When Gary Locke, the first Chinese American to serve as ambassador to China, left the job last month, a state-run newspaper ran an oh-so-classy essay calling him a "banana." Meaning, yellow on the outside and white on the inside—a traitor to his race who is not "Chinese enough," writes fellow Chinese-American Eric Liu at CNN. It's not only a slur, it demonstrates why the US continues to have a "competitive edge" over China.
"To put it very simply: America makes Chinese Americans, but China does not—and does not particularly want to—make Americans Chinese," writes Liu. This country makes it possible for people of all ethnicities to succeed. China, not so much. What's more, the state-sanctioned essay writer equates being an American with being white. He might want to check the census. "China may be four times more populous than America," writes Liu. "But America is many times more diverse, intermingled, open, and adaptive than China." Click for his full column. (Read more China stories.)