Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Chinese Chess

I caught this spectacular article on the Weekly Standard website. The gist of it all is that China is all too content to keep us busy with North Korea, pretending to be an ally in the stalled Six-Party Talks, as it plots behind the scenes to restrict our access to oil and to retake Taiwan, in an effort to become the counterweight to the United States. And they have a decent chance at testing it if things with North Korea go sour or we oppose their crossing of the Formosa Strait.

China is not the Soviet Union. All the Soviets had to do was go south and shut off the oil supply to the west. That would be disastrous. China is unable to do that, and is geographically isolated from such resources. But they know we are too, and there's the brilliance in the plan. When we cut them off, they return the favor with their tinpot dictator allies in Venezuela, Iran, and elsewhere.

And if there were any better justification for the Senate approving the ANWR drilling legislation today, I don't know what it would be. Our dependence on foreign oil is a significant strategic vulnerability begging to be exploited, but which the Democrats seem loath to address because their obsession with environmental bromides leads them to believe that that arctic wasteland is somehow an unspoiled paradise and that Halliburton will come in and violently pollute the place.

As warm and fuzzy as it may feel to think that the Chicoms want to partner with us, they remain a nation that wants to beat us. And who are we kidding? If Beijing snapped its fingers, Pyongyang would jump.

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