- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 29, 1999

The United States should "never be afraid to confront" communist China, says a top adviser to Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.
Condoleezza Rice sharply criticizes Clinton administration national security policies in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs, arguing that the present U.S. stance toward Beijing must change.
Miss Rice contends that President Clinton's policies toward China have undermined stability and upset U.S. ties with democratic Taiwan, and says the United States should be willing to challenge Beijing over activities that threaten U.S. interests.
"Cooperation should be pursued, but we should never be afraid to confront Beijing when our interests collide," she writes in the Foreign Affairs article titled "Promoting the National Interest."
Miss Rice would likely serve in a senior national security role if Mr. Bush is elected president in November. She served as a Russia expert on the National Security Council staff under President Bush, father of the Republican governor of Texas.
China is a rising power with growing military might that "resents" the U.S. presence in Asia, according to Miss Rice.
"This means that China is not a 'status quo' power but one that would like to alter Asia's balance of power in its own favor," she writes. "That alone makes it a strategic competitor, not the 'strategic partner' the Clinton administration once claimed. Add to this China's record of cooperation with Iran and Pakistan in the proliferation of ballistic missile technology, and the security problem is obvious."
President Clinton, in particular, "tilted toward Beijing" in announcing a new U.S. Taiwan policy last year, says Miss Rice, a former Stanford University provost.
The president altered long-standing U.S. policy when he announced in Shanghai in June 1998 that the United States does not support independence for Taiwan, opposes separate states in China and Taiwan and is against Taiwan's membership in international organizations requiring statehood.
Taiwan has been seeking "reassurances" from the United States ever since, she says.
The adviser to Mr. Bush stopped short of calling for the United States to announce, as Mr. Bush has advocated, that it will defend Taiwan if China attacks.
Miss Rice calls for continued trade with China as a way to press Beijing to move toward democratic political reform.
She says bluntly that "China is still a potential threat to stability in the Asia-Pacific region" remarks that contrast with administration claims that China poses no threat to the United States.
The next Republican president's foreign policies should derive from U.S. national interests and "not from the interests of an illusory international community," Miss Rice concludes.
In Tokyo yesterday, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said the next U.S. president must abide by the so-called "one-China" policy on an independent Taiwan. Miss Rice's article also supports the continuation of that policy.
Miss Rice told The Washington Times yesterday that the Foreign Affairs article expresses views that complement those of Mr. Bush but do not simply reflect them.
The article also is a "representation of the fact that the security relationship [with China] is troubled," she said.
Miss Rice said she does not view China as "currently a threat" but it is "far too early" to regard Beijing as a partner.
A spokesman for the White House had no immediate comment. Mindy Tucker, a spokesman for Mr. Bush, said the governor has voiced many of the views expressed in Miss Rice's article.
Regarding defense issues, Miss Rice's article criticizes Mr. Clinton for "witlessly" cutting defense spending sharply at the same time he expanded such "questionable" military missions abroad as Haiti.
On Kosovo, Miss Rice's article says that the war was conducted "incompetently" because the Clinton administration shifted its goals and failed to use overwhelming military force from the start.
"The president must remember that the military is a special instrument," she writes. "It is lethal, and it is meant to be. It is not a civilian police force. It is not a political referee. And it is certainly not designed to build a civilian society."

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