THE COLD WAR'S OVER?
By Jon Christian Ryter
March 19, 2005
Just as the free enterprise capitalists are becoming more politically and economically comfortable with Beijing and Moscow, both sent out very clear signals last week that the century old sparring match between Karl Marx and John D. Rockefeller may not be over. It may, in fact, be entering round ten with an unwanted KO�in the form of WWIII�coming at the end of this decade as a new, structured world government becomes an Orwellian reality. But the global economy gurus are doing their level best to ignore the very obvious signs that both the Bamboo and Iron curtains are being fastidiously reconstructed since, to the world, both communist empires have obviously joined the capitalist free enterprise society of the West.
As Beijing forced the resignation of pro-democracy Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa last week, both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were blindly engaged in negotiating office space in Beijing so they could more aggressively compete with the London Stock Exchange and the Asia Stock Exchange for the listings of lucrative sham public corporations that are, in reality, owned by Chinese Central Committee members and their friends.
Tung, who has temporarily been replaced with Donald Tsang, Chief Secretary for Administration in the government, has been given a face-saving "promotion" into what will be a powerless position on a very powerful advisory committee in Beijing. He will serve as one of nine vice-chairmen of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference [CPCC] that determines policy between China's eight "official" socialist democratic political parties. (One of the resolutions passed last week by the CPCC [and reported in the Beijing News] was a measure that says Chinese women have the right to know how much money their husband's earn. Further down the page in the same issue was an insignificant blurb concerning two proposed constitutional amendments that would protect private property and human rights. (As the overlords of socialist democracy in China have learned from watching democracy in action in the United States, it doesn't matter what any amendment to your Constitution says�it only matters how your courts interpret what they have decided the Constitution means today.)
As Beijing's grip on Hong Kong tightened, the National People's Congress [NPC] in Beijing enacted a time-bomb piece of legislation that all but guaranteed regional instability�even as Beijing put forth its "peaceful trade partner" face to the United States last week when Chinese trade representatives assured the Bush Administration that they would voluntarily curb clothing exports to America to avoid sanctions. It is interesting that the vote in the NPC on that time-bomb legislation came one day after Chinese president Hu Jintao replaced former president Jiang Zemin as the head of the State military commission and the defacto head of the People's Liberation Army.
Hardliners in the Chinese Central Committee pushed an anti-secession law through the NPC that will automatically trigger military action against Taiwan should the island nation move toward formal independence from the mainland�or even make overt signs which appear that it is. When the Bush Administration condemned the proposed legislation and called for Beijing to rethink its actions last week, Chinese officials attempted to blunt the impact of the new threat against Taiwan by insisting that the "nonpeaceful means" dictated by the law would be used only as "a last resort." Wang Zhanguo, a senior official in the NPC said the muscle-flexing anti-secession law was actually aimed at assuring the peaceful reunification of the two Chinas. Fear is the best "adhesive" known to man.
Taiwan condemned the new law as a brutal attempt to deny the people of Taiwan freedom of choice by giving Beijing a blank check to invade the island nation anytime it chose to do so. The new law mandates action if Taiwanese independence forces "under any name or by any means" causes the secession of Taiwan from mainland China. In addition, the communist overlords in Beijing believe that by staking out their position as clearly as they did, that support for Taiwan in the United States will diminish as the American people walk away from commitments they have made to Taiwan since 1946.
Beijing's move at this time is based in part on their conviction that the United States is overextended and will not come to the aid of Taiwan if Taiwan's pro-democracy president, Chen Shi-bian decided to go ahead with his proposed plan to rewrite the Taiwanese constitution that would declare the island nation to be an independent, sovereign country. China has warned Chen through Joseph Wu, minister in charge of China policy, that such a declaration would be viewed by the mainland as an act of war and that, provoked, Beijing would be obligated to respond with "nonpeaceful means" to put down the insurgency. Furthermore, with China treating its invasion of Taiwan as an internal matter before the UN, the United States would be hard-pressed to convince the international community that the People's Republic of China had invaded a sovereign nation without provocation. China's success or failure in reining in its "renegade province" will determine, to a large degree, Russia's course of action in "recalling" its former satellites when, and if, that nation feels a need to do so to fight what Russian president Vladimir Putin feels is a growing threat of an increasingly powerful European Union.
Bush press secretary Scott McClellan said Beijing's passage of the law was "unfortunate," adding that "...[w]e oppose any attempt to determine the future of Taiwan by anything other than peaceful means...We don't want to see any unilateral attempts that would increase tensions in the region. So, this is not helpful."
Perhaps, but Beijing knew that both the timing of the new law�and the macho rhetoric that accompanied it�would be helpful to them within the Asian community. At a news conference on Monday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China was not afraid of a military confrontation with the United States over Taiwan but that Chinese President Hu Jintao�who now also heads the People's Liberation Army, considered military action a "last resort."
Long before America's new Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice got her feet wet in the cold water of the Straits of Taiwan, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov notified American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a January meeting in Washington, DC that Moscow was going to withdraw from a key nuclear missile disarmament treaty. The timing of the decision seemed right to Moscow because of the friction between the Americans and the European Union�and because Russia views NATO a new threat to its national interests since many of its former satellites�which the Kremlin still consider to be part of Russia�now belong to NATO. Many of those former captive nations are seeking membership in the European Union.
The treaty in question is the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that eliminated an entire class of both nuclear and conventional ground-launched missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,000 km�sufficient to reach any target in Europe (but not America). Some 2,692 such weapons were destroyed during the 1990s. Bulgaria was the last Soviet satellite to destroy their stockpile. That happened in 2002�11 years after the treaty was signed�with the U.S. paying for the demolition of the weapons. After a series of calls between Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the hawkish Russian military learned that the cowboy in the White House had at least one Reaganesque quality�he convinced Putin to hold his powder. A delegation from Russia's Foreign Ministry traveled to Washington and formally withdrew the proposal.
However, the fact that Russia was debating military options to deal with what Moscow perceives behind closed doors in the Kremlin as new threats from the West is indicative of a serious deterioration in U.S-Soviet relations�or as least, Soviet-European Union relations. Arms control experts expressed concern that the collapse of the 1987 treaty would be a disaster for nonproliferation detente, and would signal a return to the Cold War years and a new phase of 21st century weapons proliferation. While the United States has honored the terms of the nonproliferation treaties it has signed, neither Russia nor China has lived up to the terms of any of the weapons control treaties either has signed. As Russia publicly destroyed obsolete and flawed 20th century weapons systems, they have been replacing them with space age 21st century weaponry financed in part by the United States through dollars obtained through trade, IMF loans, or money given to Moscow by Washington to dismantle obsolete nuclear weapons. Russia has not abided by the terms of any of the nonproliferation treaties it has signed with the United States. Over the past 30 years, as Russia publicly destroyed obsolete weapons systems, it continued to develop new 21st century weaponry. Many of the nuclear warheads that were removed from the obsolete systems (that conspiracy buffs in the United States believe are now suitcase bombs in the hands of Islamic terrorist groups, or are in the possession of rogue military leaders who are selling them on Ebay) were simply remounted on sophisticated new weapons, and are now aimed at targets deep in the heartland of America.
In point of fact, Taiwan (formerly Formosa) has been an independent
nation since 1945 when it was granted sovereignty by Articles 76 and
77 of the UN Charter. While Formosa was historically a part of China,
in April 1895 Japan forced the Qing Dynasty to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki
which ceded Formosa to Japan. Under the terms of the Potsdam Conference
signed by China, England and the United States at the end of World War
II, the Axis would be forced to surrender captured lands back to the
nations from which they were taken. However the Atlantic Charter (1941)
which became the UN Charter (1945)�which China signed�both predates
and postdates the Potsdam Proclamation and negates China's claims of
sovereignty over Taiwan (particularly since it was Nationalist China
and not Communist China which signed both agreements). Furthermore,
until Richard Nixon shocked the free world by recognizing The People's
Republic of China as the legitimate government of China, Nationalist
China was viewed as the legal government of that nation. At that time,
the UN replaced Taipai's seat on the Security Council with a representative
from Beijing. Nationalist China was no longer recognized as a government-in-exile
and Taiwan's embassy in Washington, DC was reclassified as a Trade Mission.
� 2005 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
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Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.
Beijing's move at this time is based in part on their conviction that the United States is overextended and will not come to the aid of Taiwan