Cablegate: Media Reaction: Week of November 17-23; 11/23/09; Buenos
DE RUEHBU #1282/01 3271948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 231947Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0088
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 17-23; 11/23/09; BUENOS
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 17-23; 11/23/09; BUENOS
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international opinion pieces and editorials last week were
mostly related to President Obama's trip to Asia and its impact on
the US-Sino bilateral relationship; President Obama's policy on the
Middle East; the Guantanamo Bay detention center; and the outcome
of the FOA Summit.
2. PRESIDENT OBAMA TRIP TO ASIA
- "From competitors to strategic partners"
Claudio Fantini, international analyst of business-financial "El
Cronista," writes (11/17), "In April 2001, an air incident on the
Chinese island of Hainan showed the Bush administration's wish to
grant China the role the Russians used to have during the Cold War.
Eight years later, a US President arrives in Shanghai seeking an
ally where his predecessor wanted an enemy. Barack Obama is
inaugurating a multilateral world and accepting China as one of its
"Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama wants a less dependent relationship
with the US and less military presence in Okinawa. Anyway, Japan is
bewildered that the power with which it has a 50-year-long
partnership has decided to become a partner of China. So are the
other Asian allies of Washington - South Korea and Taiwan.
"Obama offering China to become partners instead of competitors
must have disappointed Muslims of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Falun
Gong's followers, who are frequently victims of China's human
"Thinking of those victims, Obama made clear that he will continue
claiming for the defense of human rights and guarantees, but not
from the position of a rival but that of an ally. This is why he
posed the end of the isolation of the Burmese military regime in
Singapore while asking for the release of opposed leader Aung San
"Obama has just acknowledged in Asia that the world is again
multilateral and China is one of its hubs. Without the Asian power,
nothing can be done on climate change, the fight on ultra-Islamic
terrorism and the containment of rogue states such as North Korea
"Anyway, this turn, which looks like a Copernican turn, is not so
much so. There is a successful antecedent of a US-Sino 'embrace.'
The 'ping-pong diplomacy' of the times of Nixon, Kissinger, Mao
Tse-tung and Chu En-lai served to isolate and weaken the Soviet
Union in the world scenario. By then, China was still monolithic in
its Marxism-Leninism, with a Communist government and a
centrally-planned, collective economy. Currently, thanks to Deng
Xiaoping's reforms, China is a huge and pushy market economy,
although with a regime of unique political party and
- "The US-China: the game of interdependence"
Leading "Clarin's" international editor Marcelo Cantelmi writes
(11/21), "Far from the US ability to impose its own agenda, none of
the issues the American brought to Beijing had some impact...
Beijing does not forget for one instant that China is the US
largest creditor. China will continue funding the low parity of its
currency, which benefits its global exports. Given that it is
cheaper to import than manufacture products, this will make
permanent the US historical unemployment rate... The US wanted the
huge Chinese domestic market to buy the products of its own
factories, but this would only be possible with an exchange rate
that is exclusively subject to market forces (which would make
Asian exports cheaper). However, Beijing wants its own market to
maintain its 8%-plus growth. This is the point of fracture for the
spectacular US-Sino marriage, which, according to Harvard historian
Nial Ferguson, is a 10 x 10 partnership: China obtains 10% growth,
and the US gets 10% unemployment."
- "'Obamao,' a phenomenon among Chinese youth"
David Brunat, on special assignment in Beijing for leading
"Clarin," comments (11/17), "'Obamao' is one of the most popular
characters among Beijing youth... 'Obamao' is the combination of
the names of Obama and Mao Tse Tung... The face with a lost look on
the horizon typical of Barack Obama's election posters was combined
with a cap with the Communist star, which was also classical of the
pictures of the dead Chinese President.
"Never before have the Chinese showed such passion for a foreign
leader, and less if he comes from the US, the major enemy of the
Communist regime since its 1949 foundation. However, now even
university teachers show to their students videos with Obama's
"New generations see in the first Afro-American president a light
of hope, change, equal opportunities vis-????-vis the politically and
socially inflexible Communist bureaucracy. (Obama's) optimistic
discourse, the famous 'yes we can' captivates millions of Chinese."
3. MIDDLE EAST
- "Obama pressures Israel over Jewish settlements"
Leading "Clarin" carries an opinion piece by Shlomo Slutzky, on
special assignment in Tel Aviv, who writes (11/19), "The US
President stated: 'The new constructions of Jewish settlements do
not contribute to Israel's secure borders.' In this way, the US
President defined his opposition to Israel building settlements in
the West Bank, particularly at this crucial moment that Washington
is attempting to gather Israelis and Palestinians and have them sit
together at the negotiation table.
"... In this way, not only the USG indignation was made patent
about the Israeli decision, but also its actual support for the
Palestinians, who refuse to resume negotiations if Israel does not
put an end to the construction in its settlements while
negotiations take place."
4. GUANTANAMO BAY DETENTION CENTER
- "Obama admits he will not be able to close the Guantanamo
detention center in January"
Ana Baron, leading "Clarin's" Washington-based correspondent,
writes (11/19) "Respect for human rights has always been one of
Barack Obama's priorities. However, yesterday he admitted for the
first time he will not meet the original January deadline for
shutting down the military prison in Guantanamo Bay although he
expects to do it sometime in 2010. On the other hand, even
Democrats have criticized his decision to subject to trial the five
September 11 suspects at New York civil courts... Although during
his election campaign, Obama said the terrorists used the
Guantanamo prison argument to recruit new jihad supporters, when he
took over, his efforts to close the prison and relocate some 200
detainees were harshly criticized by Democrats, Republicans and
even by those citizens living near the place where the detainees
were going to be transferred."
5. FAO SUMMIT
- "FAO summit fails again"
Julio Alga????araz, on special assignment in Rome for leading
"Clarin," comments (11/17) "World leaders have concluded one of the
worst world global food security summits, which was aimed at
tackling the most tragic problem of humanity. World leaders only
issued a political statement not granting one single cent to
palliate hunger, which devastates one billion inhabitants of the
"The number of summits increases as well as the number of deaths
due to malnutrition. One out of every six world inhabitants does
not have enough food to survive... This is the nth time deadlines
are set that are being ridiculed by reality.
"The absence of the leaders of G8 wealthy countries was more
impressive than the attendance of the other sixty world leaders...
Every six seconds a child dies of malnutrition."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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