Group - Sunday March 5, 2000
Clip] Albright: "Taiwan has been a huge issue to them.
It's come up in every single discussion I've had with them
over the years."
"That's Secretary of State Albright saying that China is getting
much more aggressive over Taiwan. "Reunify, or we invade!"
The Chinese State Council declare a new policy two weeks ago:
if reunification talks are unduly postponed, China will invade
Taiwan. "USA, stay out, or be nuked!" If the US
were to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack, China
could -- maybe would -- launch a nuclear missile attack on
California! -- so threaten the People's Liberation Army --
PLA -- in its official Communist daily newspaper this week.
It's the first time China has publicly threatened nukes.
anti-US axis." A month after a meeting between defense
ministers, Beijing sends its foreign minister to Moscow to
meet his counterpart. The two condemn any military interventions
on the pretext of humanitarian need -- a.k.a., the Clinton
people say "ok" to Taiwan war." 83% of Chinese support
a protracted 3 to 5 year war with Taiwan if Taiwan were to
declare its independence -- so says a government poll -- maybe
propaganda, maybe not. Washington isn't taking this
hard-line sitting down.
Security Enhancement Act: 341 to 70. That's the margin:
271 votes by which the US House of Representatives, one month
ago, chose to beef up Taiwan's defense. China is infuriated.
Taiwan a unique missile defense." Four ultra-high-tech
destroyers, costing $6.5 billion together, equipped with AEGIS
spy one radar that can scan 288 miles of ocean surface and
pinpoint hostile targets. No one has these beauties
but us. Taiwan wants to buy them. Clinton plans
to decide on whether to let them do so in April. But
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott wants Clinton to say "yes"
and to hurry up. This is an alarming escalation practically
everyone believes except Clinton, who seems insouciant, unworried
about this tense Taiwan crisis.
Clip] Clinton: "I understand that this is the political
season over there as well. They're having a presidential
election in Taiwan. Sometimes things are said in political
seasons that might not be said at other times."
"Question -- what's the case for discounting China's bellicosity?
I ask you, Jim."
not sure it's Clinton's insouciance. And, please also
note, I'm -- man of principle Trent Lott for this -- must
be a mere coincidence that two of those billion dollar ships
would be built in the state of Mississippi, which he would
love. I think, first and foremost, Clinton's right about
a little bit of election time posturing -- the election in
Taiwan. But, I also think that China's top priority
right now is getting into the World Trade Organization, and
they have botched this matter with Taiwan right now.
But, nevertheless, in the process of doing this they do underscore
the inherent prediction, uh, contradiction, in our policy
on one hand why defend Taiwan on the other hand officially
recognizing China as the sole government of…"
"That's a rather long answer but I appreciate your gallic
expansiveness. However, your quite wrong… that the principle
reasons for not taking China's bellicosity seriously is the
reason Clinton gave -- there's an election coming up on March
the 18th. And he wants…"
"John, there's an on-going democracy over there and that's
what China is trying to squelch. And the thing that's
amazing about this thing which was just made three days after,
I think, I believe it was three days, under Secretary of State
Strobe Talbot was in Peking, they didn't give a hint that
they were going to assert a sort of permanent state of belligerence
over Taiwan. The fact is this gives them a cause of going
forward against Taiwan at any time which they might take advantage
of. And it's a, uh, Clinton gave him the 4 no's when
he went to China for the 9-day trip where he didn't even …
If our commitment to Taiwan is sundered, we also got other
people there in China and East Asia, Korea and Japan, and
China is saying they want …"
Eleanor Clift: "Nobody is ripping the relationship with Taiwan
asunder. President was just speaking realistically.
In the last election in Taiwan, China did the same thing.
It's a little saber-rattling. There's also an election
season in this country. And, on Capitol Hill where they
tend to be more extreme than on the presidential campaign
circuit and George Bush has been responsible about China.
People on the Hill want to portray the Democrats as lackeys
of China especially in the context of Maria Hsiah's -- the
Gore fund-raiser -- her conviction this week. It's a
campaign strategy to portray the Democrats as, you know, puppets
of China. It's a ridiculous strategy, I think, and flirts
with national security."
Tony Blankley: "I agree that at election time, there's a bit
more saber-rattling but you want to look at how many more
sabers that red Chinese are building. And, the reports
are that they are building capacities which will be available
to them 2002, 2005 -- next few years -- that will allow them
to do the kind of invasion across the straits they can't currently
do. So, it's more than just saber-rattling. They're
building it up. And, that's measurable - our government's
You know what the triad is? Land, sea, and mobile missile
fleet - they're building all three.
And, they're planning to be able to attack from it from above
as well as to cross the straits within 5 to 7 years.
And that's the response, that's why Congress voted overwhelmingly
Democrats … to help and it'll take about 5 years for our help
to get to the Taiwanese.
McLaughlin: There's a separate question here that's
whether it's a good idea to sell these four destroyers or
are there four involved? Now the AEGIS is an extraordinary
phenomenon. 288 miles it can see and detect a hostile
target, right? Now, is it a good idea to really give
those to the Taiwanese…
Blankley: "sell" them…
McLaughlin: "… or are we really giving them something that
could fall into Chinese hands either through spying or even
if there were reunification the Chinese would simply then
come into possession of these extraordinarily sophisticated,
unusual, no-one-else-has-them systems." Including hyper-developed
torpedo systems, too.
"I'm sorry to curtail this history of radar. But the
fact also is that right now that Taiwan when it comes to military
technology and equipment is superior to the Chinese.
But I think another lurking anxiety on the part of the Chinese,
what they're ultimately I think really worried about militarily,
is that these -- this AEGIS stuff becomes part of a integrated
anti-missile system that Japan, the US, and Taiwan have.
… yeah, so that they can't threaten us.
You know that Chinese is doing a lot of military buying from
the Russians. Which makes one of the points of that
brilliant introduction that there is a Moscow-Beijing axis
that is getting stronger with each passing day, particularly
with Putin(?) in there pushing it along. We'll be right
back with predictions.
Michael: The administration move for normal trade relations
with China will fail in Congress.
Guest: The unions are going to organize sometime in
mid-April a Seattle-style demonstrations to keep China out
of WTO here in Washington.
McLaughlin: Prediction number one: the Taiwan Security
Enhancement Act will pass the Senate. Prediction number
2: Clinton will give it a pocket veto. Prediction number
3: the China-Taiwan issue will figure big in the fall US presidential
election, much like the Kennedy-Nixon Quemoy Matsu hassle.
You remember that, Michael?
Michael: I remember that well.
Host: Next week, Super Tuesday, with a total of 2,016
delegations to be won by both parties. Happy Mardi Gras.