A good place for America's President to begin his inquiry is with some of the editorial pages from America's leading newspapers. The top five newspapers according to circulation numbers are: "The Wall Street Journal, (WSJ)" "USA Today," (USAT) "The New York Times, (NYT)" the "Los Angeles Times," (LAT) and the "Washington Post," (WP).
Those newspapers consistently bash China. Even a recent story about the economic success of China's Hainan Island, which appeared in The NYT, characterized the "success" as being emblematic of China's excesses.
Here are some of the other nuggets the newspapers are throwing out lately.
China's aid to foreign countries is characterized as a means by which China can exert its influence elsewhere. Whether or not that is so, American foreign aid always comes with strings attached.
A WP columnist wrote recently that in America's intensifying contest with China much of the world is at stake. The author predictably linked many of his "world at stake" hyperbolic references to Soviet-U.S. tensions during the Cold War.
Less principled was the newspapers' omission in not publishing financial figures as to the amounts of money that exchanges hands with Google by way of those "powered by Google" ads which appear on their web pages.
One op-ed suggested that China's specialty is masquerading weakness as strength, whatever that means.
A WSJ writer bemoaned his defeat by some Chinese swimmers many years ago and then enigmatically connected his loss to government surveillance today and why foreigners can't win in China.
The most patronizing of the editorials was written by The NYT's Nicholas Kristof. After acknowledging the importance of the relationship between China and the U.S. and opining that it is deteriorating rapidly, Kristof explains why.
According to Kristof, China's leaders have their backs to the wall. They are insecure, trying to protect a system that Kristof believes is beginning to crack because Chinese citizens are becoming annoyed with government censorship, specifically Internet censorship.
In Kristof's view, the decisions by the government to keep the yuan's valuation constant and to force Google to obey its laws are signs of the Government's weakness. From that dubious proposition, Kristof concludes the Government is vulnerable while nevertheless admitting that Americans exaggerate the disaffection of Chinese toward their Government. It certainly appears Kristof is guilty of the same exaggeration.
China bashing has become de rigeur in the U.S. Watching and listening to the behavior and words of American louts and politicians address China is like observing an obnoxious drunk at a party. The drunk has no self-awareness and believes he is infallible. His reasoning is impaired. Unfortunately, he's often a danger to himself and others.