|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|CPC and State Organs|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Thursday, August 30, 2001, updated at 08:14(GMT+8)|
Bush Puts China Policy Back into Main Channel, US Expert SaysUS President George W. Bush is neither slow on the uptake nor putty in the hands of hard-right advisers when it comes to China policy, rather he appears ahead of his predecessors in bringing ties with Beijing back to track after initial fluctuations, a well-known China policy expert said.
"The president already has put China policy into the main channel created by six preceding administrations," said David M. Lampton, Director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins-SAIS and The Nixon Center, in an article published by The Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday.
One of the evidences Lampton cited is President Bush's handling of the reconnaissance-plane incident. The mid-air collision on April 1, in which a US spy plane bumped into a Chinese fighter jet near China's Hainan Island, set off high tension in Sino-US relations. China returned all 24 US crew members of the spy plane after the Bush administration said "sorry" to Beijing less than two weeks after the incident.
The Bush administration also made commitment to meet Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Beijing this October, worked hard for the promotion of normal trade status and for China's entry into the World Trade Organization, and put out the decision not to oppose Beijing's quest for the 2008 Olympics, Lampton said.
On the Taiwan issue, he noted, President Bush appeared to have no intention to change the structure that has maintained peace in the Taiwan Strait for three decades despite his "do whatever it takes" defense statement in April.
"In contrast to this surefootedness, it took Ronald Reagan more than a year and a half to get into the main channel of China policy. Bill Clinton took 3-1/2 years," Lampton said. "We are seeing a president who is ahead of both predecessors and more strident subordinates," he added.
Lampton dismissed the "passive bystander" image many analysts of China policy-making put on President Bush. "In fact, Bush has a mind of his own on China," he emphasized.
Lampton pointed out that Bush has always been a firm supporter of trade with China. In a speech to representatives from his major constituencies between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains in 1999, Bush vehemently persuaded his followers to back up China's efforts toward entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"You're not for China getting into the WTO. I am. And let me tell you something. The amount of corn that'll be moved if China gets into WTO will rise ... to 7.2 million metric tons. Opening up Chinese markets is good for our farmers," Bush was quoted as saying at a gathering of supporters from states which one year later gave him 99 electoral votes, or about 35 percent of his total, in his presidential contest.
Public opinion and mass electoral politics are also attributable to President Bush's quickly moving China policy into a familiar channel, Lampton said.
Several polls coincide with the results of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center which revealed that only one in five call China an "adversary" and "the proportion who see china's emergence as a world power as a threat to the United States has not increased over the past two years."
"It is hard to see how unnecessarily tangling with America's fourth-largest trade partner will help garner the public support Bush needs to win more popular votes in 2004. This is especially true when the domestic and world economies are sputtering and domestic economic performance is the key to electoral victory," Lampton said.
The old China-hand cited financial pinch as another reason for Bush's unwillingness to lock horns with China in a money-consuming battle of attrition.
"If one picks a fight with China, one better have adequate financial resources," but President Bush's 1.35 trillion dollars tax cut "has created a very hard budget constraint," making it even harder for the Department of Defense to divert significant resources in China's direction, Lampton said.
Bush's pragmatic China policy is also to square with America's allies which "are all trying to improve relations with Beijing," Lampton said. "A policy that unnecessarily provokes Beijing will not win support from friends," he added.
Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong told a Washington audience in June that "it makes no sense to mortgage East Asia's future by causing the Chinese people to conclude that its neighbors and the U.S. want to keep them down."
In his article entitled "Bush is ahead of the game on China," Lampton called on Bush's "strident subordinates" to get with the president's program of shaping a better relationship with China.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||