Over at the website of the Philippine Star, columnist Carmen N. Pedrosa reminds her countrymen that China is the pre-eminent economic presence in today’s Pacific Rim, and that American politicians, rather than blaming the PRC for all America’s financial and social woes (as is the case with some of them), need instead to focus on maintaining and strengthening a trade partnership that, for all its tensions and occasional rough spots, has been indispensible to the future of both nations since President Nixon traveled there over forty years ago.
Much of the column is devoted to quoting several experts about this topic, but early on, Ms. Pedrosa recalls the hope that filled her nation, for long so closely tied to the United States, when the President’s arrival in Beijing, and his handshake with Premier Zhou Enlai, was televised worldwide:
I remember the day in February 1972 because family and friends were all around the TV set cheering the event. I consider myself more or less politically literate but a brother sitting close to me who could not care less about politics said, “Magaling ito sa atin. Hindi na tayo mamatahin ng mga puti. Kasama tayo sa pagdangal ng isang Amerikanong pangulo sa Tsina” (This is good for us because we share in the honor when an American President visits China). I would never forget what he said because this was an instinctive, apolitical reaction to the visit.