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Rumsfeld shakes big stick at China

Published Jun 9, 2005 8:25 PM

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld journeyed to Singapore to deliver a blunt attack on China for having the audacity, as a sovereign nation representing one-fifth of the world’s population, to try to defend itself against U.S. and Japanese imperialism—two of its former colonial oppressors. The message, delivered in an arrogant tone, reeks of hypocrisy. It will not achieve its goals.

Rumsfeld told the annual gathering of Asian defense ministers that “one has to wonder why” China is building up its military strength “since no nation is threatening China.”

To begin with, no one should rely on the Pentagon for any reliable facts about China’s military development. For decades the Pentagon consistently overstated Soviet military capability whenever the time came to plan the U.S. military budget in order to boost military appropriations for the Cold War. Also, it just so happens that Rumsfeld’s belligerent speech comes at the very moment when the Pentagon is preparing a report on the Chinese military for Congress. This report, which comes as the Pentagon revamps its global military strategy, will be a basis for future military appropriations related to U.S. imperialist military power in the Pacific.

But what is Donald Rumsfeld doing as the main speaker at an Asian defense ministers’ conference? The last time we looked, the United States was firmly placed in the Western Hemisphere.

Therein lies the answer to Rumsfeld’s fake question. If it is true that the People’s Republic of China is strengthening its military capability, the reason lies in the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s presence in the Pacific. There, U.S. warships are poised to steam into the South China Sea, the Straits of Taiwan or anyplace else in the region to enforce the will of U.S. imperialism. So U.S. naval forces, nuclear-armed and thousands of miles from U.S. shores, threaten China and all the countries of Asia.

Rumsfeld and President George W. Bush are determined to build a missile “defense” system linking Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the U.S. military network in Asia—all aimed at paving the way for a first strike at China or North Korea. This is also what’s behind the sale of advanced U.S. destroyers to Taiwan, as well as the U.S. and Japanese imperialists’ joint declaration that Taiwan is “a matter of concern” to them, when it is actually an internal Chinese matter.

U.S. military bases, including conventional and nuclear forces, scattered from Guam to Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and elsewhere, are calculated to make the Pacific a U.S. lake. It is part of the historic drive by Wall Street and the Pentagon to make the Pacific Rim, with it population of over 2 billion people, open territory for plunder.

The U.S. military and political establishment, especially the generals and admirals, regard China’s development into an economic and political power as trespassing on their sphere of influence. More and more countries in Asia look to China for economic and political leadership. Washington’s influence in Asia is slipping—so Rumsfeld went to tell everyone that U.S. imperialism is still the boss. His message: “Don’t judge us by the disaster in Iraq. We are still top dog.”

But the very fact that Rumsfeld had to deliver this message is a strong indication that the days of old, when U.S. imperialism could dictate its will, are fading fast. Imperialism is running up against the multi-faceted resistance of the peoples of the world, who refuse to bow down.