Week of: January 7, 2001
Peaceful Coexistance is not Possible
by F.R. Duplantier
"The China threat is real and growing. The solution is not trade but democracy."
"A fundamental lesson of the twentieth century is that democracies cannot coexist indefinitely with powerful and ambitious totalitarian regimes," declares Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz in his new book, The China Threat. "Sooner or later," he asserts, "the competing goals and ideologies bring conflict, whether hot war or cold, until one or the other side prevails."
Gertz details how the China threat "grew stronger through the misguided policies of the Clinton-Gore Administration. While Bill Clinton's predecessors in the Oval Office share the blame," he affirms, "the magnitude of the Clinton-Gore Administration's missteps, fumbling, and outright appeasement is in a class by itself. The result has been that the United States has actually helped create a new superpower threat to world peace and stability in the decades to come."
Gertz describes the Chinese regime as "a dictatorship with no regard for human life and no input from outside its small circle of Communist Party policymakers." Judging from its "record of massive blunders and the continuing insularity of its ruling clique," he foresees "the very real possibility that China's rulers could make the same kind of catastrophic miscalculation that Japan's dictators did in attacking Pearl Harbor."
Gertz puts no faith in "the supposedly democratizing effect of increased trade with the West." He sees "little evidence that the Beijing dictatorship has been undermined by such trade. The growth of prosperous coastal cities has not alleviated the poverty of rural China," Gertz reports. "The levers of power that keep the Party in control remain unchanged and unreformed. The permanent normal trade status granted to China in 2000 by Clinton and Congress," he adds, "will do little to liberate the Chinese people or lessen Beijing's threat to the West. To the contrary, the Clinton policy of conciliation has only increased the danger." Gertz concludes that "China today is less free and more threatening than it was before the United States established formal government-to-government relations in 1979."
Gertz warns that the China threat "puts at risk the very national existence of the United States." He emphasizes that "our country, by virtue of its wealth and power, is the leading force for freedom and democracy everywhere. Without this leadership, there is little hope of a better life for all mankind. The China threat demands a strategic response from the United States," Gertz asserts, "not ad hoc policies that have failed to promote real change within the dictatorial government in Beijing."
Gertz chastises the Clinton-Gore Administration for its refusal to treat China "as a threat or even a potential threat. The apparent reason for what amounted to a policy of appeasement was trade and business interests," he comments, "combined with the compromising of Bill Clinton by Chinese interests that contributed heavily to his campaign funds." Gertz also detects "an ideological affinity for China's supposedly 'progressive' brand of communism among top White House advisers and even the President himself." He concludes that "the orthodox notion of a nonthreatening China should be replaced with a hardheaded realism based on American national interest."