Zemin's visit to Bush's ranch on Friday may prove decisive for US
plans to wage war in Iraq. The Chinese government is thoroughly
enjoying its relatively neutral stance throughout the War on Terrorism,
while reaping the benefits of having its own "terrorist movement"
in East Turkestan. Aside from deflecting the Bush Administration's
early attempts to categorize China as a strategic competitor, China
has also gained US support for its suppression of the Uighurs, reduced
pressure on "illicit" arms deals and, now, its very own FBI attache
office in Beijing.
Jiang smiles and nods in Texas, business leaders convene for the
6th annual CEO meeting in Beijing and John "Crackdown" Ashcroft
helps the masters of domestic suppression streamline their tactics
all in the name of fighting terrorism. For now, China remains the
darling of suits worldwide and increasingly of the less-hawkish
of the hawks who see the Chinese as a powerful ally in the new war.
China is known for zero tolerance of rebellious elements in society,
and this will fit nicely with Aschcroft's vision of a "safe and
secure" New World Order. It would be interesting to hear what tips
the FBI and its Chinese counterparts whisper to each other in the
coming months on the grounds of the new FBI office in Beijing ...
vote on the "hardline" resolution proposed by the US and its toady
Lesser Britain to the UN Security Council concerning disarmament
of Iraq is coming up, and fears of a China, France, Russia blockade
of US war aims can be effectively set aside. France will most likely
break down at the last moment grumbling. Russia may fight to
the bitter end, but China will see the advantage in abstaining:
continuous US support and decrease in China rhetoric, more business
pouring into the "stable" investment environment and after the Bali
bombings, a new reason to request further aid and cooperation.
oil and gas interests in Indonesia are extensive and vitally important.
Just a few weeks ago, China and Indonesia signed agreements and
pledges designed to keep the energy business thriving and China's
dependence on Middle East oil at a minimum. China is now seeing
all of its energy sources endangered by terrorists or would-be terrorists
it would be very wise for China to jump on the bandwagon
and "fight the good fight." In Central Asia, the Middle East and
now South East Asia, there is a need for China to establish a stability
of sorts to insure a free and steady flow of oil and gas
for this reason alone it would be worth it for China to disregard
American aggression and allow the hardline resolution to pass through
the council, thereby giving America what it already possessed before
the UN negotiations began: a free hand to blow stuff up in the Middle
anyone was in the dark about China's stance on the upcoming Iraq
War, just take a quick glance through the party controlled media:
whereas prior America-led wars were criticized harshly and dubbed
machinations of a hegemon, recently the media has been conspicuously
silent. This means China approves albeit from a distance.
Unlike Europe, Australia and the vacation spots of the world, China
does not come up on the list of terrorist targets. One reason being
that China is very quick to execute terrorists and their neighbors,
dogs, water buffalo etc. but also because China is not yet a tourist
haven for affluent westerners and China is still considered by many
in the West to be an enemy ... kind of.
could be one of the safest spots in the world these days. And the
cautious yet neutral stance helps to keep both legs dangling on
either side of the fence. There is enough denunciation of hegemony
and unilateralism to keep the US hawks uneasy, enough smiles and
handshakes to keep the moderates convinced and enough business opportunities
to keep the suits clamoring for a peaceful relationship between
China and the rest of the world.
far, the Chinese government is doing a great job of making the US
play bad cards. The Hainan Incident was seen by many to be US instigated
only Communist hatin' patriots clamored that spying is good
and we should be allowed to do it, because everybody does. The Bush
crew's attempts to make China into an enemy unnerved everybody and
would have been scrapped eventually regardless of 9/11. Even foolish
George can count the money his pals are making in the Middle Kingdom.
And throughout the new war China has kept relatively silent and
let America pile up bodies and enemies while China piles up cash
and invitations to international shin-digs. If there really is a
conflict between a rising power and an established superpower, than
the guy on the rise is doing a good job of dodging blows while the
champ busts himself in the mouth.
fly in the ointment (or the biggest of the many) is North Korea's
admission that they have nukes. China most definitely held N. Korea's
hand throughout the whole nuke-building process. The Bushies are
embarrassed and don't know what to do the whole argument
for invading Iraq were the potential WMD capabilities of
Saddam. Now that there is a member of the dreaded "axis" with nukes,
a starving populace and a naughty leader, it would make sense to
reverse and start a troop buildup in Japan, right? But fighting
in East Asia ain't the same and the last time the US fought in Korea
waves of Chinese soldiers crossed the border and turned a rout into
China keep a leash on its starving puppy? After the US torpedoed
the Sunshine Policy with its ridiculous axis of evil statements,
the chances of North Korea retreating back into never never land
increased. Why they would suddenly decide to nuke somebody has not
yet been explained and if the US really does care about the rights
of non-Americans the world over then why not engage North Korea
and bring sunshine into that crazy spot?
I haven't heard of any big exports coming out of N. Korea and Iraq
has no friends, least of all a friend like China. So I suppose it
does make more sense for the US to beat up on Iraq. Why not finish
it once and for all and help out all those Iraqis who have been
waiting for so long for respite?
may very well be the main topic of discussion during the 90 minutes
or so of time slotted for face to face important chit chat between
Jiang and Bush. The terrorism problem, the business deals, the Taiwan
question, human rights and all that stuff these things are
the stuff of rhetoric. Both countries seem to have gained an understanding
on these issues. But the Korea problem remains a wildcard. Because
now the whole world knows what the US government has known all along.
If the North decides to do something rather ... rash, the poo will
hit the fan.
sure along with reassurances of an abstaining vote, continued Opening
Up of the economy, no moves on the strait and more cooperation in
hunting down bad guys in turbans, the two leaders will need to come
up with a concrete plan to deal with a nuclear armed North Korea.
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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
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