Sounds like "panda."
I think I've said something along these lines before, but maybe I should repeat this for the naive - not wanting war with someone doesn't prevent that someone from preparing for it. (Or dipping a toe in it, for that matter.) Regarding the growth of another nation as being in the self-interest of one's own only works when that growth is not at the expense of the latter. (Or its neighbors, or its not-so-neighbors...)
I would have thought an experienced politician closer to these situations than I am would also be more aware of them when it comes to developing foreign policy, but this sounds plenty like the sort of self-awareness visible on the network that aired his interview. Although I suppose it is what one can expect from a person who panders to this sort of audience.
On a more language-related note, if people have attached such negativity to punctuation (hurray for emotional literacy over actual literacy), I shouldn't be surprised to see something equally ridiculous attached to words in a foreign language they're still learning about, words that carry a meaning unrelated to the language they currently use. Now if this had involved Japanese and Spanish, they might have an example that fits - the two languages in this situation, however, don't.
For one thing, I agree with this article's author on the university's treatment of this mess. For another, going by the level of the professor, it's a safe bet that the students themselves are aware of just how unrelated the meaning of the foreign words is to the slur that so offended them; and I wonder if the university is aware of how their response prepares their students for the world off campus. (Seriously, these are the sort of grad students coming out of there? ばか.)
(Bit beside the point, this, but it's funny how time can pall what was such a formative bit of entertainment. [From what part of New Yorsey did you scrape together that accent, woman?] I'd ask why the network it's on would start at Season Four rather than One, but they've also broadcasted 伞, so the choice isn't a total surprise. [I so enjoy when hanzi look like the object they represent.] No worse than the mecha and contrived resurrection sequels, I suppose.)