Monday, October 8, 2001
China Supports bin Laden, Taliban
by J. R. Nyquist
On Sept. 28 Bill Gertz reported in the Washington Times that China was helping the Taliban by installing a telephone system in the Afghan capital. Previously Beijing denied its companies were assisting the Taliban. "China does not have any kind of formal relations with the Taliban," insisted the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
To be sure, the Chinese were lying.
According to Gertz, "[American] Defense and intelligence officials said Beijing appears to be following a dual-track policy of voicing official support for U.S. efforts against terrorism while maintaining ... ties to the Taliban militia."
According to Gertz's intelligence sources, bin Laden called for "good relations" between Afghanistan and China last August. And why not? China openly preaches against U.S. global dominance, threatening war and destruction if the U.S. should interfere with a future PLA invasion of Taiwan. At the same time, Beijing is supporting North Korea's massive military buildup along the DMZ, which has U.S. and South Korean military officials worried.
When all is said and done the Chinese communists hate the United States. That is why they have allied with Russia. That is why they are making nice with communist Vietnam. Consider, as well, Beijing's growing military ties with Cuba and Beijing's support for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The Chinese see America as their main enemy. A secret Chinese alliance with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban is therefore something we ought to expect.
This may seem unbelievable, but as far back as 1998 the Iranian official press said there was a secret defense agreement between China and the Taliban. The West ignored this story, as it has ignored other bad Chinese behavior. And now it is time to reap the whirlwind.
After the terrorist attacks of last month, the London Sunday Telegraph reported significant Chinese troop movements toward the Afghan border. "Convoys of Chinese military trucks roared along the Karakoram Highway last week," claimed the Telegraph. Nobody in the West thought these movements were significant. Western pundits speculated that the Chinese were eager to protect their Central Asian frontier, to prevent terrorist infiltrators from crossing into China (as if China, which genuinely represses Muslims, would ever be targeted by bin Laden).
What were these troop movements all about?
According to Debka File, a leading intelligence publication, a convoy of 3,000 PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) troops crossed into Afghanistan last Friday, Oct. 5. Three additional PLA Convoys were said to follow. According to Debka File's sources, Beijing's troops are ethnic Muslims sent to reinforce the Taliban. If Debka File is correct, the total Chinese reinforcement of the Taliban may amount to 15,000 troops.
Anticipating America's October 7 airstrikes against the Taliban, Beijing probably hopes to stem the deterioration of Taliban morale with a show of support. Beijing thereby hopes to check U.S. progress against bin Laden and his Afghan allies. Already the Chinese have seen the Kitty Hawk battlegroup and the U.S. 3rd Marine Division pulling away from the Far East. They also see that the U.S. 25th Infantry Division has been sent from Hawaii to the Persian Gulf. The East Asian communists may be tempted by the present vulnerability of Taiwan and South Korea. Why not extend that vulnerability by bolstering the Taliban with four PLA regiments?
This strategy makes perfect sense once we realize that the Chinese leadership hates the United States and privately cheers the destructive attacks of Sept. 11. Readers should be reminded, in this context, of an August 1998 document from the Chinese Central Military Commission that was sent to all corps commanders of the Peoples Liberation Army. According to this document, which leaked out of China last year, the United States is vulnerable and could not withstand even a limited nuclear strike from China. Despite the possession of great power America remains unwilling to sacrifice cities in a tit-for-tat war. On the other side, the Chinese are fully prepared to sacrifice their cities. Therefore, Beijing could outface Washington if hostilities erupted over Taiwan. That is the logic of China's Central Military Commission.
On Sept. 13 two leading Chinese military strategists were interviewed by China's state-owned Ta Kung Pao newspaper. Senior Col. Qiao Liang and Col. Wang Xiangsui credited themselves with predicting the Sept. 11 terror attacks in their 1999 book, "Unrestricted Warfare." The terrorists used no military weapons, said Qiao and Wang, yet the attacks were more effective than those resulting from open warfare.
The two Chinese experts said that those killed in the Twin Towers were the victims of U.S. foreign policy, plain and simple. "September 11, 2001 probably marks the beginning of U.S. decline as a superpower," said the Chinese colonels. "The attacks demonstrated the U.S. fragility and weakness and showed that, basically, it is unable to withstand attacks. The National Missile Defense system cannot save it."
Asked about the adverse effects the attacks may have on the Chinese economy, the two colonels admitted that a short-term negative impact was to be expected. "However, from a long-term viewpoint, the attacks could be favorable to China," they said.
American observers should not be surprised at Chinese strategic moves in relation to the Sept. 11 events. China is our enemy. Therefore, China is sure to align itself with America's other enemies, wherever they might be. In light of this, it was foolish for Nixon to go to China. It was blameworthy to finance China's modernization program, and it was short-sighted to establish trade relations with the Beijing communists. It has to be understood, in the final analysis, that the People's Republic is run by gangsters who dream of America's destruction. It has to be admitted that we have supplied them with the means to strike us by our own complacency and greed.
Think of the situation in purely moral terms: It did not concern American businessmen that millions languished in the Chinese prison camps, that Christians were brutally persecuted, that protesters were crushed by tanks. None of this bothered those who were eager to build factories in the People's Republic of China (PRC) in order to make a profit. Yet consider the long term consequences.
The unanimous and bipartisan report of the House Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China (i.e., the Cox Report) stated the situation in plain terms: "The PRC's massive potential consumer market is the key factor behind the willingness of some U.S. businesses to risk and tolerate technology transfers. Some of these transfers could impair U.S. national security, as in the cases of Loral and Hughes...."
The United States is a country that has made serious mistakes in its economic and security policy. We have supported countries that should have been blockaded and isolated. And now we face a deadly combination because the enemy we face is not merely the terrorist, Osama bin Laden. The enemy we face is in Beijing and Moscow, Pyongyang and Hanoi, Havana and Pretoria.
© Jeffrey R. Nyquist, October 8, 2001