|Asia News Digest
Kissinger Demands Pressure, Not Diplomacy, on North Korea
Fully in keeping with his historic genocidal view of the "wogs," in a Washington Post op-ed of Nov. 12, Henry Kissinger denounced Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for opposing sanctions in favor of diplomacy in both Iran and North Korea. Kissinger said: "But pressurethe attempt to induce a decision the other party had not chosen initiallyis a necessary component of almost any negotiation. Diplomacy is not an academic seminar." (Perhaps he cribbed this from his friend Mao's famous "Revolution is not a tea party.")
However, Kissinger said that the demand for "regime change" has muddied the waters, and praises the Bush Administration for supposedly having "changed its priorities," and become more "practical." Nonetheless, he warned that Bush must not "repeat the mistake of the Korean and Vietnamese wars of suspending pressures as an entrance price into negotiations." This comes from the man who was responsible for dropping more bomb tonnage on Indochina than any other geographical area in history, all while the negotiations with North Vietnam (for which Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize!) were underway.
Stanford Delegation Reports on Trip to North Korea
A delegation led by Stanford University's John Lewis reported back Nov. 15 from a visit to Pyongyang Oct. 31-Nov. 4, where they discussed the North Korean nuclear program with officials there. Jack Pritchard, a former Asia Director on the Clinton National Security Council, and Siegfried Hecker, the former director of Los Alamos, were part of the delegation. Pritchard indicated that, while it was unclear where the North Koreans wanted to go with their program, they were keenly interested in establishing relations with the U.S., and therefore might be amenable to sacrificing some of their nuclear ambitions to achieve that goal. One official even indicated that they might stop their program if there were full normalization with the U.S.
Hecker, who had visited the North Korean nuclear site on one previous visit, gave a technical evaluation of the North Korean program. It was the delegation's estimate that the North Koreans decided to rejoin the six-party talks after their only partially successful test, hoping thereby to be regarded at the talks as a nuclear power. There was also a concern that the North Koreans repair their somewhat frayed relations with China, given the rather unexpected nature of the nuclear tests (China was give a two-hour heads-up on the test.)
The North Korean officials also affirmed that North Korea would never be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, nor would it provide plutonium to another party. Both Lewis and Hecker held talks with colleagues in the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese scientific establishment both before and after their visit to Pyongyang.
Congress Releases Annual Diatribe Against China
The U.S. China Economic and Security Commission was set up in 2000 as a bipartisan commission of twelve, three from each party and three from each House of Congress. However, the commission has from the outset been dominated by the right-wing Heritage Foundation crowd, notably, commission chairman Larry Wortzel. This year is no exception. The 44 recommendations released on Nov. 16 include: demand currency revaluation; demand China stop North Korean ships on the high seas; expand sanctions against China's proliferation of WMD; investigate China's military expansion, etc.
Hu Jintao Expected To Offer Pakistan a Nuclear Deal
On the first trip to Pakistan by a Chinese President in a decade, according to Asia News of Nov. 17, Hu Jintao is likely to announce that China will help Pakistan construct several nuclear plants in coming decades. President Hu will arrive in India on Nov. 18 on his way to Pakistan.
When Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf visited Beijing in February, the talk about such a deal began. The broad deal appears likely to leave the scale and specifics of cooperation for future talks. But even a vague agreement will remind the world that China values its friend Pakistan, even while Beijing is developing closer relations with India, sometimes a bitter rival of both countries.
A Beijing observer pointed out that "the political intent is quite certain, but the specifics are less certain." He said this will be a political gesture above all.
China Eager To Advance Trans-Himalaya Pipeline
China has once more expressed eagerness to move forward with Pakistan's proposal for a trans-Himalayan pipeline to carry Middle Eastern crude oil to western China, Naeem Khan, commercial and economic counsellor of the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing told the NDTV on Oct. 24. "At the moment, it is just an idea that we have brought forward, but the Chinese side said they are interested," said Naeem Khan.
The proposed pipeline would link Pakistan's deepwater port of Gwadardeveloped with the help of the Chinese at a stone's throw from the Persian Gulfto China. Pakistan, in return, expects to secure Chinese investment in a large refinery complex. During President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Pakistan, both the pipeline and the refinery will be items on the bilateral agenda, analysts point out.
Meanwhile, private and state-owned Chinese oil companies are already in talks with Pakistan about construction of a refinery at Gwadar Port where the pipeline would originate. Islamabad would like to build a refinery and petrochemical complex with an initial 200,000 barrels per day capacity, later expanding it to about 500,000 barrels per day, said Naeem Khan.