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Mission Impossible

Yesterday, in the New York Times and other media outlets:

President Barack Obama secured a promise from President Hu Jintao of China on Monday to join negotiations on a new package of sanctions against Iran, administration officials said, but Hu made no specific commitment to backing measures that the United States considers severe enough to force a change in direction in Iran’s nuclear program.

In a 90-minute conversation before the opening of a summit meeting on nuclear security, Obama sought to win more cooperation from China by directly addressing one of the main issues behind Beijing’s reluctance to confront Iran: its concern that Iran could retaliate by cutting off oil shipments to China. The Chinese import nearly 12 percent of their oil from Iran.

Obama assured Hu that he was “sensitive to China’s energy needs” and would work to make sure that Beijing had a steady supply of oil if Iran cut China off in retaliation for joining in severe sanctions.

U.S. officials portrayed the Chinese response as the most encouraging sign yet that Beijing would support an international effort to ratchet up the pressure on Iran and as a sign of “international unity” on stopping Iran’s nuclear program before the country can develop a working nuclear weapon.

Today in the Jerusalem Post, via AP:

A state-owned Chinese refiner plans to ship 30,000 metric tons of gasoline to Iran after European traders halted shipments ahead of possible new UN sanctions, according to Singapore ship brokers.


A deputy Chinese foreign minister, Cui Tiankai, said Tuesday that China is ready to discuss all ideas that UN Security Council members put forward to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. But he said any agreement on Iran must involve all parties, not just one or two countries.

Cui said Iran’s legitimate right to have energy trade with other countries should not be undermined as the world pursues a settlement of the nuclear standoff.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is explain how today’s actions by China reconcile with the claim Obama made yesterday.



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20 Responses to Mission Impossible

  • Ah, this would be one of Perfesser Erb’s many  ‘Obama foreign policy successes” recently.
    You know, like the non binding nuclear summit and the highly successful Israeli diplomacy effort and Russia mumbling about backing out of SALT (whatever), just another one of ‘many’ recent successes for our little wunderkind.

  • The proper way to view all of these silly sanctions and all this talk, talk, talk against Iran is with this mathematical formula: 0 + 0 = 0.  None of this will have the slightest effect upon Iran’s actions whatsoever, and only diplomats, Democrats, and fools (but I am being redundant) believe otherwise.

  • [E]xplain how today’s actions by China reconcile with the claim Obama made yesterday.

    Two possibilities:

    1.  He lied about what they said.

    2.  They played him for a sucker.

    Oh, wait… Just thought of a third possibility:

    He lied AND they played him for a sucker.

  • Obama loves to lick those commie boots doesn’t he

  • LOL!  The two comments are not contradictory.   Do you really know so little about international relations that you don’t see the negotiations being played out here?   China never went along with Bush, but Obama may get them to go along with sanctions, but they’re  going to have a say in how they are put together.   Seriously, what would you expect?   Would you expect China not to ship refined gas to Iran?   Are you that naive?

    • I do not think the word ‘sanctions’ means what you think it means.

      • In other words, as long as Obama is going to allow himself to get rolled again simply so he can make a big announcement about some toothless and useless “sanctions”

    • Face it, Erb.  Your man of Steel is showing a bit of rust!

    • When did Obama achieve anything in international relations? Anything?

    • Let us recall another great international negotiation announcement –
      “.the settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine.”
      The difference here between Imeme and Bush is, China was actually somewhat afraid of Bush, he did things like called his enemies enemies and would, according to some, LIE in order to use his army to break things.  Your “man of steel”, not so much.

  • Forget about reconciling the two statements.  How about trying to explain exactly how the US would guarantee China’s access to oil if Iran stopping selling it to China?  Will we suddenly increase our output to make up for Iran’s lost supply?
    I think China took Obama’s promise for what it was worth, and acted accordingly.

  • International dateline, duh!

  • The new sanctions do not affect the import of gasoline, only the export of oil? Or something like that.
    Or some parts of the Chinese government do not know what is happening in the other parts.  Not unimaginable. They are a bureaucracy just like ours. But with less lawyers.

  • Great! The Chinese are willing to join negotiations. What a stunning diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration. The hard work has been done, all that is left is the trivial details. I am sure these sanction negotiations will be just as successful as middle eastern peace negotiations.

  • Hussein’s chickens coming home to roast?

  • I am prepared to accept that China, knowing that President Obama could do nothing about it, lied to his face and then when about doing whatever it wanted.  What, is he going to punish them?  He couldn’t make Honduras bend to his will, what would China worry about him?
    President Obama is a joke, and he’s going to get us all killed.

  • I think the relevant question is… does China like us more now?

    • They came to the photo op, so they must like us more.
      I have a question about bowing to a communist Chinese.
      1) Is it ironic because Americans shouldn’t bow to foreign leaders?
      2) Is it ironic, because communists call each other comrade and are big on the equality thing.
      Also, as someone who has lived in Asia for a long time…I don’t think Chinese bow that much. That’s a very Japanese thing. I will say that Indonesians, especially Javanese, do some crouching and such as politeness…I wonder if he picked this up as a kid.