October 30, 2006

USA Warns Taiwan and China

Despite upcoming elections that may challenge their one-party rule, Republicans stir up a storm of bluster aimed at Taiwan AND China this week. First, Stephen Young, the head of the American Institute in Taiwan (USA's arms peddler), warned Taiwan's parliament that they'd better cough up $13 billion for the 2001 arms package or else... The opposition party has long questioned the importance of the huge arms deal (orginally closer to $20 billion) that would chiefly benefit Lockheed-Martin and various Congressional pork projects such as reopening diesel submarine manufacturing in declining port cities of Connecticut or Mississippi.

Meanwhile, this week Congress's "US-China Economic Security Review Commission" is to reveal its annual report of the great China Threat. The commission, created in 2000 as a compromise to the Republicans for support of Clinton's China trade deal (that guaranteed Chinese admission to WTO), is an absurd assemblage of former members of the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups and former staffers of Congress members with well known anti-China biases (Nancy Pelosi, William Byrd, etc.). It annual assessment has about as much validity as the China report put out by the Pentagon each year with similar fanfare. Indeed the commission is looking for expertise on the subject. You can apply here.

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