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Kyoko Altman

Hong Kong, China

Kyoko Altman has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC, and as a news-magazine reporter for Japan's top-ranked news program 'News Station' on TV Asahi. She has covered more than twenty countries. Close.

Kyoko Altman

Hong Kong, China

Kyoko Altman has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC, and as a news-magazine reporter for Japan's top-ranked news program 'News Station' on TV Asahi. more »

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Many Ways to Hate America

According to a recent book, "Anti-Americanisms in World Politics" by international relation scholars Peter Katzenstein and Robert Keohane, anti-Americanism comes in four distinct forms. There is "liberal anti-Americanism" seen in European democracies like France in which critics charge America is not living up to its values and ideals. "Social anti-Americanism" found in developing countries like Bolivia in South America comes from supporters of the social-welfare state model who oppose U.S.-led globalization. "Radical anti-Americanism" is the kind associated with Islamic fundamentalism found in the Middle East.

And here in Asia, there is "sovereign-nationalist anti-Americanism." This type of anti-Americanism sees American geopolitical and cultural dominance as a threat to national identity and strategic interests. China’s saber-rattling over Taiwan is an example. As China grows economically and asserts itself on the world stage, its dislike for U.S. economic and cultural power has increased. I would note that China’s anti-Americanism can only go so far given Beijing’s awareness of its reliance on exports to the United States. The authors do point out that China’s dislike for America is different from the level of hatred the Chinese harbor towards Japan. In China as in most countries, they say, anti-Americanism involves more distrust than outright bias.

Katzenstein and Keohane say it’s not too late to salvage America’s battered reputation in the world because a lot of the anti-Americanism is in response to what the U.S. does and could change when U.S. policies change. I would argue, however, that it is much harder to rebuild a reputation once damaged. And the damage done by the current administration’s missteps has long-term consequences. Why should countries like China respond to U.S. criticisms of media and internet censorship when Washington has been known to eavesdrop on its own citizens? And how effective can Washington’s call to improve human rights be when it has ignored its own principles of due process in Guantanamo? America may be able to quell some of the anti-Americanisms but it will take a long while and a new leadership in the White House for the U.S. to regain its political standing in the world.

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