China used the Beijing Olympics as a showcase for its new found economic clout and ascendancy as a leading member of the international community. Douglas Paal explained on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal that President Bush gave legitimacy to China’s regime by attending the Games; an important gesture that should be repaidd with greater cooperation on the challenges the U.S. faces in places like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and North Korea.

Although the resounding success of the Games has bolstered China's authoritarian regime and shielded it from the scrutiny it deserves on human rights issues, China deserves praise for embracing the world. Paal noted that there is an important contrast between the way that the Chinese announced their resurgence to the international community -- by hosting a successful Games -- and the way that the Russians did so-- by invading a sovereign country and annexing territory. Pressuring China for more reforms through sanctions has proven an ineffective strategy. A more successful approach is for the U.S. to push forward with the current strategic economic dialogue.

Watch the Interview.