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Friday, November 17, 2006

Older but no wiser

Condiliar Rice turned 52 on Tuesday--the Vietnamese gave her a party:

She's smiling--they were probably discussing the millions of people killed in the Vietnam war.

Anyway, Condiliar figured that it is her place to put China in its place:
Beijing has spent heavily in recent years on adding submarines, missiles, fighter planes and other high-tech weapons to its arsenal and extending the reach of the 2.3 million-member People's Liberation Army, the world's largest fighting force.

Its reported military budget rose more than 14 percent this year to $35.3 billion, but outside estimates of China's true spending are up to three times that level.

"There are concerns about China's military buildup," Rice told a television interviewer. "It sometimes seemed outsized for China's regional role."
"U.S. policy is aimed at having China be a responsible stakeholder in international politics," she replied. "That means that Chinese energy, Chinese growth, Chinese incredible innovation and entrepreneurship, would be channeled into an international economy in which everybody can compete and compete equally."

Rice, in Asia with President Bush for a regional economic forum, said China's economic growth "has been a net gain for the international system." But she also ticked off a list of U.S. concerns including questions of economic fairness and China's record on human rights.

"There are concerns about a rising China, concerns about China's transition, concerns about whether the Chinese economy will in fact act in a way that is consistent with the level playing field that the international economy needs," Rice said in the interview with CNBC Asia.
So, if China's military budget is actually three times what is reported, that means that a country with five times the population of the U.S. spends one-fifth as much on "defense." Has China signed some treaty assigning it a "regional role?" Is there some new version of the Tripartite Pact in which China agrees to be only a pipsqueak regional power, with the parts of Asia the U.S. isn't currently occupying as its sphere of interest? Did someone appoint Condi to determine when China was getting out of line?

Oh right--aWol did.

If the Bush administration is concerned about economic fairness and human rights (they're not), they've got plenty to do here in the U.S. without bothering to preach to China. The arrogance of these idiots is mind-boggling.