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CHINA: NEWS: FAMILY BUSINESS - BUSH SENIOR AND SON DO BEIJING
like father, like son?
BEIJING, NOVEMBER 14 - 21, 2005 — Setting the stage for his son's (President Bush) summit in the Chinese capital, former President Bush kicked off an elite invitation-only forum in Beijing today, a follow-up to the first such event held two years ago in Texas.

The forum on "China-US Trade, Diplomacy, and Research" is a joint affair by Texas A&M University, Peking University, and a host of American and Chinese corporate giants, particularly oil and gas companies. But the creator of the forum and its real backer is George Herbert Walker Bush.

According to the elder Bush, perhaps America's greatest living "China Hand," the USA - China relationship is the most important and must be got right for future peace and prosperity.

The forum is set amid a flurry of activity in advance of President Bush's three day summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao beginning November 19, including visits from Republican state governors Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Minnesota's Timothy Pawlenty.

Opinion is mixed on the importance of the Beijing visit and whether it is just time away from the political setbacks suffered by the Bush administration and his party in Washington, DC, and in recent elections.

Veteran China reporter Franz Schurmann sees the attention to Beijing as evidence of a new global order, a successor to the old USA-USSR dichotomy during the Cold War.

If Schurmann is right it will take more than elite forums held every two years (with little to no coverage in USA media) to explain it to the American people.

©2005 Ben Calmes for Sinomania!

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