- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2000

China agricultural trade outlook too optimistic

Rudy Boschwitz and Robert Paarlberg do not understand why governments in Asia and Europe refuse to behave as Mr. Boschwitz and Mr. Paarlberg think they should ("China trade boosts farmers," Sept. 12). They actually think China wants to liberalize agricultural trade, despite repeated statements by Beijing that it will do no such thing. China's official agricultural policy is "self-sufficiency in grain through self-reliance."

Mr. Boschwitz and Mr. Paarlberg mistakenly asserted that when China raised its quota on wheat imports to 7.3 million tons, this set the minimum amount China agreed to import. Long Yongtu, the Chinese diplomat who negotiated the agreement, has written that this is "just an opportunity for market accession in terms of theory. We may or may not import such an amount of wheat as 7.3 million tons." China did not import up to the old limit. In fact, imports have been declining. Mr. Long even has stated that the best way to solve the problem of purported spoilage in American wheat is to import none at all.

It should be recalled that at the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization, China participating as an observer sided with those countries that, in the name of food security, opposed the American initiative to open world grain and meat markets.

The Seattle meeting disproves Mr. Boschwitz and Mr. Paarlberg on another point. They wrote, "The Chinese do not want to be stuck several decades from now struggling, like the Japanese and the Europeans, to escape a costly and burdensome system of subsidies to inefficient farmers." Yet, European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy claimed victory when the WTO talks collapsed, citing how Europe had added Switzerland, Turkey and many Central European states to its anti-American coalition opposing liberalized farm trade.

No country of any standing wants to be dependent on imports for something as vital as food. And China wants dependence on the United States least of all.


Visiting fellow

U.S. Business and Industry Council


High-tech toilets top priority for Navy readiness

I would like to respond to your Sept. 13 article, "Sloppy sailors threaten Navy's urinals." I served for four years on a U.S. Navy submarine that had one stainless-steel urinal and six stainless-steel water closets. The urinal seemed to be unavailable more often than not because of clogging, but that does not seem to justify the extreme expense of retrofitting existing bathrooms with new toilets. It would be more reasonable simply to replace those bathrooms being re-designated for women.


Friendswood, Texas


I was reassured to read that Vice Adm. John B. Nathman is keeping our Navy battle-ready ("Sloppy sailors threaten Navy's urinals," Sept. 13). Converting all "heads" in the fleet to low-flush toilets to conserve water is ingenious.

After all, without water, the Navy wouldn't have anyplace to fight.



Vets undeserving of flap over WWII memorial

I've lived in Washington for 25 years, and it's a great place to hear sheer nonsense. However, some "nonsense" has a pattern and an agenda.

Here, we build war memorials in reverse order: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982, then the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and, hopefully, the World War II Memorial later this year. Each has had to gain support, go through stages of planning and design, and be approved for a Mall site.

Last spring, I noticed from news accounts that objections to the World War II Memorial seemed shallow and ill-founded. Later opposition was more organized but still specious. The design, it was said, was unsatisfactory. (In actuality, it was a redesign to accommodate objections.) The most common objection, however, was that the future site of the memorial was inappropriate. The memorial, it was said, would interfere with the view of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Whose view? Standing where?

The site had been dedicated in 1995 by President Clinton, after tentative approvals. What happened?

Many weeks ago, the National Capital Planning Commission held a second hearing in the Department of the Interior auditorium. Sketches of the proposed memorial and an architectural model were on display. I am a veteran of three invasions to liberate the Philippines and wanted to testify. After Bob Dole's excellent speech, however, there was nothing left to say.

During the hearing, the opposition bore down on the proposed site, near the little-known Rainbow Pool at the east end of the Reflecting Pool. Opponents wanted it left untouched because get this the crowd that attended 1963's March on Washington and heard Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial to the west had stretched that far east.

On Aug. 28, Dorothy Height, chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, testified on behalf of the civil rights community and even threw in mention of Marian Anderson's 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

Not far away, at the Tidal Basin, is the approved site of a memorial to King, for which fund raising is under way. Are World War II's veterans taking "sacred" ground? Are they competing for attention? Too close for comfort?



Greens' conservative origins overlooked

Thank you for reporting on the Green Party and Ralph Nader. Coverage, particularly in the other major daily newspaper in town, has overlooked the conservative origins of the Greens and their powerful role today. The Green Party was founded as a fundamentally conservative party. Recall the original Green motto, "Not Left, Not Right, Out in Front."

With strong, active conservative Greens, the party is more effective. Europe is proof. Greens have succeeded where previous conservatives failed. Governing in Germany, France and Italy, Greens have cut taxes and unnecessary regulation dramatically. Greens long ago proposed and more recently helped enact Germany's new citizenship law. The Green Party is healthy for both business and democracy. Fiscally conservative Greens in power are cutting government deficit spending. In this week's Bundestag budget debates, there was talk of paying off the German federal debt for the first time in decades.

In the United States, Greens have a record number of candidates (nearly 300) running for Congress and local office this year. Notable is the pro-life, conservative New Mexico Green Party member Dr. Dan Kerlinsky, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 1st District (Albuquerque). Dr. Kerlinsky reminds New Mexico Greens that their conservative roots remain healthy today.

In Virginia, Greens have a similar situation. Green Party member Rick Herron is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 8th District, which includes Springfield, Arlington and Alexandria.

The central issue is rail: "More trains, less traffic." Mr. Herron is a member of the steering committee of the Rail Now Greens. They call for light rail from Springfield to Tysons Corner and rail service to Washington Dulles International Airport, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, from the Pentagon to Baileys Crossroads and Tysons Corner, and to Potomac Mills. Rail Now also calls for extended Virginia Railway Express (VRE) service.

A fiscal conservative, Mr. Herron calls for paying off the federal debt in five years by cutting wasteful government spending, specifically at the Defense Department.

The Green Party was founded on the principle of term limits, and Mr. Herron has made a term-limit pledge. Like Dr. Kerlinsky, he is pro-life.

Conservatives helped found the Greens. Their presence remains vital and forceful within the Greens. The simple truth: Without conservative support, the five, and perhaps six, Green Party candidates (for U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and president) on the ballot in Virginia this year would not be there.



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