China an Adversary?
Jude Wanniski
April 10, 2001


Memo To: Rep. Henry Hyde [R-Ll]
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Don’t think so

I was of course glad to see you reject the argument from Bill Kristol and Bob Kagan of The Weekly Standard that President Bush has been humiliated by the way he has handled the China incident. But those guys are purposely coo-coo, setting themselves up so far to the right on the China issue that you would have to froth at the mouth and declare war on Beijing to exceed them. In some ways, they are at least partly responsible for the troubled relationship we have with China today by taking the intellectual lead in forming the anti-China coalition. In totally rejecting President Clinton’s original concept of a “strategic partnership” with China, Kristol and Kagan six years ago took the position that inasmuch as we will eventually have to go to war with China, we should do nothing to strengthen them in the interim. They do serve a useful function, I think, although I think they overdo it. In 1977, I remember Chinese officials predicting that the People’s Republic would eventually have to go to war with us, but that they and we should push that war as far into the future as possible.

On the other hand, I was not happy to hear you announce that China is an “adversary.” That is practically in the camp of the two K’s, on the edge of war. As chairman of the House committee on international relations, Henry, a new position for you, you really should be careful about inching in that direction. “Adversary” is a term implying conflict, don’t you think? Strategic partner is of course not the correct term, because we are at the top of the pyramid, the only Superpower. We do not have any partners in that regard. Not even Great Britain, even if they were in a position to be “strategic.” The term “partner” does not work and never will, unless the term we come up with specifically indicates they are at a lower level of responsibility and power. We are the Father. We do have grown children who can help us carry out the work that needs to be done to preserve peace and prosperity in the family of man. China surely should be one of the two or three grown adults who can help us manage the world. Don’t you think so?