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U.S. Concessions only means of obtaining Chinese cooperation

By Jeff Brewer


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            News coming out of Beijing Wednesday detailing the failure of Sino-American meetings should come as little surprise to any levelheaded conservative.  Chinese obstinacy concerning the issue of “fault” in the crisis involving our surveillance EP-3’s mid-air collision with a F-8 Chinese fighter, is a forgone conclusion.  Having been outfoxed (I was skeptical of the “apology” initially) by President George W. Bush and his advisors into handing over our 24 servicemen in exchange for what amounts to a Hallmark Card expressing contrived sympathy, the defiant Chinese are smarting over their loss of leverage in the crisis.

            And in true Chinese fashion, their communist leadership remains oblivious to the reality of the situation.  Those commies need to recall a few facts; they need to have it hammered into their collective cranium that the American mission was compliant with international law in all aspects.  More than that, Wang Wei precipitated his own tragic demise when he made it a habit of shadowing American reconnaissance aircraft at a distance of five to ten feet.  In an air show with the Blue Angels, this kind of daring is applauded and even encouraged.  But in international airspace, bullying a defenseless surveillance plane belonging to the world’s only superpower is not healthy and amounts to an act of war.  In Wang Wei’s case, such aggressive aerial maneuvers were decidedly deadly.            

Armed with eyewitness accounts as well as video footage chronicling several month’s worth of Wang’s Red Baron style, mid-air enterprising, a team of eight American diplomats visited the proverbial “mother ship” of Chinese communism in Beijing to discuss the matter with their Chinese counterparts.  Led by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Peter F. Verga (Who’s he?), the American team had strict instructions to hold the line on President Bush’s insistence that the EP-3 be promptly returned.  Additionally, any Chinese demand that the U.S. suspend our reconnaissance flights off the Chinese coast were to be met with earnest resolve.

            The commies come to the table wanting, amazingly, just the opposite.  General Secretary Jemin and his minions remain staunch in their belief that the United States caused the collision, and that consequently we should serve up an apology to an offended people (Even the Chinese leadership is admitting that what they received last week wasn’t heartfelt). Stateside, Senate pinkos reason that if only the U.S. granted the PRC this wish, then the benevolent Jiang would give us our plane back.  Rrrrrrright…even though the PRC still believes that the equipment aboard the aircraft contains a wealth of top-secret information that would prove quite useful in undermining U.S. world primacy. 

            And when all things are considered, it’s obvious that THESE TALKS ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE!!!

China wants what we won’t give, and we want what the Middle Kingdom refuses to return.  Both sides’ demands and their willingness to give any concessions are highly conditional, as well.  Now ordinarily, this scenario of American diplomats potentially kow-towing to commies in a “spirit of compromise” would be cause for concern; judging by the U.S.’ recent history of foreign policy blunders and capitulation to rogue Maoists and insolent Moscow mafia types, naďve American diplomats will certainly give away the farm, unless…

Unless, of course, they are acted on by a persuasive outside force, like a patriotic President of the United States.  And if we know George W. at all, we know he has the intestinal fortitude to maintain all of his demands even in the face of leftist hyperbole, Diane Feinstein’s red sympathies and China’s strident aversion to the facts of this crisis. 

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            Certainly, the President knows that these talks haven’t a snowball’s chance in Hades of producing an outcome favorable to the United States.  If he felt these meetings were destined to achieve anything of merit, he no doubt would have sent a cabinet official like Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld or Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice or even the vice president to mediate a solid agreement.  Indeed, the presence of one of these heavyweights might be enough to induce a palatable agreement!  Instead, he sends a few Pentagon underlings and State Department politicians to deal with the Chi-Coms.  No offense meant towards those all-important underlings. 

            I think this decision is brilliant.  By dispatching a handful of third tier American military/government officials, the situation looks highly innocuous, much less of the showdown the PRC’s leaders desired, ostensibly to win back a measure of pride (assuming the negotiation’s outcome was slanted toward the Middle Kingdom) in the hearts and minds of the Chinese masses; the meeting’s grandeur is invariably lessened without America’s top guns.  Instead, the communists are forced to deal with the “surrogates” of American foreign policy makers.  In the process, President Bush is succeeding in marginalizing the Chinese by relegating these talks to the backburner, which only adds insult to Chinese injury.  If these talks were so essential to getting our plane back, the Pentagon’s top brass or those under-funded State Department chiefs would have had a place at the meeting table.  As it stands they don’t and China will have a hard time saving face. 

            Admittedly, the PRC still holds a card, that being that they have our plane.  But Bush’s more aggressive rhetoric immediately after those 24 crew members touched down in Hawaii, leads me to believe that its recovery is not absolutely essential (Whether you like it or not, it appears that the White House’s primary goal was to get our hostages back before worrying about the plane).  The American threat of ending the meetings immediately unless the Chinese deal objectively, proves just how negligible the aircraft’s not yet-destroyed gadgetry is; we certainly wouldn’t threaten to abandon Beijing after a mere two hours if getting this plane back was a top priority.

            Had the plane landed and been confiscated without the crew having destroyed the vast majority of the plane’s contents, then I think we’d see a more conciliatory posture from the United States.  Once those crewmembers were returned, the threat of the Chinese learning any real national security secrets was effectively thwarted.  At least the words and actions of American diplomacy makers in recent days indicate to me that they’ve determined the equipment on board was sufficiently destroyed. 

Interestingly enough, the Chinese can obtain the secrets and techniques pertaining to “American Surveillance Gathering and How to Frustrate it” from the Russians.  The cash strapped Muscovites are willing to sell any technology provided the Maoist buyer has a briefcase full of yen.  And there’s always the 15 years worth of information, some of it no doubt peculiar to American spying, tyrannically spilled from the lips of that bastard Robert Hansen. 

            So don’t expect anything newsworthy to come from the talks.  We have our people back while the Chinese think they have a highly prized American reconnaissance prop plane in their possession.  I think we have what we want. 

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