Sunday, February 27, 2005

Clinton Gets One Half-Right

President Clinton, speaking in Tokyo:
On China's emerging power, Clinton said it makes no sense for Washington to get into an arms race with Beijing.

"We will be far better off if our competitions with China are economic, athletic, cultural, scientific and not military," Clinton said.
True enough.
"We should have a strategic partnership that gives China every incentive to act responsibly."

This completely misses why there's any rumbling about a Sino-American arms race.
It is not the US that is building up its Pacific Fleet.
It's the PRC that's trying to purchase NATO armaments and develop a blue-water navy.
It's the PRC that maintains territorial claims in the South China Sea against nations friendly to the US--the Phillipines, Taiwan.
It's the PRC that asserts US naval operations in international waters are hostile to China.
It's the combination of political goals contrary to US policy, and the pursuit of a military arm capable of carrying them out in spite of the US, that has some Americans concerned about the need to build up in the Pacific.
Only if China responded to an American buildup with increased militarization would there be an arms-race.

But rather than focus on all of those facts, which involve a population where Clinton has little influence, Clinton prefers to preach surrender to the American public.
President Clinton always preferred to change American opinion to changing that of foriegn governments.

A "strategic partnership" is only possible if either the PRC militants or the US renounces their goals in support of the other.
Another trait of the former Clinton Administration was its willingness to pay almost anything for a deal--and justify the price by saying "But we've got a relationship!"

We could indeed escape an arms race if we cede the Asian Pacific to the People's Navy. That is perfectly true and Clintonians in the Congress may seize upon that limited truth to argue for surrender. We should not allow ourselves to be suprised by them.

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