official, Ms. Fu Ying, emphasized the vital roles of the international
community and China's traditional position of neutrality concerning
disputes of this nature. Coming on the heels of the New and Quick
War in Afghanistan, China's official position should come as no
the bombing of Afghanistan, China remained aloof while stamping
down on any uppity Uighers. Even as Chinese companies were coming
under criticism for doing business in Kabul, Teheran and Islamabad havens of terrorism in the eyes of the US government the CCP
was calm and stoic. China even quietly requested the return of any
Chinese nationals found amidst the remains of Al Qaeda and/or Taliban
intent are Chinese leaders on domestic affairs that the rapid destruction
of the only stable force on their western border and the threat
of nuclear war to the south produce naught but the same vapid references
to the "international community" of which China is a very
new (and not so welcome) member. Will China ever cast eyes away
from the Taiwan issue and help establish peace and stability in
its own backyard?
South China Morning Post reported today that the succession
is complete in all but ceremony. Jiang ZeMin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji
are all slated to step back into the shadows reserved for old mumbling
ex-leaders while their handpicked protégés carry on
the legacy. How powerful the Old Guard's influence over the new
leaders will be remains to be seen.
the National Congress ready to meet and ratify the new appointments
this year, perhaps the leaders deemed it unwise to get involved
in international disputes, wars, conflicts and/or shouting matches
no matter where they take place. In fact, 2001 was a year of crackdowns
on the domestic front: netbars, migrant workers, corrupt politicians,
counterfeiters, Uighers all felt the soft hand of Chinese justice.
This isn't a new phenomenon, but the Strike Hard campaign also came
as China entered the WTO a certain catalyst for labor unrest.
is busy getting rich and getting organized. With new faces set to
grace CCTV's "the leader went here" programs and new huge
tasks (adhering to WTO regulations while keeping everyone happy)
China has no time to be flexing across borders, so it seems.
THE KEY TO
are interesting twists to the Pakistan-Kashmir-India and China-Taiwan
and Pakistan have a rather healthy and long-standing military and
economic relationship. Reports emerged last week that Taiwan and
India had secret arms deals going on. The US supports and supplies
arms to Taiwan. The US was also an ally of Pakistan, throughout
the Cold War and New War and presumably is Pakistan's ally even
now. If Pakistan were to unleash nuclear hell upon India, they would
use American F-16s to deliver the bombs.
China and India see no compromise in their disputes with their smaller,
thorny neighbors and both want closer ties to the US even as they
resent the US support Taiwan and Pakistan both enjoy. Neither India
nor China have shown any inclination to change the current hard-line
policy toward Taiwan, Pakistan and each other.
so, an interesting scenario, brought up by Asia Times columnist
Francesco Sisci, is an alliance of the two largest nations in East
Asia. China would be able to rein in Pakistan and India might be
inclined to lean on Taiwan and both of them might minimize US influence
between them. Hell, they could squash the Maoist insurgency in Nepal
while they're at it.
Sisci's view, China's economic growth, huge population and traditional
neutral stance make it the key to stability in the region, more
important than India or even Japan. China, if ever persuaded to
act, could play the peacemaker role it claims it does not want.
BUT WHAT WOULD
only example of a full time "peacemaker" that this world
has is the United States. If there is a problem somewhere that involves
blood and guts, you can bet the US will be there someday, trying
to make the peace.
lets take a look at the favorite methods employed by the SuperPeacemaker:
the Hell out of Serbia to save the Albanians from genocide
Send TOW missiles into Somali buildings to root out all warlords
Give tons of money to Israel; a fraction to Palestine
Train people to torture
Bomb the Hell out of the Taliban to save the Afghans (and the
world) from destruction
lack of bombers, missiles and money could be another explanation
for its reluctance to jump into peacekeeping operations, aside from
the need to quell domestic tensions. So what is it China can do
that may help countries stop killing each other? Nothing, and that's
why China stays out of it all, right?
1999 when Pakistan and India were on the brink of war, both Heads
of State visited China within days of each other. At the very outset
of the present conflict, Musharraf visited Beijing and asked for
China to help defuse the situation. Zhu Rongji is making a South
Asian tour this week and will be in India soon.
what the Chinese government says and what it does do not entirely
printable version of this article
is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column (usually) appears
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