July 30, 2002

NO, NO, WE’RE YOUR REAL ENEMY, DON’T FORGET US! Some weirdness from the Chinese:

I left China impressed that China’s defense establishment would sooner instigate a cross-strait dust-up than seriously help the United States in the war against international terrorism. Indeed, the terrorist threat is but an annoying distraction from the game of balance-of-power politics. They urgently want to resume full military-to-military contacts and resent any hint that China is no longer central to American foreign policy. For reasons that may relate to defense spending, they would rather be perceived as a growing threat than be ignored. In short, the PLA is concerned about the relative de-emphasis on the China relationship in the United States and is apparently eager not to be deprived of an enemy.

Hmm. Sounds almost like an episode of rope-a-dope.