Backtalk! Reap the Whirlwind

Backtalk! Reap the Whirlwind
September 26, 2001

From Albert C., regarding The Strait Scoop
January 23, 2003

I usually enjoy your columns which are insightful and witty. But I have to admit I was disappointed with the one you wrote after 9/11. I do believe America may have made mistakes in dealing with Yugoslavia, North Korea, Iraq, and Palestine as you have said. But the way you wrote about the issues was so one sided and biased against the US You seem to be forgetting the huge roles that Slobodan Milosevic, Kim Il Jung, Saddam Hussein, and Yasser Arafat played in each of these trouble spots. I thought this was unfair. But the real reason I wanted to write to you was that do you agree with China’s newfound position on world issues that line up with America’s. The Chinese seem to be backing the US hard-line opinion on Iraq and is helping to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula by pressuring the North Koreans to stop misbehaving (It is alleged that both Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao loathe Kim IL Jung almost as much as George W. Bush does). Do you agree with China’s new pragmatic foreign policy which has replaced its original foreign policy that supported Third World revolutionary movements and governments by aligning itself more closely to the United States?

Bevin Chu replies:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Although we disagree, I am happy to see that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

You wrote: “You seem to be forgetting the huge roles that Slobodan Milosevic, Kim IL Jung, Saddam Hussein, and Yasser Arafat played in each of these trouble spots. I thought this was unfair.”’s many other contributors have covered the Balkans and the Middle East in far greater detail than I have. In any given week, one need only browse through the dozens of articles posted under Viewpoints to get the real story “Behind the Headlines”. I don’t think I really need to get into this one.

Beijing’s “new” foreign policy is anything but new. It is old. It is only “new” to the western media establishment, which has clung to long obsolete impressions formed during the early days of the Cold War. Western analysts agree in retrospect that Beijing’s alleged Cold War era “aggression” was never all that energetic, that Moscow was the real offender when it came to fomenting global Marxist Leninist insurgency. Besides Beijing’s foreign and domestic economic policies were completely overhauled when Deng Xiaoping took over. This is old news. Very old news.

Beijing is not really endorsing Bush’s unwarranted aggression against Iraq, it is merely not actively opposing it. The Bush administration knows this. The reason should be obvious. Prior to 9-11 China was being set up by Washington as the the greatest threat to America’s future in the post Cold War world. Now that the muzzle of Dubya’s gun is pointed at somebody else’s head, Beijing is understandably not eager to attract attention back to itself. That hardly constitutes endorsement of Bush’s megalomaniacal policies.


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