Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review April 20, 2001 / 27 Nissan 5761

Morton Kondracke

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Bush Won China Test, But Needs Shrewd Strategy -- THE UNITED STATES beat China hands down in the surveillance-plane episode, and the Bush administration should make sure the whole world knows it by putting out all the facts on the air collision over the South China Sea.

Assuming the evidence demonstrates that reckless flying by China's lost pilot was indeed responsible for the crash, full disclosure would constitute a de facto retraction of any hint of a U.S. apology for the incident.

In fact, the administration did not use the word "apologize," as demanded by China, in exchange for the return of the crew of the EP-3 surveillance plane that was damaged and forced to land on Hainan Island April 1.

China has characterized the United States' use of the words "very sorry" as the equivalent of an expression of responsibility for the incident, but that ploy should be exploded by a full rollout of the evidence.

Moreover, the Bush administration refused to accede to China's demand that it cancel future surveillance flights over the South China Sea. To the contrary, officials have asserted that the flights will continue.

So those who charge that we have been "humiliated" by the incident - starting with the editors of the conservative Weekly Standard - are simply wrong.

The Weekly Standard seems convinced that China and the United States are destined to be - in fact already are - strategic adversaries and likely 21st-century enemies.

That may happen, and factions of China's military certainly are planning on it. But U.S. strategy should be dedicated to simultaneously deterring Chinese aggressiveness and converting its political system to democracy.

It's a difficult task requiring shrewd strategy.

One key method of promoting democracy is to increase the budget of Radio Free Asia, which broadcasts to China much as Radio Free Europe did to Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

China is free enough that RFA currently answers 1,000 phone calls a month from Chinese listeners who often complain about their government and report local unrest. But it could field 70,000 calls a month if it had adequate resources, RFA officials say.

Last year Congress authorized a $99 million, two-year increase for broadcasting to China by RFA and the Voice of America, but ended up appropriating just $5 million more for the current fiscal year.

For 2002, RFA put in for a $6 million increase to improve its ability to penetrate Chinese jamming. The Bush budget provided only an additional $1 million, however. President Bush should revise his request or Congress should do it for him.

China experts are divided over whether the administration should try to prevent Beijing from being chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Games.

There's little question that the International Olympic Committee should refuse China's bid based on a dismal human rights record that includes torture of dissidents and religious persecution, but some experts think overt U.S. pressure might be counterproductive and play into the hands of the communist regime.

Congress undoubtedly will pass resolutions urging IOC rejection of China, but now that the spy-plane hostage drama is over, the administration may decide it's wise not to weigh in with the IOC, at least not publicly.

Two bigger decisions concern arms for Taiwan and renewal of normal trade relations with China. As some experts point out, China has made such an issue of selling the Aegis anti-missile system to Taiwan that the United States is free to make any weapons transfer short of that.

One possible formula would be to defer the Aegis sale, which would take eight years to complete, and instead offer up Kidd-class destroyers and Patriot 3 missiles, which may be more useful to Taiwan, anyway.

Depriving China of normal trade status would be a devastating blow to U.S.-China relations - a declaration that this country does not want China to grow and prosper.

Moreover, it would undermine the strategy of subverting the Chinese communist dictatorship by spreading capitalist and meritocratic values.

There is a risk that trade and capitalism will make China economically strong without converting it to democracy, hence creating a hostile superpower in Asia. But it's a risk the United States should take, while refusing to let China get away with any misbehavior in the human rights or strategic realms.

The Bush administration also has to figure out how to avoid encouraging China, Russia, North Korea, Iraq and Iran from forming an unholy strategic alliance against the United States.

So at the end of the first inning of Bush's high-stakes game with China, the score is United States 1, China 0. But this is looking like a game that will go into extra innings.

JWR contributor Morton Kondracke is executive editor of Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. Send your comments by clicking here.


04/17/01: Congress Should Boost Bush Budget For Health Programs
04/10/01: McCain-Feingold: Mend it, don't end it
04/06/01: Newtie versus Dubya?
04/03/01: Coming soon: A battle royal over free trade
03/29/01: As economy wilts, is Bush too passive on early tax cuts?
03/27/01: Ex-Clinton Adviser Thinks Bush Needs More Upbeat 'Vision'
03/16/01: Cultural indicators improved during Clinton years. Why?
03/13/01: Nice talk aside, Bush team wants to win above all
03/08/01: Tax fight turns back to question of what's 'fair'
03/06/01: Bush and Congress should prepare for lean years
03/01/01: Bush needs group to promote ideas in Black America
02/26/01: Bush should talk about long-term budget challenges
02/22/01: AARP's agenda at odds with Bush priorities
02/20/01: When will Dems finally say Clinton is unfit leader?
02/14/01: McCain won't run against Bush again, just differ on issues
02/12/01: Is Joe Lieberman tilting left toward 2004?
02/07/01: The controversy starts: Bush orders HHS study of fetal, stem cell issues
02/05/01: Dems move toward bush on taxes, but ...
02/01/01: Bush should be open with press
01/30/01: Bush Should go for broke early on education
01/23/01: Clinton ain't going away, folks
01/19/01: Bush should try for legacy as 'Great Reconciler'
01/16/01: Left-Center Rift Re-emerges For Democratic Leaders
01/12/01: Clinton doing Bush no favors in Mideast
01/09/01: Bush and Democrats can deal
12/14/00: Will Daschle make it his business to get along with President Bush?
12/08/00: GOP is in danger of ruining record on medical research
11/27/00: Some fascinating stories about how and why people voted
11/22/00: GOP Survived health bullets, but one is left
11/20/00: Can next president and Hill deal?
11/15/00: With nation split, leaders must reach across party divide
11/07/00: The Envelope, Please:Bush Beats Gore, GOP Holds Hill
11/03/00: Parties appeal to two 'gospels'
11/01/00: Lurking in the shadows
10/26/00: What's Gore's Social Security plan?
10/18/00: While Bush, Gore debate surplus, Congress spends it
10/16/00: Two debates leave lots of questions
10/03/00: What questions should be debated?
09/28/00: Gore and Bush should prepare to lead
09/19/00: Bush let values issue slip away
08/25/00: Gore hands center to Bush
08/22/00: AlGore, look to future, not to Bubba
08/08/00: 2000 race could leave high road for low
08/03/00: Convention must point Bush to center
08/01/00: GOP Readies 'Debt Lockbox' As 2000 Strategy
07/27/00: Cheney adds heft to GOP ticket
07/25/00: Foreign, Defense Policy Deserves Full 2000 Debate
07/20/00: Truman Show: Gore Replays 1948, But Bush Isn't Dewey
07/18/00: Bush Must Fight Gore's Drug Plan As 'Bad Medicine'
07/13/00: Mexico's Election Supports U.S. Action On NAFTA, Bailout
07/10/00: Abortion is good for something --- just ask AlGore
07/06/00: Meet Steve Ricchetti, Bubba's secret weapon
06/30/00: AlGore is down, but is he out?
06/27/00: Social programs caught in election-year game of one-up
06/22/00: Congress Is Near Flunking a Test On School Reform
06/16/00: Doting on the grandparents
06/13/00: On Stem Cells, Bush Has Wrong Pro-Life Stance
06/08/00: Has Gore Caught Bush?
05/26/00: PNTR Vote Could Tell Which Party Fits 'New Economy'
05/23/00: The secret to winning the election: Economic programs
05/18/00: Gore should regroup
05/16/00: McCain's Support Is Tepid, But Lets Bush Focus on Gore
05/11/00: Voters need wonk training
05/09/00: Bush Could Score With Charge That Gore's Too Partisan
04/28/00: Reno's force aids Clinton, not Elian
04/25/00: Should Clinton be indicted?
04/24/00: Can Gore win on Bush tax cuts?
04/18/00: Levin's 'bridge' key to China trade?
04/11/00: Congress, U.S. Voters Still Aren't Ready For Campaign Reform
04/06/00: Bush, Gore Silent As Popular Culture Gets Ever Coarser
03/30/00: Is 2000 Like 1948, 1976 or 1960? Or Is This Unparalleled?
03/28/00: Will Bush, Gore Go for a Better Way To Pick Nominees?
03/23/00: Medicare cutbacks bleed hospitals
03/20/00: Chances Improve That China Trade Will Pass Congress
03/16/00: Lieberman as veep would help Gore
03/14/00: Can Bush, McCain Unite to Beat Gore?
03/09/00: Can GOP Forge Unity After Nasty McCain-Bush Race?
03/07/00: What accounts for McCain's excesses?
03/02/00: 'Debate' Proved Gore Is This Year's Best Gut-Fighter
02/29/00: Surprises! The 2000 GOP race is full of it
02/25/00: Voters want centrist in White House
02/23/00: Gore would hit McCain's record
02/15/00: Will negativity hurt McCain in S.C.?
02/10/00: How hard should Bush hit McCain?
02/08/00: Bush must retool his entire campaign
01/27/00: Could Gore beat Bush as Truman beat Dewey?
01/20/00: Big New Surplus Estimates Could Alter 2000 Politics
12/21/99: Bush improves, everyone panders
12/16/99: Prospects improve for campaign reform
12/14/99: Riots raise free trade as 2000 issue
12/10/99: Gore won GOP 'debate' in N.H.
12/07/99: Election pits Bush cuts vs. Medicare boost
12/03/99: Can race be a constructive issue in 2000?
11/19/99: White House race may be best in decades
11/16/99: Where is Bush on health care fight?
11/11/99: Will TV stop profiteering from politics?
11/09/99: Is GOP isolationist, or just partisan?
11/04/99: Gore, Bradley Run Opposite Races On Style, Substance
11/01/99: GOP, Clinton could reach deal swiftly
10/27/99: Bush to fight 'culture wars' -- positively
10/21/99: Porter, Mack: heroes on medical research
10/19/99: Gore scores among party big shots, but polls go South
10/14/99: Bush critiques could help GOP Congress
10/12/99: Congress can save health care from ruin
10/07/99: Will gun-control cause the GOP to shoot itself in the foot?
10/05/99: Gore moves: Desperate but necessary
10/01/99: Fox, Armstrong make case for NIH
09/28/99: Dems' race brightens Bush's chances
09/23/99: East Timor deflates `Clinton Doctrine'
09/21/99: Buchanan v. Bush? Yeah right
09/17/99: Candidates turn attention to poverty
09/15/99: Bush's education problem
09/09/99: Budget makes 2000 an `issues' election
09/07/99:Airport rage increases, with good reason
09/02/99: U.S. future up for grabs in 2000
08/31/99: U.S. Capitol needs visitor's center -- soon
08/24/99: Will 2000 be the year of the foreign crisis?
08/19/99: Neither party has upper hand for '99
08/17/99: Ford gets freedom medal one month early
08/12/99: There's time to catch Bush, say Gore aides
08/10/99: Rudy, Hillary try much-needed makeovers
08/09/99: GOP must launch new probe of Chinagate
08/02/99: Pols blow fiscal smoke on budget surplus
08/02/99: One campaign reform should pass: disclosure
07/27/99: Gore leads Bush in policy proposals

©1999, NEA