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CHINA: Foreign affairs from the Chinese perspective(s)

To understand the thinking of foreign countries, reading the local press is essential. In China, Paul Simon does this dutifully. He forwards a long article from the South China Morning Post (21/02/02), from which we extract a short passage which is very relevant to the present debate about official mendacity, which includes what theologians called "the suppression of the truth":

"For many Chinese, US imperialism is inseparable from its arms industry, which has become even more powerful under Mr Bush. "The arms lobby is the most ardent advocate of US hegemonism," the Global Times said. The son of a soldier who fought the Americans in Korea and Vietnam, civil servant Wang Guohong ponders these and many other issues as he considers how to greet the arrival of Mr Bush. "On the Internet, I read about the bugging of the President's plane, although it was not reported by the domestic media. How could we let such an act pass without a protest? Does it not show how weak we are in the face of the US?" Mr Wang said. Claims in news reports last month that the Chinese found bugs in Jiang Zemin's Boeing presidential jet after it had been refitted in Texas were denied by both governments. Fearful of the public reaction, Beijing did not allow reporting of it at home. "Perhaps old Jiang is right and we are not strong enough to stand up to them now. We have to bite our tongue and use this period of peace to build up our economy. Then, in 30 years, we can take them on," Mr Wang said.

Ronald Hilton - 2/21/02