Rumsfeld to Make First Visit to China … e/us_china

Rumsfeld starts his Asian tour on Monday. This should be interesting…

[quote]WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is hoping China will reveal more about a massive military that the Bush administration sees as a potential near-term threat to U.S. interests in Asia and a possible global rival in the future.

Rumsfeld departs Monday on his first trip to China as defense secretary, marking a new opening to the country. China’s military, with about 2.5 million people under arms, is the largest in the world, and Rumsfeld wants Beijing to detail more about the scope of its budget and the intentions of its leaders.

As a nod to the Americans, China agreed to allow Rumsfeld to visit 2nd Artillery Corps headquarters at Qinghe, which runs its strategic missile forces. Rumsfeld would be the first U.S. official ever to see the complex, according to Pentagon officials speaking on condition of anonymity who briefed reporters on the trip.

The Chinese, however, denied Rumsfeld’s request to visit the Western Hills command center, a secret underground facility that serves as a national military command post. No foreigner is believed to have been inside Western Hills, although Chinese officials have visited the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld is scheduled to meet with President Hu Jintao, who also is chairman of the Central Military Commission, which runs the military, and other senior officials, including Rumsfeld’s counterpart, Gen. Cao Gangchuan.

Rumsfeld leaves Washington with few expectations of major breakthroughs in the topsy-turvy relationship with China, according to aides. But many see his visit as bringing the United States and China full-circle from the most recent low point in relations: the April 2001 collision of a Chinese jet and a U.S. Navy spy plane.

That incident infuriated Rumsfeld, who responded by breaking off U.S. military contacts with China for a time. He has remained publicly skeptical of China’s intentions, saying at an Asia conference last June that by Pentagon calculations China’s defense budget was the third largest in the world, behind the U.S. and Russia.

Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases?” Rumsfeld said. He was alluding to China’s expanding missile forces, which pose a threat not only to Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia but potentially even to the U.S.

U.S. officials were taken aback when a Chinese general said last July that Beijing might respond with nuclear weapons if the U.S. were to attack China in a conflict over Taiwan. Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, a dean at China’s National Defense University, said this was his personal view and was not official government policy.

Rumsfeld’s visit, only the third by a U.S. defense secretary in the past decade and the first since 2000, is intended in part as a precursor to a trip that President Bush plans for November.[/quote]

this should make for a nice game of hide & seek

Oh, whatever. It will be the same story. Groundless assurances on the part of the Chinese, proclamations from the US official that China must change X, Y, Z. Further assurances from the Chinese that China is a country with no human rights violations, or that they are truly a market economy, or that the military expendatures are justified to fight nobody…