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Jewish World Review Aug. 2, 1999/ 20 Av 5759

David Limbaugh

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No appeasement for China -- RED CHINA IS A NERVOUS, unstable and menacing empire. Yet, ignoring the unmistakable lessons of history, the Clinton administration is pursuing a reckless policy of appeasement towards Beijing.

Given the credible allegations that the Clinton administration willfully turned a blind eye to China's ongoing nuclear espionage while lapping up its illegal campaign contributions, you would think that Clinton would be more circumspect in his dealings with China. But you'd have to think again.

Indeed, after the accidental bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade, Clinton must have groveled in apology a half a dozen times, only to be persistently rebuffed by the Communist regime. Only a week ago did China deign to forgive us for our "egregious misconduct." And I don't remember a word of reprimand from Clinton about the theft of our nuclear technology.

Apart from Clinton's motivations, the United States better wake up to the growing problems facing China and what they portend for the entire east Asian region.

Signs of Beijing's instability and paranoia are everywhere. Twenty years of market reforms have undermined the Communist Party's dominance. China's economy is in trouble with millions of workers losing their jobs.

A fierce power struggle adds to the chaos. Communist Party hard-liners and the military, who long for the good old days under Mao, are pressing for a tougher line in Beijing.

The government is repressing dissidents with an intensity not seen since the Tiananmen Square atrocity. Thousands of demonstrators have been detained, and many have been sentenced to 10 or more years in prison.

Last week, Beijing initiated a nationwide crackdown against the 10 million member Falun Gong sect. The Washington Post reports that this organization is not simply a fringe movement, but a spiritual sect competing with the Communist Party for the hearts and minds of its young people.

But the Communist regime's aggressive behavior hasn't been limited to its domestic policies. China has been increasing military spending for the last 10 years to about $30 billion a year. More disturbingly, it has become increasingly imperialistic towards Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, and according to some experts, has its sights set on the Panama Canal.

In the current issue of the "New American," Adm. Thomas H. Moorer warns that the United States is sleepwalking on a course to sure destruction. He argues that by planning to transfer "this strategic canal not to Panama, but to whichever power moves in to fill the vacuum," the People's Republic of China will gain control of this "critically important asset."

Instead of confronting China, we are rewarding it. And it's not just Clinton. Congress voted Tuesday to maintain most-favored-nation status (normal trade relations) with China.

But China's bellicose actions towards Taiwan pose the most immediate threat. Recent problems began in early July when Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui demanded that China treat Taiwan as an independent state, rather than a renegade province. This drew a swift and ferocious rebuke from Beijing, which insists that Taiwan is part of China. Flexing its muscles, China boasted that it had neutron bomb technology and placed troops on a heightened state of alert.

Taiwan's statement was in response to China's deliberate attempt to isolate it from the international community. Taiwan has consistently maintained that it would only reunite with China under democratic rule.

The Clinton administration, true to its continuing sellout to China, strongly criticized Taiwan for its statement and sent a representative to pressure Taiwan to soften its position.

Bill Clinton was one of the most outspoken critics of Serbia's Slobo, likening him to Hitler. His refusal similarly to condemn China while reproving Taiwan demonstrates that it is not oppressive governments that he opposes, but only ones that do not augment his campaign war chest.

Clinton, and others advocating U.S. military intervention in Kosovo, argued that Slobo posed a threat to European stability. That was a disingenuous argument born of convenience.

But Serbia's potential impact on Europe stands in sharp contrast to China's destabilizing capacity in East Asia and the remainder of the world. There can no longer be any doubt that Red China has replaced the Soviet Union as the world's foremost evil empire.

Our policy of placation towards China is dangerously shortsighted. By failing to confront China over Taiwan (not to mention the theft of our nuclear technology), the United States is inviting more ominous aggression across the Taiwan Strait.

Totalitarian states like Red China are congenitally incapable of responding to conciliatory diplomacy. They only understand force and threats of force. It's time to put Beijing on notice that military action against Taiwan will not be tolerated.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


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