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Monday April 9, 2001
Humbling Arrogant China

By Andrew Ping, Contributor

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- It's bad enough that China has one of our airplane crews and won't give them back. To add insult to injury, they blame us for the collision between their jet and our propeller-driven craft and blame us of arrogance.
    They face off with the most powerful nation in the world and fearlessly engage in saber rattling. Why in the world do they think they can get away with it, and what can the average American do?
    The first thing to recognize is the idiocy of China's claim that we're at fault. Our surveillance craft have powerful radar, but are not particularly fast or maneuverable. China's fighter jets have radar that lets them know of airborne threats well in advance of collision, and they are both fast and maneuverable.
    A reasonable comparison would be trying to blame the driver of a city bus for being broad-sided by a joyriding Porche driver. This analogy is incredibly fitting given that China even knew the routes our planes usually take. In all likelihood, the Chinese jet jockey had seen bootleg copies of "Top Gun" a few too many times and got killed trying to frighten our pilots with some showy flying.
    Perhaps China thinks that Clinton's policies can't be changed. After all, during his presidency, Clinton eased trade restrictions that allowed China to obtain potentially dangerous technologies from the U.S. When these technologies were misused (and watchdog agencies suggested terminating trade for a time), Clinton did absolutely nothing to stop it.
    In fact, he pushed for permanent improved trade status for Chinese despite their blatant misuse of trade items. In one case, incredibly accurate metal-milling machines were sold for use in manufacture of civilian aircraft.
    Many of these machines were redirected to be used to make missiles. One is forced to wonder what they'll top those missiles with. Perhaps they'll use the nuclear weapons secrets they stole.
    They've nothing to fear since we did nothing in response to that belligerent act. Clinton and Gore continued to happily take money from the Chinese while they did this.
    Perhaps that's why they feel so safe in their actions. We didn't even punish Clinton (though if he were an FBI agent, he'd surely be swinging at the end of a rope by now).
    So what can the average American do? We can't change trade laws. However, we can help China to have a swift attitude change. Obviously, no one wants war over this (though sacking China before they use the nuclear secrets they stole may save future generations a lot of pain). Instead, we can undermine Clinton's ill-conceived trade bargain with China.
    The average American can boycott all Chinese goods. Even better, we caninform store managers of our intent. With the economy slowing, storescertainly aren't going to risk losing business simply to support China.
     A boycott of Chinese goods is a clear way to send a powerful message. Let's do it, and get our men & women home.

2001 Copyright, The Daily Republican Newspaper. All rights reserved.


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