stupid. The President got down to the business of showcasing China's economic potential Tuesday in the powerhouse city of Shanghai -- the white-hot engine of that nation's furious economic growth. At a roundtable with local business and civic leaders, and later on -- of all things -- a talk-radio show, he heaped praise on China for resisting the pressure to devalue its currency and emphasized the cooperation between the two countries over the Asian financial crisis as a model of partnership. He spoke of "a new China emerging in the world that is more prosperous, more open and more dynamic" -- a place that's hugely attractive to American business.