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CHINA – THE REAL THREAT

Posted by Author on November 10, 2006

Roland Watson, Dictator Watch,  November 2006-

North Korea tested a nuclear weapon on October 9th, and it also has ballistic missiles (last tested in July). It further seems likely, with additional technical development, that it will be able to manufacture nuclear warheads for the missiles, thereby threatening all of East Asia and even potentially Alaska and Hawaii.

North Korea also presents a severe risk of nuclear proliferation, and it has close ties to Iran and Pakistan. There is a real possibility that it will sell a nuclear weapon to Islamic extremists, which weapon could then be smuggled to and detonated anywhere in the world.

This constitutes a grave threat to international security. Even China, North Korea’s main ally, is upset over the test, and agreed to support United Nations Security Council sanctions.

At least, that’s the conventional view. Dictator Watch, opposed to conventionality in all its forms, has an opposing perspective.

The nuclear crisis in North Korea has been orchestrated – stage-managed – by China, as a way to take advantage of the Bush Administration’s preoccupation with Iraq. The dissolution of the Soviet Union left a power vacuum, for a leader opposed to the U.S., which China is rushing to fill. The country has embarked on rapid economic development, not as a means to improve the circumstances of ordinary Chinese, but to fund military expansion to secure the might it requires for this role. It is also creating its own powerful axis, or front, by enabling North Korea’s nuclear development, which process is also underway with its other regional client, Burma (see associated article, Nuclear Proliferation and Burma, the Hidden Connection). Both North Korea and Burma are effectively vassals of China: in many ways, like Tibet, annexed provinces.

The leaders of China are old school. Power is grounded in arms. They recognize that economic competition is now supplanting military competition around the world, but to their way of thinking, which is the norm for political dictators everywhere, nothing can replace the gun.

Kim Jong-il is rumored to have made a secret trip to China before the nuclear test. The evidence for this is that one of his personal trains left for the Chinese border on September 5th. I believe this trip was made, and further that its purpose was to secure Chinese permission to conduct the test, which permission was given.

Everyone is blaming North Korea, but the real enemy is China. The Chinese dictators must pay for creating this new threat to world security.

For this, it is important to recognize that China has a weakness. The economic development in the country is changing its social landscape. China is now experiencing its own “Roaring 20s.” The country even has billionaires. But the new riches do not extend to everyone. The country is undergoing the most profound transformation of class structure any society has ever experienced. The “Iron Rice Bowl” of communism, and its inherent assumption of equality, has been destroyed. In its place are the new elites, supported by armies of factory workers, who toil slavish hours and in appalling conditions, and with the rural agricultural communities left far behind, in many cases in extreme poverty.

The Chinese economic boom is largely export driven. Were foreign demand for Chinese goods to collapse, the whole society would be shaken, most importantly the power of the dictatorship. This would be a trigger for the people to get rid of their rulers once and for all. What began in Tiananmen Square in July 1989 would finally be achieved.

The Roaring 20s in the United States came to an abrupt end. We should strive to see this occur in China as well.

The rest of the world can help. International consumers, particularly American consumers, should punish China. Anything “Made in China” should be boycotted in the upcoming holiday season, and beyond. Further, not only will this disrupt the leading threat to international security and peace, it will also reduce gasoline prices. (Energy demand has skyrocketed to meet the needs of Chinese industry.)

International response to the North Korean test

The world responded to North Korea, seemingly with decisiveness. But was this really the case, or is the conventional wisdom once again flawed? To evaluate the response, I will compare it to the actions of President John F. Kennedy after the Soviet Union positioned nuclear missiles in Cuba, using excerpts from his October 22, 1962 speech.

“This government feels obliged to report this new crisis to you in fullest detail.”

The threat from North Korea is equivalent to the Cuban threat. Just as Cuba could have launched a missile against America at any moment, a nuclear weapon of North Korean origin can now be detonated in the United States without warning. President Kennedy addressed the Cuban/Soviet threat decisively and openly. President Bush’s response has been to keep the American public informed only indirectly and in a limited fashion, largely through statements from Secretaries Rice and Rumsfeld.

“This secret, swift and extraordinary buildup … is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country, if our courage and our commitments are ever to be trusted again by either friend or foe.”

The Cuban missile crisis developed rapidly. North Korean proliferation, on the other hand, has been in the works, and public knowledge, for years. Neither Bush, nor Clinton before him, mounted a real challenge. However, the greater responsibility lies with the Bush Administration, which accused the North in October 2002 of having a secret weapons program (in contravention of the 1994 Agreed Framework between the two countries), but which in the following years did not act to suppress it, just as the Administration is now also failing with Iran.

North Korea blackmailed both South Korea and the U.S., using the implicit threat of an invasion of Seoul with its large number of troops positioned just across the DMZ. South Korea appeased the North, giving reportedly close to $1 billion in aid, which funds were then used for the North’s missile and nuclear development. The U.S. stood by and let this happen, so as not to jeopardize its 29,000 troops stationed in the South.

North Korea, with Chinese backing, is now attempting to expand its extortion to the entire world.

This situation, far more than the war in Iraq, is the definitive test of the Bush Presidency.

“To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated.”

“Our resolution will call for the prompt dismantling and withdrawal of all offensive weapons in Cuba, under the supervision of U.N. observers, before the quarantine can be lifted.”

The United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions banning trade with North Korea in major weapons and materials usable in ballistic missiles and unconventional weapons programs. This is similar to Kennedy’s quarantine on Cuba, and likewise it requires interdiction at sea. The test of Bush’s resolve is whether this interdiction will take place; whether China will be pressured to ban such shipments along its land border; and finally that the sanctions will remain in place until North Korea has dismantled its nuclear program. Any shirking of this responsibility by Bush will severely damage the credibility the United States’ courage and commitments. It will also put the United States at direct risk of nuclear attack.

Already, North Korea, in an extension of its blackmail, has warned South Korea against implementing the sanctions. It has also said that it will return to the negotiating table, which will likely motivate China to try to end its own enforcement responsibility. (more from Dictator Watch)

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