- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2008


The export of sensitive equipment and security expertise to Communist China’s military and police in advance of the 2008 Olympics is the latest sign of a new and troubling acquiescence in recent Bush administration policy toward Beijing. As Bill Gertz of The Washington Times reported yesterday, the Commerce, Defense and State departments have approved approximately $5 million in equipment, including X-ray scanners, radiation detection gear and more - some of it restricted under the Export Administration Act from export to China - for shipment. The FBI, Secret Service and other agencies will be contributing personnel.

Thus, the next time the U.S. government exhorts its European allies to uphold the post-Tiananmen China arms embargo, it can be rightly accused of hypocrisy. The United States can also be accused of callousness toward human-rights concerns on this account, since, with near certainty, Chinese security services are likely to turn their newfound expertise on internal dissidents, or use it for aggrandizing purposes generally once the Olympic Games are complete.

How ironic: A regime that regularly helps itself to U.S. technology via an extensive American espionage network is now being ushered along to enhanced surveillance and security techniques by the Bush administration.

Speaking to reporters and editors at The Washington Times yesterday, Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong defended the new security cooperation as a needed boost to Olympic security in light of the terrorist threat. That is no surprise. But what is puzzling is the Bush administration’s apparent inability to see the dissonance between a rightfully cautious technology policy - the old, useful standard - and a near-total acquiescence in Beijing’s ambitions to enjoy all the positives of the Free World while avoiding the freedoms and standards that allow that world to function. The argument that the United States must provide Beijing this security assistance to safeguard athletes, dignitaries and spectators only makes sense in the larger, wrongheaded framework of the Bush administration’s Olympics policy: that this year’s Beijing games must take place as though China were a normal and free nation.

It is not, and yet China wants to have world affairs as if it were. It seeks the benefits of integration into the modern economy and political order but it also seeks to retain a repressive political system, not to mention exhibit hostility toward the United States and its allies. The Bush administration is helping maintain this fiction, and has backed itself into an untenable position.

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