Just found out that the new Treasury Sec, Timothy Geithner, grew up in Asia:
-his father worked for the Ford Foundation in Asia
-he did high school at an expensive expat school in Bangkok
-he studied Chinese and Japanese, and lived in both countries, though I don’t know which Chinese city
-he graduated in Asian studies.
Finally an Obama appointment I can live with, since I’m not too ecstatic about Hillary becoming the international mouthpiece of the US.
Old hands of Asia will mean old empathy for the (former) sick old man of Asia. Not sure why this is a great thing for someone living in Taiwan. Or the world really.
Is that based on your opinion of Geithner himself or just the older generation in general? I ask because everything I’ve heard about the older/younger gap suggests the opposite. The old guard (or what’s left of them) tend to think of China as the commies, and Taiwan as an ally against them, while the young guys think China = $$$ and give blank stares when you mention Taiwan.
No. The generation that grew up in the late 1960s tends to be very anti-Taiwan and pro-China because it sees Asia through the lens of the Vietnam War. Taiwan/Chiang Kai-shek was an enthusiastic supporter of US policy in Asia and Vietnam, and the progressives of the day formed a very negative view of Taiwan partly because of their experiences in Chiang’s militarized authoritarian Taiwan and partly because support for the ROC was associated with the hard right of the Republican party. Echoes of this and earlier ideological struggles in the US policy establishment (particularly the McCarthy era purge of a generation of china scholars sympathetic to the pre-revolution PRC) continue to shape informed US views of Taiwan.
Is that based on your opinion of Geithner himself or just the older generation in general? I ask because everything I’ve heard about the older/younger gap suggests the opposite. The old guard (or what’s left of them) tend to think of China as the commies, and Taiwan as an ally against them, while the young guys think China = $$$ and give blank stares when you mention Taiwan.[/quote]
Actually I didn’t know much about Geithner but was making a glib comment. From what I have read he is an impressive figure and not old at all (47).
OK, then he’s too young to be part of the Vietnam generation. But, ugh, he worked for Kissinger and Associates for three years. That can’t have been good for his soul.
China currently has financial leverage over the US through Treasury bonds, leverage that it may use in a conflict over Taiwan.
Geithner could buy back those Treasury bonds from China at a lower price in the future once the economy recovers. Of course that won’t happen anytime soon given the huge deficit and today’s economy.
I didn’t realize he was only 47. That’s downright young by Washington standards When I think old guard I think of the dwindling few in Congress that were pre-Vietnam or early Vietnam as opposed to the folks Feiren is talking about.
Like Joe Biden for instance. That’s an old guard right there.