is now clear – if it wasn't during the Cold War – that the only way
to keep your country free from invaders and despoilers is to maintain
a nuclear arsenal and a large army. Missiles and cruisers are important
as well, to kill the enemy from afar and threaten his cities.
North Korea may yet receive an aid package of some
sorts, perhaps a stake in the railroad leading from Asian ports
to the European cities, perhaps renewed shipments of oil, wheat,
socks etc. that it so desperately needs.
All the while, Iraq is bracing for Bush the Conqueror
to follow in his papa's footsteps and annihilate the
desert and break assorted promises to the "brave people of
Iraq." How a man can possibly stretch out to the son a hand
covered in the blood of the father, I'll never understand. With
Bush the Younger, it is most ironic.
Iraq is weak and rich, therefore it must be conquered.
Other weak (or not powerful) countries are scrambling to arm themselves
in order to stand as North Korea does and not kneel like Iraq will.
Russia and China are benefiting greatly from our President's reckless
foreign policy – monetarily, militarily and politically.
is selling planes and missiles by the shiploads to China, Iran,
North Korea, Pakistan and virtually every other Third World country
on the planet. Together, the two former, current and presumably
future "strategic competitors" of the US are doling out
nuclear technology and renting out scientists and manufacturing
plants to these same rogues.
China, as the economic darling of the world, is
able to lobby for the Northeast-Asian-Europe Railway to pass through
China instead of Vladivostok. Ports and railways in Burma and Pakistan
further link the once-isolated China to the markets of the world.
Dams on the Mekong and the Yangtze help relieve energy pressures
as well as linking the hinterland with those all-important ports.
China is able to circumvent ASEAN concerns, Indian concerns and
Russian concerns in all these matters because smiles and nods and
handouts accompany many a Chinese deal.
China is going even a step further. The West has
debated forgiving the debt of the ridiculously poor nations of the
world for some time, but just cannot bring themselves to do it.
Instead, controversial entities such as the World Bank and the IMF
along with underpaid overworked NGOs and UN programs struggle to
make a difference.
merely loans with little or no interest and forgives debts. The
Caribbean nations were slightly dumbfounded when a delegation of
Chinese bigwigs swooped through the area signing business deals,
letting cash drop from their bejeweled fingers and singing the praises
of those who recognize the one and only China. Historically and
socially, one could describe this as a typical Chinese diplomatic
of the largest ships ever built – roughly 1800 years ago –
carried Chinese explorers, goods and largesse to India, East Africa
and up to Egypt. After the eunuchs were defeated by the scholars
at court, shipbuilding ceased.
Now it has begun again: both militarily, with the
acquisition last year of Russian Soveremeny class destroyers and
more recently with the purchase of Su-147 fighters specializing
in air-to-sea combat; and commercially, with the establishment of
Cross Straits flights, purchases of Boeing 737 and 747, the slow
but sure liberation of Chinese airlines and their prices and with
the various missions to Nigeria, South Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
China has the nukes and the missiles and the army
to deter a US Army petrified of losing even one soldier or plane
to the enemy. So the tactics the Chinese are using to sway world
opinion – already nigh unanimous in condemnation of US policy – can
afford to be smiles, nods and handouts.
US, on the other hand, must fortify its consulates and embassies
with high walls, surveillance equipment, marines and assorted secret
booby-traps for the enemies that will eventually storm the gate.
Here in Chengdu, a veritable boiling hotbed of terrorism and bloodthirsty
anti-Americanism (I'm joking everybody), Halliburton's subsidiaries
are fortifying the Consulate.
that evil lover of despots (again, a joke), mentioned the advantages
of a leader having a people love him over having a people fear him
– a leader needs no walls if the people love him.
this the Year of the Sheep, a most lucky one for Chinese, China
may yet see the international image it has so lovingly cultivated
with Games and Festivals and Gifts and soft words (to offset the
executions, net crackdowns, imprisonments, and mindboggling corruption/unemployment)
blossom in the Third and Second Worlds while the First looks on
desperately from the walls it has built around itself.
To quote a friend of mine:
"The First is the Worst, The Second is the Next, the Third
is the word we use to describe all the rest."
520 South Murphy Avenue, Suite #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
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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
and Nods and Handouts
Straddling the Fence Just Right
Count on China
Christmas from China
Believe the Hype
Incoming Hu Era
Theory Is a Smokescreen
Make You Play Bad Card'
Future of East-West Rapprochement
Legacy: The Forgotten Rebellion
the Chinese Smile
China Can Disregard US Anger
the World: What the US Fears
Billion Problems For China
New Post-9/11 Status
Room for Growth
Back in the USA
Missing the Boat?
Sweep 'Em Off the Streets
Chinese Embrace Progress
War May Reveal New Superpower, Part II
War May Reveal New Superpower
Chance for a New Friendship?
as a Way of Life
Markets or Supermarkets
Towards World Significance
on the Road to Capitalism
American in China
the Street in China: A Report