The Corner

Wen For The Road

Here comes Wen Jiabao (pron. “one jee-ah bow,” the “j” tending towards a

“dz” and the “bow” rhyming with “cow.”) Mr. Wen is Prime Minister of China,

and he is here to talk with the administration about Taiwan, trade, and the

Norks, probably in that order.

WHAT WE HAVE THAT HE WANTS:

–Leverage with Taiwan.

–Customers for China’s manufacturers of textiles, electronics, light

consumer goods.

–Leverage with Japan (which the ChiComs fear may be contemplating going

nuclear).

WHAT HE HAS THAT WE WANT:

–Leverage with the Norks.

–Customers for US planes, cars, farm products.

–Control over Chinese missile-parts sales to third countries (esp. Iran).

–Control of the ChiCom military (we hope…)

–Influence in Central Asia, where we now have friends.

The big date for the ChiComs is 2008, when the Beijing Olympics take place.

The Olympics are critical to the CP for continued legitimacy with their

people. Their nightmare is that Taiwan declares independence 6 months

before the Olympics. There are probably elements in the military command

pressing for action now, so that the outrage will have blown over by 2008.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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