As long as US continues its ranting on China's currency manipulation instead of reflecting on and redressing weaknesses in domestic economic fundamentals, it is not getting out of the rut. There are lots of hard work to be done to curb its credit manipulation, raise fiscal standards, improve productivity and bring about more equitable distribution of wealth. Carbon trading and taxes are not on the US government's agenda either, preferring to put the blame and burden on Third World countries trying to pick up from lost years of development to eradicate poverty by sacrificing their health and environment taking on the role as factories of the world.
Obama's tough-minded and bluntly worded message to China was that rising power brings with it rising responsibilities. China has an obligation not only to follow the rules, but, in Obama's words, to help underwrite them.
Obama's comments were in answer to a question about trade. But his bluntness with China reflects a deep disappointment in Washington with China's performance over a wide range of economic, security and global governance issues.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not designed to exclude China, Obama says, but if a country wants to join it has to open up its economy. This is shrewd diplomacy by Obama. The TPP is open to any nation that meets the criteria. Because China won't meet the criteria, the emphasis of the discussion is not on the US beating up on Beijing, but Beijing's refusal to liberalise.