One by one they've come to meet with China's
foremost leaders including President Hu Jintao
first Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
in an unpublicized one day summit July 10, followed
by her Deputy Secretary Robert
Zoellick in August, USA Pacific Commander
(Navy) Admiral William
Fallon in September, and Treasury Secretary
Snow and former number two at the Pentagon
now World Bank president Paul
Wolfowitz who both departed just yesterday.
Why Beijing? Could it be that as scandal swirls
about the White House and threats of criminal
indictments loom around Executive staffers many
of President Bush's closest cabinet members are
seeking refuge overseas?
Or is there an important breakthrough in America's
response to the "Chinese
juggernaut"? Peter Brookes of the right-wing
think tank Heritage Foundation (famous for its
sinophobia) promises "substantive
meetings" when Bush gets to Beijing next
On the way to Beijing, Rumsfeld told
a British newspaper he stayed away from China
until now because of the
EP-3 spy plane incident in 2001. And he continues
to stress his concerns
about China's military expenditures to the American
But upon arrival all was smiles. Rumsfeld met
with his Chinese counterpart Defense Minister
General Cao Gangchuan (see photo above) and will
meet with President Hu Jintao soon. As in the
USA President Hu is also "commander-in-chief"
of the country's armed forces.
Rumsfeld's visit will address the usual strategic
concerns: for the USA, Chinese help with containing
North Korea's nuclear ambitions and for China,
insistence that the USA comply with the 1982 Joint
Communiqué stipulating an end to Taiwan
As an added bonus, Rumsfeld will be treated to
a first ever visit to the Chinese ICBM control
room outside the capital.
Next stop for Rumsfeld is a rally for American
troops in South Korea followed by visits to Mongolia,
Kazakhstan (where Secretary of State Rice departed
last week empty-handed in her efforts to diminish
influence), and Lithuania.
Bush's trip to Beijing starts November 19
after the APEC
2005 summit in South Korea.
©2005 Ben Calmes for Sinomania!