中国法律博客
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Obama's Visit: Very Little Sound and Fury, and Signifying Very Little
媒体来源: 中国法律博客

This is not a criticism, mind you. The trip seems to be going well so far.

But these things aren't really supposed to make a lot of news, at least beyond the usual vanilla stories currently being run in the major papers and wire services.

And I do sort of feel sorry for the journalists out there who are told to write a story about Obama's events, irrespective of whether the event was actual newsworthy.

That's why you are now seeing stories about Obama's "Townhall" event in Shanghai today that are a little light on substance. The headlines seem to be of the following kind (I'm paraphrasing loosely):

"Obama Says Net Censorship Is Bad"

"Obama Says One-China Policy Will Be Maintained"

"Some 'Students' At Shanghai Event Were Planted"

"Obama: 'US Does Not Wish to Contain China's Rise'"

很无聊. I almost fell asleep writing those "stunning" headlines. The only one that actually comes close to being real news is the last one, insofar as this new "Strategic Reassurance" tag line will actually turn into a real policy.

I for one am skeptical, since the whole point of "Strategic Reassurance" seems to be an ad nauseum repetition of the "chill out" message from Washington to Beijing. It's an important message, but at the end of the day, it's a fairly simple one that maybe doesn't deserve such an august tag line.

Anyway, I'm not going to comment further on Obama's trip to Shanghai, nor will I talk much about what he gets up to here in Beijing unless some real news is made. To return to the allusion in my post title: I don't want to be the idiot telling the tale.

Moreover, I spent the day teaching, it was -1 degrees and a bit windy out there (my commute was fun), and the heat in my apartment is busted. So I'm a bit cranky.

Anyway, if you're curious about what's going on, though, the Shanghaiist blog has some good coverage, including a list of links on the subject. Have fun.

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