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Jewish World Review April 12, 2001 / 19 Nissan, 5761

Joseph Perkins

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Consumer Reports

What America is really sorry about


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- PRESIDENT BUSH said America was sorry to China. Sort of.

We're sorry that China is a repressive, one-party authoritarian state; that it denies its 1.3 billion citizens the rights and freedoms we Americans take for granted.

The Chinese people have no right to vote, no right to peaceably assemble, no right to due process. They have no freedom of speech, freedom of religion or freedom of the press.

We're sorry that the Communists in Beijing are intolerant of political dissent, as they so mercilessly demonstrated in 1989 when they massacred hundreds of unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Tianamen Square.

And that they continue to use laws against "subversion" and "endangering state security" to threaten, arrest and imprison a wide range of political dissidents and activists, according to a 2000 State Department report. We're sorry that the government of Jiang Zemen is contemptuous of human rights. As Amnesty International reported last year, "Torture is widespread and systematic, committed in the full range of state institutions, from police stations to 're-education through labor' camps, as well as in people's homes, workplaces and in public."

It cited the example of Zhou Jiangxiong, a 30-year-old farmer from Hunan province, who was tortured to death by officials from a township birth control office. They were trying to make him reveal the whereabouts of his wife, suspected of being pregnant without permission.

They hung Zhou upside down and repeatedly whipped and beat him with wooden clubs. They burned him with cigarette butts, branded him with soldering irons and ripped his genitals off.

We're sorry the People's Republic pursues a mercantilist trade policy with the United States.

Even as we magnanimously bestowed Permanent Normal Trading Relations status on Beijing last year, even as we afforded Chinese exporters of toys, footwear, consumer electronics, black berets and other apparel free and unfettered access to the lucrative U.S. market, Beijing continued to impose protectionist barriers to U.S. goods and services, effectively pricing them beyond the means of most of China's consumers.

That's why the United States was on the short end of a record $69 billion trade imbalance with China in 1999. Why the trade gap almost certainly was wider last year. And why the United States will continue to pile up a huge trade deficit with China this year.

We're sorry Beijing is a proliferator of ballistic missiles, weapons of mass destruction and enabling technologies.

China has sold missile technology to Iran, while also providing the ayatollahs with chemicals used to make deadly nerve agents. It has assisted Libya with its missile program. It has provided North Korea with raw material for its ballistic missile program. And it has supplied Pakistan with a design for a nuclear weapon. We're sorry Jiang's government funneled illegal campaign donations to former President Clinton and the Democratic Party.

It was part of a broader campaign by the Communists to acquire U.S. military-related technology, a Justice Department investigation concluded.

The Cox Report identified two of the People's Republic's cash-laden emissaries, Wang Jung, son of the late Chinese president, and Liu Chaoying, daughter of China's former top military leader.

Wang actually managed to attend one of Clinton's White House coffees. He's connected to $600,000 in illegal campaign contributions that the notorious Charlie Trie made to the Democratic National Committee.

Liu rubbed elbows with Clinton at a fund-raiser here in California. She gave Johnny Chung $300,000 to contribute to the former president's re-election, according to the Cox Report, in order "to better position her in the United States to acquire computer, missile and satellite technologies."

We're sorry the People's Republic is developing long-range nuclear missiles to threaten the United States. Back in November, the Communists flight-tested their DF-31 mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, which will be capable of delivering nuclear payloads to American cities.

Washington Times defense and national security reporter Bill Gertz noted that the test was timed to coincide with the first visit to China by Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Meanwhile, a top Chinese military leader, Gen. Zhang Wannian, recently predicted a military conflict over Taiwan in the next five to 10 years.

And the Liberation Army Daily, China's official military newspaper, warned that if the United States comes to the aid of its ally, Beijing would launch a nuclear missile attack on American targets.

There are many China-related issues for which Americans should be sorry. But we darn sure don't owe the Communists an apology for forcing down our spy plane -- in international airspace -- and detaining its crew.



JWR contributor Joseph Perkins is a San Diego Union-Tribune columnist and television commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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