Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope Begins Now

In a few hours Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

Everyone around the world is watching anxiously, waiting for this day to come after eight years of George W. Bush and the Republicans in power.

Obama has invoked Abraham Lincoln in taking an abbreviated train ride to Washington, and will have the theme of Lincoln in his inauguration speech.

America's first black president is calling for all of us to be accountable for our actions and to work together to deal with the numerous challenges confronting us, from the global financial crisis to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And here in Beijing, many American expats are gathering in bars to watch the swearing-in and swelling with pride. "America is great again," as one said to me.

Many Chinese are speculating over how Obama will deal with Sino-US relations... will he confront China on its human rights record? Will he be protectionist? Or will he try to get China to revaluate the yuan to a higher rate?

At this point in time many believe he won't be too confrontational as the entire US economy is at stake.

He has some top China advisors who will hopefully dole out sagely advice and it'll be interesting to see when Obama visits the Middle Kingdom.

Will he win over China's leaders with his irresistable charm or leave them mystified as to how this dark horse managed to capture the world's imagination with his platform of Change.

Now that will be interesting to watch.

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