Beijing Men Bear Gifts

  • Share
  • Read Later
BEIJING: Never mind the Japanese trade dispute with the U.S. watch out for men from the East bearing gifts. China's President Jiang Zemin, whose upcoming state visit to Washington has been a source of some controversy, is planning to send an advance party of trade delegates to America next week with billions of dollars in export deals in their pockets.

On a day when Japan's cargo ships are barred from U.S. ports while its negotiators haggle over $4 million in fines, news of China's generosity will come as a refreshing change to export-hungry businesses. But could this deal be just a little too sweet?

China's vice minister of foreign trade, Sun Zhenyu, said the highly-publicized trade mission would be undertaken "so that the U.S. people can understand that this relationship is indeed very important, and it is not a one-way relationship." No doubt the U.S. people will also understand the growing spending power of Asia's largest economy.

Perhaps they might also be encouraged to stay at home when Jiang arrives, rather than pester him with those embarrassing "remember Tiananmen Square!" placards. Especially if Jiang follows through on a vague promise that his country would place a $2 billion order for 30 Boeing planes during his visit. Did someone say 'Most Favored Nation'?