Deafening Silence from Washington on measures to prevent "accidental" CHINESE Nuclear Missle Launch!greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Does anyone hear the deafening silence in regard to CHINESE possible "accidental nuclear missle launch? We are going to great length to trade military leaders and oversee nuclear defense control rooms are shared by advisors from both nations, but there seems to be a complete lack of awareness that such a nuclear nightmare could issue from China as well as Russia. WHAT IS BEING DONE TO AVERT THIS POTENTIAL DISASTER I ASK?
-- Ann Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999
I asked myself the same question two months ago, when I discovered (through CNN's site on the cold war) that China had Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles capable of hitting the West Coast of the United States. Now that we know North Korea is capable of hitting ANYWHERRE in the United States, anothe question is--what's happening in that arena. Time to write your U.S. congressperson or senator?
-- FM (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
China still feels & acts like a country. They have a homogeneous race of people, and a homogeneous culture. The Chinese culture, at some level, has existed for over 4700 years.
I don't think they will attack far from home, but they WILL defend their territory. Please note, though, that China considers Taiwan to be part of their territory. If the US defends Taiwan, the US will be attacked.
-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@anonymous.com), March 09, 1999.
Just in case you need something else>/i>to worry about...check out the article on China and the Spratly Islands in the March 8th Asia edition of "Time" magazine. If you're already having trouble sleeping, I recommend you skip the article and go directly to margaritas.
-- PNG (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.
Clinton works for the Chinese, so they already have someone here to monitor the situation, give them our weapons secrets, etc.... See latest on the transfer of small nuclear weapons secrets to the Peoples Republic of China. Clinton is giving away the store in order to stay on good terms with a large trading partner. Americans don't seem to care, just keep sending us those cheap tennis shoes.
-- Bill (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
Italics off (Sorry...)
-- PNG (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.
Here are three related articles from the Electronic Telegraph. Please see particularly the 1 March article where Clinton's advisors are reported to have completely misinterpreted China's reaction re Tibet.
11 February 1999
China deploys 200 missiles facing Taiwan, By David Rennie in Beijing
CHINA has stationed up to 200 new ballistic missiles next to Taiwan and plans to deploy hundreds more, according to a leaked Pentagon report confirmed by Taiwan's Defence Ministry.
The weapons build-up coincides with increasingly shrill Chinese warnings that America and Japan must not include Taiwan in a proposed Star Wars-style missile defence shield, unless they wish to trigger a regional arms race.
"The Chinese communists have more than 100 M-class missiles in storage that could target Taiwan," the Taiwanese Defence Ministry said yesterday.
The Pentagon report, leaked to the Financial Times newspaper in Washington, is said to show that the Chinese military have stationed between 150 and 200 M-9 and M-11 missiles in southern China, opposite the nationalist island of Taiwan, and plan to deploy 650 in all in the next few years.
Recent Pentagon and US Congress studies have accused China of acquiring large quantities of missile technology, some of which they bullied out of high-tech foreign companies wishing to invest in China and some of which they simply stole.
The US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, announced last month that spending on anti-missile defence systems would rise sharply. Tokyo, which was badly shaken when North Korea appeared to fire a ballistic missile over Japan last August, has agreed to join Washington in work on a theatre missile defence (TMD) system.
The Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, declared that talks between Mr Cohen and the Japanese government marked "the start of a revival of Japan's military ambitions".
Recently the official China Daily said that if Taiwan were included in the TMD, Sino-US relations would suffer their worst setback since bilateral ties were normalised. America's growing military strength in the region would anger "countries under threat and prompt them to develop missiles".
Monday 1 March 1999
Albright gets frosty reception as Beijing turns on America, By Christopher Lockwood, Diplomatic Editor, and Hugo Gurdon in Washington
THE FROST in Beijing will be diplomatic as much as climatic for Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State, who arrived in the Chinese capital last night.
Sino-American relations are getting worse by the day, and there will be no ersatz bonhomie, as there was when Bill Clinton received the red-carpet treatment from China last June.
Instead, there will be cold hard debate about widening disagreements on Taiwan, trade, human rights and weapons proliferation.
In June, Mr Clinton criss-crossed the country on a wave of goodwill, speaking hopefully of a "strategic partnership" between the two nations. But even then there were signals that a slide was on the way.
In a televised press conference with Jiang Zemin, the Chinese leader, Mr Clinton raised the subject of Tibet and spoke warmly of its exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. When Mr Jiang rocked back laughing heartily, White House officials interpreted it as a sign of new informality and warmth.
Old China hands knew differently: it would have been seen by the Chinese as their leader laughing mockingly at the absurd foreigner.
Now, Mrs Albright has to go and pick up the pieces of the Sino-American relations. Her timing could not be worse.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 99-0 for a motion urging America to push a resolution condemning China's human rights record when the United Nation's human rights committee meets next month.
The US State Department human rights report yesterday accused China of "killings, torture, forced confessions and detention of dissidents" during 1998.
Since the Clinton visit ended, China has clamped down on dissent - banning the fledgling China Democracy Party, detaining members ahead of a planned national congress, and jailing three prominent dissidents including the veteran Xu Wenli. Britain is coming under intense pressure to reverse its decision to refrain from condemning China, breaking ranks with the EU if necessary.
The Government's position is particularly difficult, since it is supposed to have introduced a new "ethical foreign policy" since the 1997 election.
Mrs Albright is flying into a bitter row over her department's decision, last Tuesday, to refuse the Hughes Corporation an export licence for a #270 million advanced new communications satellite.
The Department fears the satellite contains technology that could be "reverse engineered" to allow the Chinese to improve the accuracy of their long-range missile systems.
China angrily condemned the decision, saying it "will have a negative effect on normal China-US economic and trade exchanges and cooperation".
The satellite row comes at a time when Washington has been pressing Beijing to open its markets wider to US products and reduce its #40 billion trade surplus with the United States.
The row has also come as China and America are trying to agree on terms for Chinese admission to the World Trade Organisation: China wants this done by the time Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visits Washington in April.
Mrs Albright will also have to tackle the sensitive subject of Taiwan. A Pentagon report yesterday concluded that China's build-up of high-tech weaponry has shifted the balance of forces across the Taiwan Strait, destablising the region.
David Rennie in Beijing writes: Chinese dissidents yesterday cancelled a national meeting planned for today until Wednesday in the central city of Wuhan following the wave of detentions of members of the China Democracy Party in the run-up to Mrs Albright's visit.
Wednesday 3 March 1999
China and US agree to disagree on rights, By David Rennie in Beijing
THE US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, ended a two-day visit to Beijing yesterday insisting that Washington remained committed to "principled and purposeful engagement" with China despite serious differences over human rights.
Mrs Albright said human rights had been the most difficult topic during her talks with China's leaders. Her spokesman, James Rubin, had earlier described her discussions on the issue as "on the high end of tough".
But the American side said tough talk on real questions was an improvement on the wary platitudes of the past. Relations had reached the point where they could withstand "even sharp disagreements", Mrs Albright said.
Two days before Mrs Albright arrived in Beijing, the US State Department published a strongly critical annual human rights report, provoking complaints about outside powers "wantonly interfering in other countries' internal affairs" from China's Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan.
Chinese state newspapers replied to US criticisms yesterday in the form of a lengthy report on human rights in the United States. They denounced America for discriminating against the poor, the disabled, the elderly, black and Hispanic Americans, native American Indians and women.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
What would you like Washington to say about China? While Clinton has decreased the military budget to the bone and gave China some fairly advanced technology, the military has viewed China as a threat for over a decade now. (I question the age of the article since it mentioned Star Wars program.) But to answer your question Ann, not much can be done to avert a disaster. If China wants to launch, they'll launch. This is the possibility that we Americans have lived with for over 50 years now. FWIW, that's why we have a military, to watch the skies, alert our forces, and react to threats.
-- Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.
Remember how everyone pooh-poohed Fred Thompson's Senate Committee last year when he stated that our national security was for sale as well as technology for campaign donations to the Clinton/Gore re- election bid?
No one cared then.
Why do we care now?
Maybe the warnings from the Chineese leadership about not meddling with Taiwaan (one of our major trading partners) has us a little concerned?
Amazing how fast asleep folks will want to stay until the indigestion of facts start making them uneasy in the gut.
Got Pepto Bismol?
-- INVAR (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
Maria, you said, "I question the age of the article since it mentioned Star Wars program."
What the article actually said was, ". . .a proposed Star Wars-style missile defence shield. . ." Not quite the same thing. The date on the article was captured at the site.
-- Old Git (uestion the date of the firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.
China launch at the US? not too likely. Much more likely would be for them to decide to flatten Taiwan (with the resulting fallout being carried on the jetstream) and then possibly also neutralizing any Indian or Pakistani nuke sites they deem to be an immediate threat. If they struck swiftly and mercilessly in both cases, I'd bet that neither Russia nor the US would have the guts to do anything other than file a diplomatic protest.
-- Arlin H. Adams (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
Maria said this...
"If China wants to launch, they'll launch. This is the possibility that we Americans have lived with for over 50 years now. FWIW, that's why we have a military, to watch the skies, alert our forces, and react to threats. "
And somewhere some Chinese lady is saying this...
"If USA wants to launch, they'll launch. This is the possibility that we Chinese have lived with for over fifty years now. FWIW, that's why we have a military, to watch the skies, alert our forces, and react to threats."
For once I'm not having a go at you Maria. Just pointing out that this is universal problem, to which I see no solution.
-- humptydumpty (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 11, 1999.