F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
October 1, 2000
Containment Recommended for China

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

President Ronald Reagan confronted Soviet aggression around the globe. We should take the same approach with China.

"It is a scandal that most former secretaries of state (beginning with Henry Kissinger), most former national security advisors (also beginning with Kissinger), and most of their senior deputies have gone into the China trade subsequent to their government service, often without even allowing the passage of a decent interval before beginning to cash in," observes Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute. "Such profiteering," he concludes, "either past or anticipated, cannot help but color the views of those who would engage in it, generating a peace-at-any-price attitude toward U.S.-China relations, and color, too, the advice they give the nation in their capacity as 'experts.' Understanding this, Beijing holds them hostage to their avarice and summons them into action whenever some irritant in U.S.-China relations arises," Mosher charges. "They are quick to apologize for Beijing," he notes, "when it commits some outrageous act, such as gunning down unarmed demonstrators in the heart of the capital city."

In his new book, Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, Mosher recalls that there were once "strict controls on the export of dual-use technology -- technology that has military as well as commercial applications -- by the U.S. and its allies to prevent dangerous technology from falling into the hands of potential adversaries. Under the Clinton Administration," he reports, "these controls were largely dismantled, and some of our best technology, sometimes in defiance of the recommendations of experts, has been approved for sale to China." Mosher urges the federal government to "tighten up its technology transfer policy towards China and restore strict controls over dual-use exports. The export of advanced telecommunications equipment and supercomputers should be carefully reviewed," he counsels. "Stiff penalties should be imposed on firms whose negligence compromises U.S. security."

Mosher emphasizes that future export controls "will not affect the missile technology that China has already purchased from Russia or stolen from the U.S. To defend against China's rapidly growing arsenal of ballistic missiles," he advises, "the U.S. should deploy first an Asian and then a national missile-defense system." Mosher warns that China "regards the U.S. with hostility today" and "will likely be taking an even more critical view of American power in the Pacific twenty years from now. China's unspoken goal then, as now, will be to destroy that power," he warns. "The only thing that will have changed is China's military capabilities, which will have expanded greatly."

Mosher recommends "containment by the United States," which, he argues, "would prevent China from gaining effective sway over its immediate neighbors, limit its influence further afield, and thwart the emergence of a Eurasian superpower that would threaten America's global interests. It would require, first, acknowledging the realities of Chinese aims, and then constraining the modernization of military technology, keeping China in such a clear position of military inferiority that Beijing would avoid at all costs a direct military collision. The deployment of a missile defense system at the same time," Mosher predicts, "would avert China's use of nuclear blackmail against America and its allies."

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