[The Straits Times] China Flexing its Muscles

The Straits Times (September 22, 2010)

“China flexing its muscles”


‘President Hu Jintao’s government has made a fundamental shift in China’s foreign policy orientation to, as it sees it, at long last, standing up for China,’ said Edward Friedman, a China scholar at the University of Wisconsin.

China’s communist leaders have for decades invoked the memory of humiliating encroachments by foreign countries to rally domestic support, though Beijing was too weak to do much about its past territorial claims.

But something changed in 2008, Mr Friedman said, when Beijing’s successful staging of the Olympics enhanced its prestige, and the world financial crisis humbled the United States and other rich economies.