Tuesday, August 08, 2006

 

Leave Foreign policy to the Feds

The Irvine City Council is being forced to waste a lot of time dealing with a letter a city official signed with the Xuhui District of Shanghai, which was our new sister city in China. Apparently, the first letter affirmed America's "One-China" policy and promised to break our sister city realationship with a city in Taiwan. Now they are having to spend a lot of time rescinding the new relationship and dealing with angry constituents.

America's relationship with China, and in particular, our "One-China policy", is complicated, as it involves strategic ambiguity. But our city officials should not be dealing with that; they should leave that to the Federal Government. But why are they dealing with it at all? What is the value in these sister-city relationships? I guess they are fun and interesting for schoolchildren. But, did Irvine taxpayers foot the bill for their trip to China? If so, then I doubt this is worth it. Sister city relationships could be set up via mail (or today, via email) by non-governmental organizations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce) so that taxpayer money is not spent, and the time of government officials is not wasted.
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