"Whenever the television cameras pull back to show Beijing's stunning new architecture -- the Bird's Nest, the bubble-wrapped swimming center, the state television headquarters building that has a hole in the middle and no visible means of support for the upper floors -- it's impossible not to recall that our relationship to China is that of debtor to creditor. And the fact is that one tends to be polite to the bank that holds one's mortgage."
Obama will probably talk more about engagement and the "international community," while McCain is likely to sound more confrontational. I'm pretty sure, though, that neither will come clean about a central truth: Our future is being decided not just in Washington but in Beijing and Moscow -- and in Riyadh, Islamabad, New Delhi, Dubai, Caracas, Abuja, Brasilia. . . .
We still have the wherewithal to lead. But we're deluding ourselves if we believe we won't have to adapt to the new reality.
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