- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2001

Slowly, inexorably, the United States government is shifting from an appeasement-based policy toward the Chinese Communist Party to one based on deterrence.
We believe this turn around is accelerating under the new Republican administration but would have occurred even if Al Gore had been elected. There is an obvious parallel with the early Jimmy Carter casting scorn on those with "an inordinate fear of communism" to a late Carter administration boycotting the Moscow Olympics and increasing the defense budget. The reason for the change is simple: The facts on the ground can no longer sustain the previous policy of appeasement. The evidence of Beijings military buildup with Russian arms and its hostile, aggressive actions toward Americas Asian friends and allies is overwhelming.
For example, if Taipeis press sources are correct, the young Americans sent in harms way last weekend were conducting reconnaissance on the Russian Sovremenny class destroyers now in Chinese hands. The Sovremenny is armed with eight supersonic, nuclear-capable SS-N-22 missiles against which our Navy has no current defense. At the International Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, new Russian weapons platforms and new generations of missiles were on display. All these were designed to kill Americans, and all of them are for sale to China.
Over the past several years, while the Russian economy in general has fallen off a cliff, the Russian arms dealers have prospered on Chinese, and now, Iranian money. Items for sale:
SU-27 and SU-30 fighter-bombers.
Sovremenny-class destroyers and SS-N-22 missiles.
Kilo-class submarines.
SU-300 Surface to Air missile complexes.
"Smersh"-class Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
In Abu Dhabi, the Russians showed the Amur-class submarine, the successor to the Kilo. The first Amur keel was laid down last month. Among other systems on display were the Yakhont missile system (the successor to the SS-N-22), the Shkvale-E rocket torpedo, Iskander-E tactical missile systems, Scorpio missile boats and new microspace reconnaissance systems.
According to sources at the arms show, a new model Sovremenny-class destroyer is under development in secret for China. It will have vertical launch tubes and all the latest missiles. In addition to the Russian weapons systems on display, we must add the thousands of Russian military engineers now in China developing long-range, land-attack cruise missiles and other ultramodern weapons.
There is no question against whom these systems were designed. An expensive HDTV video showed just exactly how the new Pechora rocket system can destroy the American F-117 Stealth bomber. The Russian arms merchants advertise the Pechora as a "Safer Sky" product with "immunity" to Electronic Counter-Measures.
A NATO-based corporate executive said in private that many critical Russian weapons systems are ahead of "anything in the West." In the hands of the Chinese, these new-generation systems threaten to change the balance of power in the Far East away from the democracies and toward a new China-North Korea-Burma power group.
Facts are facts, intentions are obvious and American policy changes are already flowing from this new reality.
This does not mean the change to deterrence will be smooth. People are policy. Unlike the Soviet case, the press has pointed to a "Red Team" of academics and former government officials with a personal financial stake in the appeasement of the Chinese Communist Party. Their goal is to place sympathizers into working-level positions in the Bush administration. They may succeed in some cases but, over time, their cause is doomed. Chinas military build-up coupled with the Communist Partys barbaric treatment of its own citizens, Tibetans and the imprisonment of visiting Americans of Chinese origin makes appeasement unsustainable.
Already the senior-level of the Bush administration is dominated by realists. Undersecretaries who have been named but not yet been confirmed are also of a similar view. Working-level appointments will follow their superiors.
Allied governments can anticipate a new air of firmness and resolve. Russia is not a military problem for the United States but a foreign policy and proliferation challenge. Tragically, the Peoples Republic of China is emerging as a strategic threat to America and its friends and allies in Asia. In time, the idea of the United States and its democratic allies being "strategic partners" of a communist dictatorship will seen as the "New Coke" of American foreign policy.Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II are the co-authors of "A Red Dragon Rising," Regnery 1999.

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