By Yuri Yarim-Agaev and Paul Gregory
China is the world’s fastest growing economy. It is now second only to the United States in GDP. It weathered the financial crisis with scarcely a scratch. It owns a considerable portion of our debt. Others now look to its one-party dictatorship as a model for economic growth. Yet China is throwing a temper tantrum unworthy of a great country over the Nobel Committee’s decision to award its 2010 peace prize to Liu Xia bao.
To find something comparable, we have to go back to Nikita Khrushchev’s tirade over the Nobel Committee’s decision to award the 1958 literature prize to dissident writer Boris Pasternak. (Khrushchev did not rest until he badgered the committee into granting the prize to the ideologically sound Mikhail Sholokhov). Instead of projecting an image of world leadership, China looks off balance, out of sorts, and clearly worried. How can one lonely dissident evoke such fear?