As Y2K looms, Russia and now China Suspends Contacts With U.Sgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
China Suspends Contacts With U.S
Sunday, May 9, 1999; 11:33 p.m. EDT
BEIJING (AP) -- China suspended high-level military contacts with the United States on Monday following the bombing of its embassy in Yugoslavia.
The official Xinhua News Agency said consultations with the United States on human rights, arms control, international security and preventing arms proliferation also were being postponed.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao announced the decision to suspend the military and other contacts, Xinhua said. It did not say when they might resume.
The decision comes amid large anti-NATO and anti-U.S. protests in Beijing and other Chinese cities following Saturday's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade that killed three people.
China has condemned the bombing and had said that it reserved the right to take further action.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999
Sure. In approaching one of the most stressful and technically unpredictable events of the century, it makes perfect sense to not only isolate yourself from your largest and most threatening rivals, but then take conrete steps to enrage them as well.
We're witnessing the destruction of a half-century of hard-won levels of multilateral global trust in a mere 8 weeks. It would appear Communism's greatest fears of the West are coming true. And for what?
-- Nathan (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
And here is moore good news:
Yeltsin Tells the West to Heed Lessons of World War II
MOSCOW, May. 09, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) World War II taught countries that a "spark" can lead to "a large fire," Russian President Boris Yeltsin said here Sunday in an address commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany that also alluded to Yugoslavia. "The Cold War era marked by defiance and intimidation is behind us but some are still trying to resolve disputes through arms," Yeltsin said, in the speech quoted by the Interfax news agency. "All countries must remember the lesson of the war, which is that a spark of violence can lead to a large fire," he said in the speech delivered at the Kremlin. Russia has steadfastly opposed the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia launched March 24 after Belgrade refused to sign an autonomy accord for the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo. Yeltsin said Russia would continue to work to "put out the fire of war in Yugoslavia." Russia celebrates the Nazi capitulation to the allies on May 9, when the Soviet army received the formal surrender. In an address on Red Square, Yeltsin earlier said the Russian military must be strengthened. ( (c) 1999 Agence France Presse)
Embassy Bombing Comes at Worst Time for China-West Relations
BEIJING, May. 09, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) NATO's missile attack on China's embassy in Belgrade comes at the worst possible time as far as relations between China and the West are concerned, with ties already strained by the six-week Kosovo campaign. The attack, which killed at least three people and injured more than 20, was strongly condemned by Beijing as a "barbarian act" and a war crime that must be punished. The UN Security Council, meeting in emergency session at China's request, expressed "shock and concern." It noted the regrets expressed and said NATO was investigating Friday night's attack. NATO and the United States expressed regret at the accident but said the air campaign against Yugoslavia would continue. The Chinese government in a statement said it "reserved the right to take other measures." It recalled its hostility to the bombing and missile attacks since they began March 24. China, which doubts the existence of "ethnic cleansing" by Serb forces in Kosovo, is a permanent member of the Security Council with the right to veto any initiative over the province. The accidental attack will complicate the search for a settlement at the UN. It happened the day after Russia and the other seven members of the G-8 group reached partial agreement on a deal to end the Kosovo crisis including the sending of an international force. On Friday China expressed doubt about that accord, insisting that the Belgrade government had to be included in any solution to end NATO raids. China, itself subject to international sanctions after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, opposes in principle all intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. It also rejects Western criticism of its human rights record and its record in Tibet. Beijing also depicts itself, since the break-up of the Soviet Union, as one of the only powers capable of resisting the "hegemony" of the US. Fearful of encirclement, it opposes both the enlargement of NATO and military cooperation between the US and Japan. The bombardment of Belgrade came as relations with the US were already at their lowest -- almost a year after President Bill Clinton's visit to Beijing which revived top-level dialogue after nine years of tension following Tiananmen. At the end of April China denounced the US decision to sell two sophisticated long-range defense radar systems to Taiwan. It has also protested a US proposal to include Japan and South Korea in a theater missile defense (TMD) system. It fears the eventual inclusion of Taiwan in TMD, which it says would constitute "an attack on Chinese sovereignty and integrity and at the same time an interference in China's internal affairs." Washington for its part criticizes Beijing's huge trade surplus with it and suspects China of having stolen nuclear secrets. The disputes have played a part in preventing the two countries reaching agreement on China's entry to the World Trade Organization despite major concessions offered by Premier Zhu Rongji in Washington last month. Zhu attributed this setback to an "anti-Chinese climate" prevalent in the US. Visit www.insidechina.com for more news about China. ( (c) 1999 Agence France Presse)
Top Chinese Leader Backs Street Protests
Updated 8:00 AM ET May 9, 1999 By Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese government Sunday backed anti-NATO protests sweeping the country but promised to protect foreign diplomatic missions as thousands of angry demonstrators attacked the U.S. and British embassies. Vice President Hu Jintao said in an address to the nation that the government would not allow the demonstrations to get out of control. "We must guard against extreme behavior, and be vigilant against people taking advantage of the opportunity to disrupt normal social order," he said. He also sought to calm foreign investors and residents, saying China's economic reform and market opening policies would not change. For the second day, U.S. Ambassador James Sasser was trapped in his embassy, guarded by U.S. Marines, as enraged students yelling "kill Americans" hurled rocks at the building and tried to storm the compound. Sasser was separated from his wife and daughter in the official residence nearby. Hu condemned the Belgrade attack, which killed four people, as "barbaric" and a "criminal act." State media have characterized the bombing as a deliberate act of aggression. NATO has said it was a mistake. Hu's comments highlighted the dilemma facing the Chinese leadership, who must be seen to support public expressions of outrage while trying to preserve social stability at a politically-charged moment. Authorities are bracing for trouble next month on the 10th anniversary of the 1989 army crackdown on pro-democracy student protests. Hu said the demonstrations reflected the "keen patriotism" of the Chinese people. State media have fanned anti-U.S. fury by declaring that NATO deliberately targeted the embassy to kill Chinese diplomats and silence Chinese journalists. Hu repeated statements that Beijing reserved the right to take further action, but he did not elaborate. Chunks of concrete rained down on the U.S. compound in Beijing Sunday, thudding against walls and splintering glass as tens of thousands of students and other citizens massed for a second day of protests in a dozen or so cities. At one point several students broke into the compound and tried to tear down the American flag from its pole. "Get out, American pigs," the crowds roared. Protesters pelted the nearby British embassy with paint and ripped up paving stones to hurl at the building. Ranks of helmeted police held back students marching past the building and the nearby ambassador's residence in an endless procession. Several Western reporters were punched and kicked and the U.S. Embassy advised American nationals to stay off the streets. The International School of Beijing announced it was canceling classes Monday. In the central industrial city of Nanjing, students staged a sit-down protest outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and plastered posters on windows saying "Strike The U.S. Economy." Anti-NATO protests erupted from Shanghai on the eastern seaboard to Lanzhou in the far west. Trade unions joined the protests in the southern city of Guangzhou where several thousand factory workers marched through rain showers past the U.S. consulate chanting "Stop American mad dogs from biting." The People's Daily said NATO had purposely "spilled Chinese blood." And the official Xinhua news agency quoted a prominent Chinese scientist saying the attack was "elaborately planned and is a shame of high-technology." Xinhua reported that a Chinese team led by a foreign ministry official left for Belgrade Sunday to investigate the bombing. In Beijing, students wrapped rocks in newspaper which they set on fire before hurling the projectiles into the U.S. embassy compound. Some demonstrators held aloft blazing poles to try to ignite the Stars and Stripes on its flagpole. A crudely-made fire bomb was hurled into the U.S. embassy compound but caused little damage. A statement issued by the U.S. embassy said Sasser and his entire staff "express their profound sorrow to the people of China over the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and offer deepest condolences to the families of the innocent victims of that deplorable accident." "We must not let this mistake impede further progress in developing stronger U.S.-China relations that are so fundamentally in the interest of both our countries," the statement said. Saturday night, protesters swarmed over the walls of the U.S. diplomatic compound in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, and broke through the front door of the main consulate building before police chased them out. The consul-general's house was seriously damaged by fire.
-- R. Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
And moore good news:
Protesters damage NATO facility in northern Greece
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Scores of demonstrators broke into a NATO communications facility in northern Greece in renewed protests against the alliance's bombing in Yugoslavia. Shouting anti-American slogans, the protesters broke into an unused army base and damaged communications equipment stored at the base, near the northern port Salonica, local media said. There were no arrests, and the extent of the damage was not immediately clear. The air campaign has been widely condemned in NATO-member Greece, where attention is largely focused on the damage and deaths caused by the bombing and sympathy has grown for fellow Orthodox Christian Serbs. More than 3,000 anti-war protesters joined a ``Marathon March'' on Sunday. They followed the ancient course that gave the marathon its name and passed outside the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Smaller demonstrations were held in five other Greek towns. Copyright 1999 Associated Press.
Why Russians oppose Nato attacks on Serbia By Roy A. Medvedev
MOSCOW: No single event in the past 50 years has provoked such elemental and fierce emotions in Russia as NATO's bombing of Serbia. Polls here show that 95 percent of Russian citizens condemn the Western alliance's actions in the Balkans. The recent NATO summit, at which leaders spoke of their intent to embrace military missions beyond its members borders, received a uniformly negative response: Was NATO suggesting it might intervene in Georgia, Chechnya or other hot spots in the former Soviet Union?
The national indignation here is so strong that it is becoming an important factor in Russia's foreign and domestic policy and may even influence the conflict's outcome. University students and schoolchildren, members of football clubs and sports associations are drawn into daily protests. People who once were apolitical now demonstrate and, until the Russian government prevented it, threw eggs and bottles at the US Embassy.
Hundreds of Russian volunteers are already in Serbia, thousands are en route and several thousand more are prepared to follow. Not only former paratroopers and officers, but also generals and commanders of military districts say they are prepared to defend Serbia. What has produced this elemental howl of rage, supported both by opposition and pro-Western politicians?
Nobody here believes talk about the determination to prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe." The bombs and missiles have simply hastened and deepened the humanitarian tragedy and strengthened doubts about the advantages of Western civilization. If Western civilization proves itself by such methods, what can the Arab world, Africa, China or India think of it?
What is clear to political scientists, commentators and analysts is that the long history of religious and ethnic conflict between Orthodox Serbs and Albanian Muslims in Kosovo will not be resolved by bombs falling on Belgrade or Pristina. Some analysts here have argued that the United States and NATO want to try out their new, precise weaponry under military conditions. Other, more serious theories say NATO, having lost its purpose after the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union disintegrated, simply seeks new ways to justify its existence. Geopoliticians say the war in the Balkans is intended to show the world that only one military superpower - the United States - remains.
These and other theories circulate among politicians, diplomats, military strategists and analytical observers. But none of them suffices to explain the angry response of ordinary Russians. Their violent reaction stems not from political logic but from human feelings.
@ The strong strike the weak. Many strike one.
Nineteen powerful countries - of which three, the United States, Great Britain and France, are great military powers - are striking targets in Serbia and even in Montenegro, which is in conflict with no one. This spectacle is unacceptable to the Russian understanding of justice. The participation of Turkey and Germany - whose historic guilt before the Serbian people, not only in this century but before, is far from forgotten - adds to the anger. @ The armed strike the unarmed.
Without modern aviation or new forms of antiaircraft weapons, the Serbs are practically defenceless against NATO's missiles and bombs. NATO pilots and sailors risk little; they are beyond danger; they go unpunished. There are hundreds of dead and wounded on the Serbian side; Serbia's industry is destroyed. But there is not a single dead or wounded NATO soldier. To Russians, this unequal conflict isn't a war, it's a massacre. . @ A Slav, Orthodox country is being destroyed.
It was Russia that helped Serbia attain its independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. In all the European wars of the past 300 years, Serbia has been Russia's ally. It was because of Serbia that Russia went to war against Austria-Hungary in 1914. Serbia has never opposed Russia, and it remains our ally outside the former Soviet Union. All Russians know this from their history lessons at school.
@ Serbia is being beaten to humiliate and teach Russia a lesson.
There is a strong conviction among Russians that the senseless destruction of Dresden by the Western allies in 1945 and the use of atomic bombs against Japan later that year were demonstrations of strength to Moscow above all. The campaign against Serbia is often seen from the same point of view. Russia only began to rise from its knees in the autumn of 1998 with the appointment of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, and to rid itself of worthless, alien politicians who were oriented to the West. Many Russians believe the destruction of Serbia is a demonstration of the West's strength and invincibility, intended to break Russia's will and stop the integration process of Slav peoples.
@ The West deceived and robbed Russia.
Our people were told over and over again about the benefits of democracy and the market economy that the rich Western countries would help Russia construct. That illusion has long since disappeared. In the minds of the impoverished, there is a conviction that the West not only deceived us, but that it robbed Russia, trying to turn it into a source of raw materials. New wealthy Russians, stock market gamblers and financial speculators carried billions of dollars away to the West. Life in Russia worsened, and debts to the West grew several times over. Russia was being squeezed not only out of international politics but also out of the international economy.
These arguments, popular among our people, are controversial. But they are worth considering. Although Russia is weakened, it is still strong both as a nation and as a state. Its army may not have enough food to feed its soldiers, but it has great traditions and is armed with modern weapons. Russia's military-industrial potential is still very great. If NATO ground forces and Serbia's neighbouring countries are drawn into the war, Russia will certainly break the UN embargo against supplying arms to the Balkans. A real union between Serbia, Belarus and Russia is not utopian thinking.
Russian citizens are not impressed by NATO talk about the despotism of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Russia lived for centuries under conditions of despotism and political terror. Compared with our dictators, Milosevic seems a pragmatist. He was elected by the Serbian people; Serbia has a multiparty system and practically no political prisoners.
No one in Russia defends ethnic cleansing, but it is obvious to all here that external aggression can only make the situation worse. In Russia itself, about 3 million refugees have fled from the ethnic conflicts in Central Asia, Moldova, the Caucasus and Abkhazia. There are 1 million displaced people in Azerbaijan, 500,000 in Armenia, 300,000 in Georgia. But no one thinks bombs are the best means of returning lost land to these people.
For NATO to win a war, it will be necessary to smash the will not only of the Serb leaders but of the whole people. Serbia has lived in bondage longer than it has been free. This small nation cannot be defeated. It can only be destroyed. If NATO does not intend to destroy Serbia, it would be better to stop now, and prevent a more serious war.- Dawn/LAT-WP News Service (c) Washington Post
-- R. Wright (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
This is like watching a two mile train go over a cliff
-- Nikoli Krushev (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
God help us all.
-- Greybear (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
But Fiji still loves us.
Long's we got Fiji, we can rule the world.
-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
A few weeks ago I read (I believe on this forum) a quote from Napoleon: "Never blame on treachery what can be easily explained by incompetence.
Can the leaders of this country *all* be this incompetent?
And even if Andy and Nikoli are correct that Clinton is a traitor, he's still only one man. Must *everyone* in a position of authority around here be either a traitor or a record-breaking incompetant?
Can't there be a third explanation? I'd like to hear one, because I can't think of it, seeing what is going on.
-- GA Russell (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
I too luv fiji!
-- R. Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
Yeah, and the first non-flying reservists from Ohio are responsible for installing maintaining SATCOM stations.
Don't need too many tea leaves anymore.
Bride indicates it is un-Christian to pray for a life ending disease or event for someone, so we get to pray that said someone will be opened to enlightened guidance, which is somehow not quite so satisfying, but the right way.
-- chuck, a Night Driver (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
From CH Blue...
QUOTE OF THE DAY
`We feel that we are under a state of siege here. We dont have adequate security. -- Tom Cooney, U.S. embasy spokesman in China.
-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 10, 1999.
And now...in one of the most incredible moments in the history of irony... U.S. State Department 'officials' are warning the Chinese government that they better start cracking down on the demonstrators in Beijing. [ Excuse me??] It seems that the U.S. is now getting angry at the Chinese 'overeaction' to having their embassy bombed. [ Excuse me??]
Let's take a secret look inside the White House situation room:
POTUS: "It's not like any Americans from Arkansas were killed or anything like that. Geeesh...get over it."
CIA: "Yeah. They shoulda let us know that they moved their embassy 3 or 4 years ago. It's really their own fault..."
NSA: "You didn't know they moved their embassy?"
CIA: "Uhhh, yeah we knew. But, but... it was Top-Secret and uhhh, I wasn't supposed to tell you that I knew."
DOD: They better not try any of that same crap on us...we'll blow them suckers back to the stone age."
CIA: Hell, we just did them guys a favor. They won't even miss them few Chinese people that got themselves killed. Them Chinese got waaayy too many people anyway. Right, Bubba?
POTUS: "I just glad ya'll didn't hit a tennis shoe factory. Then we'd be in big trouble!"
[Room erupts in laughter]
-- PNG (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
PNG; This may be a good time to GET OUT of Japan if you are still there.
-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), May 10, 1999.
And here is a good overall analysis/summary from Jeff Nyquist:
Intensifies: NATO Blunders Exploited by China, Russia
) 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
Due to a CIA error, NATO forces mistakenly bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Friday, mistaking it for the Yugoslav Federal Directorate of Supply and Procurement. Three Chinese nationals are reported dead, with twenty wounded and considerable property damage. The reaction in China has been violent. In Beijing an estimated 20,000 demonstrators marched on Saturday and Sunday, besieging the U.S. Embassy, pelting it with rocks and bottles, carrying signs that said "USA are killers" and "USA go to hell!" One placard contained the four Chinese characters that translate: "blood must be repaid in blood." The British and Albanian embassies were also attacked. Demonstrators shouted that the British were "running dogs."
U.S. Ambassador James Sasser reported that Americans trapped in the U.S. Embassy are virtual hostages, unable to leave the building for fear of violence. Other reports indicate that the Chinese government is behind the protests, shipping demonstrators into the city, orchestrating their movements. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., said on NBC's Meet the Press: "It is clear that the Chinese are orchestrating this for some political reason."
What political reason could there be?
Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian met last week with Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro. What was discussed? Military cooperation between Cuba and China. Soon China will join Russia in having a strategic presence on Fidel Castro's communist island-stronghold. This would further complement the Chinese position in Panama, where Chinese-controlled front companies now operate the ports of entry on either side of the Panama Canal.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) continues its campaign to get operational control of the former Long Beach Naval Station. According to Timothy Maier, writing for Insight magazine, if the Chinese fail to get the Long Beach facility, they will attempt to get a base in Los Angeles. The idea, as in Panama, is for Chinese front companies to operate their own port facilities. Concerned U.S. intelligence experts say that Chinese control of a U.S. mainland port could create a "national security nightmare." In fact, the Chinese Ocean Shipping Company has already been linked with heroin and arms smuggling into the United States.
Chinese espionage and sabotage operations against the United States would be facilitated by China possessing its own port on U.S. soil. Being in charge of port security, the Chinese military could bring nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons into the U.S. through such an opening.
Would they ever contemplate such a thing?
Anyone acquainted with recent Chinese moves should not be surprised at China's furious anti-American outburst. This outburst is, to a large extent, contrived. Everyone knows the NATO attack was an accident. President Clinton has apologized for it again and again. But the Chinese propaganda machine will not admit any accidents. Any close observation of China's strategic behavior reveals a war psychology at work behind the scenes. And before you can have a war, you must demonize your enemy, mobilize the hearts and minds of your people -- especially to justify your own actions, which might well include the unleashing of nuclear weapons.
Last year China formed an alliance with its former communist partner, Russia. Defense Minister Chi Haotian met with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev to arrange the demilitarization of their common 2,500-mile border. Three hundred Russian combat units were re- deployed to the West. A similar number of Chinese military units were also re-deployed. The significance of this, in the wake of the Balkans war, should not be missed. The strategic partnership between Russia and China has altered the balance of power. America is no longer the undisputed superpower. Americans should remember that when Henry Kissinger flew to China in 1971, the Chinese nation was weak. China's economy had contracted in the wake of Mao's Cultural Revolution. China's military was hopeless. But now China is a formidable economic power, possessing the world's largest conventional armed forces. Its alliance with Russia combines the world's greatest nuclear power with the world's greatest conventional power. According to the highest-ranking defector from the Russian General Staff, Colonel Stanislav Lunev, this combination has powerful war-winning advantages.
Therefore, the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was a lucky hit -- for the Russian-Chinese alliance. In Russia, popular outrage against America has reached such an extreme that tourists dare not speak English on the Moscow subway. People have been roughed-up for reading English language newspapers. Hundreds of thousands of Russians have gone into uniform. A colossal military mobilization is underway. Slavic brotherhood has been extolled by the presidents of Belarus and Ukraine, showing that solidarity yet exists between former Soviet republics. Meanwhile, Russian officials have been openly worrying about the approach of World War III. Last week Russian President Boris Yeltsin commented on the possibility of an accidental nuclear war, saying: "Just let Clinton, a little bit, accidentally, send a missile. We'll answer immediately. ..."
Even the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has denounced NATO's attack on Yugoslavia, saying, "NATO has brought us into a new era, just as Hitler did when he quit the League of Nations and World War II Began." Solzhenitsyn then added, "If they [NATO] were seriously concerned about defending the oppressed, they could, over the past 40 or 50 years, have defended the Kurds, for example, who are scattered across several countries, annihilated and unfortunate. But they don't do it because Turkey is a useful ally."
Russian diplomats have been furiously rushing around the world, attempting to forge a new super-alliance with which to confront America. Talk has continued of a Russia-China-India axis.
Consequently, Pakistan has sought to iron out its differences with India -- hoping it will not be left out in the cold. At the same time Russia is attempting to break up the West's alliance, NATO. A surface appearance of reasonableness in Kremlin public statements is meant to drive a wedge between Europe and America. The fact is, post-war Russia's foremost diplomatic objective has been the breakup of NATO.
And now it is China's objective, too. In Beijing one of the most popular signs held by demonstrators says: "Break up NATO!"
Has anyone understood what is happening here? Has anyone caught the tune?
There are deep undercurrents at work. The present crisis has been exploited by America's enemy's abroad. Russian military and political leaders have long believed that global war is inevitable, that the United States is their future enemy. Their preparations have been long-term and they have spared no expense. By attacking Russia's ally, Yugoslavia, the Western alliance has exposed itself to a powerful series of diplomatic counter-moves.
Despite talk of peace the danger of war continues to intensify. Even if the present crisis is overcome, Russia may not demobilize the forces it has recently begun to build. Meanwhile, the Chinese are mobilizing public support for war with America. More and more, 1999 is looking like 1939.
J.R. Nyquist is a WorldNetDaily contributing editor and author of 'Origins of the Fourth World War.'
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
Several people are of the opinion that the bombing of the chinese embassy was an accident. I suggest reading the opinions and analysis of www.stratfor.com.
-- noaccident (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
surely even the CIA "intelligence" aren't that incompetent
-- dick o' the dale (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
STRATFOR's ASIA INTELLIGENCE UPDATE
May 10, 1999 Volume: 2, Number: 89 ___________________________
In this Issue
* Weekly Summary: China Treats the Bombing as a Sign of Contempt ___________________________________________________________
China's reaction to the bombing of the Belgrade Embassy is not disproportionate. China feels that the United States permitted the accident to happen because it was not obsessed with not letting it happen. Unlike Vietnam, where accidents like that were seen as the worst possible thing to happen, the U.S. did not take sufficient care in Belgrade. That is because the United States does not take China's possible responses seriously. China will spend the next few months teaching the United States and the region that treating China casually is a major mistake.
The bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade has brought U.S.-Chinese relations to a new low. Indeed, these relations have been in free-fall for months and the rate is accelerating. The Chinese response to the bombing was reminiscent of the worst periods in U.S.-Chinese history. The American apology for the bombing was not disseminated by China's government-controlled press, which insisted on portraying the bombing as a deliberate act of aggression. Chinese mobs attacked the U.S. Embassy with stones while Chinese security forces stood by. Additional issues, ranging from charges of systematic Chinese espionage against America's most valuable nuclear secrets to serious trade and financial issues, have been ripping U.S.-Chinese relations to shreds. While Americans with vested interests in maintaining close relations with China were working overtime to put the relationship back on track, events and fundamental divergences of interests were systematically tearing them apart. From our point of view, the breach cannot be healed in anywhere short of several years.
The bombing of the Chinese embassy infuriated China because it struck at the heart of China's tension with the United States. From the Chinese point of view, the United States is simply too powerful. The asymmetry of U.S.-Chinese relations, always present in the military and political areas, has now extended itself to the economic sphere. China used to be able to sit at the table with the United States as equals, at least in the sense that Americans were as eager to do business with the Chinese as the Chinese were to do business with the Americans. Indeed, since other countries were courting China, the advantage might even have been to China. That is no longer the case. China is weaker than the United States in every sense.
The bombing of the Embassy drives home the point. It may well have been an accident, but if it was, it was an accident that the United States should have been terrified to make. During all of the Vietnam war, the United States was scrupulously careful not to hit Soviet and Chinese facilities and ships. In Yugoslavia, the United States was not obsessed in any way with avoiding hitting the Embassy. The accident would not have happened if the United States were as concerned about China as it had been during the Vietnam War. Thus, the U.S. and NATO claim that the bombing was an accident was precisely what infuriated the Chinese.
For China, the highest priority in its foreign policy is to make the United States too frightened of potential Chinese responses to let accidents like that happen again. Put differently, China's primary interest now is to repair the asymmetry that has developed in the international system. The strategic foundation of that strategy is China's alliance with Russia. A secondary element in that strategy is to create a sense of unease around China's periphery that compels regional powers, from Japan to Thailand, to think carefully about how their actions will affect China and how China might respond. A tertiary element is to create substantial crises, as friction occurs, in order to condition the United States and other Asian countries to exercise extreme caution in dealing with China.
The key to this strategy is linkage. China does not have the ability to influence events in Kosovo nor does it have fundamental national interests involved in Kosovo. What it can and will do, is to link events in Kosovo to matters in which it does have fundamental interests and where it can bring direct pressures to bear on American interests. In our Global Intelligence Update Weekly Analysis (May 10), you will find a discussion of the unfolding Indonesian crisis and its potential affect on U.S.-Chinese relations. China's willingness to cooperate with the United States and others in stabilizing Indonesia will be limited. In fact, we expect that China will act to exacerbate the crisis.
That is a major area of linkage. Minor areas of linkage, that will affect business deals, bilateral economic agreements, seemingly unconnected scientific cooperation, educational and cultural accords, the visits of individual scholars, and literally all phases of international relations, will permeate Chinese behavior. China will not necessarily be looking for subservience in its bilateral relations. However, it will be looking for two things. First, that the people it is dealing with are not themselves completely subservient to, or dependent on, the United States. Second, it will be watching carefully for signs that the people it is dealing with are sensitive to Chinese needs and interests.
Put simply, China is now looking for respect from the United States and others. This is not a search for self- esteem or some odd, collective psychological need. The Chinese are doing fine in that department. What we mean by respect is that they now understand that unless they are seen as a major global power, or at least as an extraordinarily important and powerful regional power, the United States, or any other country, will not automatically take their interests into account. Their fundamental national interests will be irrevocably harmed.
They also understand that in order to get respect, they will have to do more than demand it. China knows that it will have to be able to demonstrate, on a consistent basis, that without Chinese cooperation, solutions to major international military, political, and economic issues are impossible. China has been seeking admission to the World Trade Organization and will now have to demonstrate that unless China is part of the WTO, its ability to disrupt international economic activity will be very costly to other nations. China was not consulted on NATO's attack on Kosovo. China will now seek to demonstrate that NATO will have to consult it, not as a moral matter, but in order to reach a resolution to the problem. In other words, on a host of issues China is going to have to prove that it has the power to disrupt the international system at will and that, therefore, other powers have no choice but to take China into account in planning their actions.
China, by itself, has only a limited ability to gain traction. It is the relationship with Russia that allows both nations to reach critical mass. Therefore, we should expect two things. First, Russia and China will be intensifying consultations in the coming weeks and months, seeking to define the operational modalities that will link them. Second, doing business with China in the coming months will be much more difficult, particularly for those known to have extremely close ties to the United States or the United Kingdom. China is going to be willing to pay an economic price to redefine its politico-military relations with the rest of the world. At the same time it will be prepared to be far more assertive politically and militarily in the region than it has been thus far.
We expect economic relations with China to become much more difficult in the months to come.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
Nightmare City. When the bright hot flash blast bursts, my last thought will not be one of surprise, thanks to this Forum ;^)
Excuse my ignorance, but what does "Fiji" refer to in the above context?
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
One way to find out whether the bombing was a mistake is to see if Domino's sold lots of pie just prior to the accident.
It should have been an accident, but may not have been.
-- hot (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
Leska, I agree!!
What do we have here?
A military operation conducted by a large alliance of countries utilizing some of the most advanced weapons ever created with the most superior of intellignece gathering tools available on the planet, or above, and a "mistake" like this can happen?
I dunno...it strikes me as odd, especially when at the time this happened the Russians were getting closer to being peace brokers in this mess.
I keep thinking "payback" for those stolen secrets.
Forgive me, Leska, but when that bright flash sends fear racing through my body and soul I wont be thinking of this forum but only of my little boy.
Maybe in the next age we'll be better at keeping our focus.
-- Michael Taylor (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.
Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but in a report I heard today when Clinton was asked about the embassy, his reply was something to the effect of "I havn't been told about that yet." (meaning officially) and then he was said to have laughed. If this is true, and Clinton is playing the laywer games (it depends on the definition of informed) and then has the utter stupidity to laugh after his response, I only hope he can laugh when a Chinese ICBM hits the White House.
If these reports are true then I don't think a Clinton apology issued in prime time over all the networks will be acceptable to the Chinese people, not just their government. Just remember how pissed everybody in America was about the embassy takeover in Iran and the embassy bombings in Africa. How much more angry would we have been if the leader of the forces involved was seen on TV laughing after being asked a question about the event. And after he gave a lawyer's double- speak answer and not a real one to boot?
I still believe that there was a military target underneath the embassy complex. And obviously it was worth risking the results we got as far as damaging the embassy. But if it truely was an attack on a bunker complex, say so and provide proof, don't lie like a kid caught in the cookie jar and then laugh about it.
Heaven knows we don't need somebody with the political sensitivity of a mule starting WWIII because he makes some flippant statement intended for domestic consumption and then laughs about it, all in front of international media.
-- Wildweasel (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.
This is the man we have to deal with - incredible.
-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 10, 1999.
And not a single mention, so far, of "face". The Statfor analysis quoted by 'a', assumes that people are at least somewhat aware about the importance of face in the orient. IMHO, this bombing was the worst action in a very, very stupid war.
-- Tricia the Canuck (email@example.com), May 10, 1999.