Regarding “China Has Made an Effort and Now Wants Its Reward” (Opinion, June 10) by David Sham-baugh:
While Mr. Shambaugh’s list of good deeds by China is accurate, what he leaves unsaid may be more significant. Also, to make his suggested concessions to China would be to invite consequences harmful to U.S. national interests.
China still has 1,100 forced labor camps with an estimated population of 6 million to 8 million, including many political dissidents and religious believers. Repression of Tibetans and Muslims continues unabated. This larger picture should not be forgotten when the Chinese government releases a few prominent dissidents for political effect. China’s willingness to sign the United nations Covenant on Political and Civil Rights is a hollow gesture when China denies the right of self-determination to the 22 million people of Taiwan . China claims it has a right to take Taiwan by force, oven though Taiwan’s people prefer to keep their democracy.
Regarding international security, China joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty only after it had completed several nuclear weapons technology to Pakistan, thus precipitating the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan.
To join the World Trade Organization, China needs to drastically reduce tariffs and open its markets. It has to make basic structural changes in its economy to meet WTO standards. In 1997, the United states had a $50 billion trade deficit with China. The Clinton administration is correct in insisting that China can join the WTO only on “commercially viable” terms.
The 1982 communiqu? on arms sates to Taiwan is contrary to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which promises to Taiwan sales of weapons and services sufficient for its defense. Unlike a communigu?, this act is legally binding on the U.S. government. To balance China’s growing arsenal, the United States should consider selling Taiwan modern submarines and advanced targeting and missile systems. A military imbalance will tempt China to attack Taiwan.
U.S. policy toward Taiwan must involve prudence and strategic planning. If Taiwan were to succumb to a Chinese assault while America stood by, the credibility of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty would be destroyed. Japan’s self-defense force could then go nuclear, soon to be followed by the two Koreas.
The United States must learn to identify and assert its national interests, just as China does, Kowtowing will inevitably lead to conflict and insecurity in the whole of East Asia.
JAY T. LOO