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china/plane politics

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  • John Patten
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    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3 9:15 PM
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      > ATTACHMENT part 2 message/rfc822
      > Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 23:22:38 -0400
      > From: john.patten@...
      > Subject: Fwd: China-Plane Politics From Stratfor
      > To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > I'm surprised that even on our national news today
      > we get little of the real
      > stories or the contexts of the situation. This
      > insightful analysis was also on
      > the heels of of report that said our stepped up
      > activity has been due to what
      > may be breakthroughs in Chinese sub technology.
      > Conversely, if a Chinese spy plane was hit by one of
      > our fighters and just
      > happened to land at Burbank airport, you can be sure
      > the cupholders would be
      > about the only thing left.
      >
      > ----- Forwarded message from
      > raymond_linsenmayer@... -----
      > Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 06:23:19 -0700
      > From: raymond_linsenmayer@...
      > Reply-To: raymond_linsenmayer@...
      > Subject: Fwd: China-Plane Politics From Stratfor
      > To: Fletcher Students
      > <flstudent-l@...>
      >
      > S T R A T F O R
      > http://www.stratfor.com
      >
      ___________________________________________________________________
      > 02 April 2001
      > Conflict in China's Response
      > Summary
      >
      > Beijing's refusal to allow Washington access to the
      > crew of a
      > U.S. Navy surveillance plane held on Hainan Island
      > may reflect an
      > internal power struggle between China's military and
      > civilian
      > leadership. The People's Liberation Army, while
      > still powerful,
      > has lost some of its clout in establishing domestic
      > and foreign
      > policy over the past decade. Beijing's civilian
      > leaders are
      > debating not only how to respond to Washington after
      > the midair
      > collision but what to do with a PLA apparently
      > pursuing its own
      > interests.
      >
      > Analysis
      >
      > With a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft and its
      > 24-member crew
      > being held on China's southern Hainan island,
      > Chinese Foreign
      > Minister Tang Jiaxuan said Tuesday he hoped an
      > "adequate
      > solution" for the situation would be found soon.
      > Speaking to
      > reporters in France after a meeting with President
      > Jacques
      > Chirac, Tang said the issue would likely have little
      > effect on
      > relations between Beijing and Washington. He
      > reiterated Beijing's
      > claim that the Navy plane caused the midair
      > collision with a
      > Chinese Jian-8 Sunday.
      >
      > Tang's comments reveal Beijing's dilemma in dealing
      > with the
      > aftermath of the midair collision. China's leaders
      > want to
      > quickly brush aside the incident before it has an
      > impact on
      > China's economic and foreign relations. But Beijing
      > must deal
      > with internal factions, particularly among military
      > leaders who
      > are exploiting the situation for their own agendas.
      >
      > The tough statements of the Bush administration have
      > reopened a
      > debate in Beijing over how China should deal with
      > Washington.
      > China's military leaders have been concerned about
      > the U.S. sale
      > of advanced Aegis anti-missile destroyers to Taiwan,
      > while the
      > new administration looks toward Beijing as its
      > primary strategic
      > opponent. Moreover, just as the military's concern
      > over the White
      > House stance increases, a debate between military
      > and civilian
      > leaders in Beijing is renewed: How should the
      > People's Liberation
      > Army fit into China's economic and foreign policy
      > plans?
      >
      > Chinese President Jiang Zemin recently said the
      > major role for
      > the PLA is dealing with China's internal stability.
      > Jiang said
      > the world situation was "favorable" for China to
      > focus on
      > "modernization building," allowing the military to
      > offer
      > assistance to local governments to ensure social
      > stability,
      > according to Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po. In China's 10th
      > Five-Year
      > Plan, only a small portion of a chapter outlining
      > the role of the
      > PLA deals with Taiwan.
      >
      > In shifting its focus to internal stability, the PLA
      > takes on the
      > role of a police force, rather than a global
      > military power.
      > While the PLA emphasizes its loyalty to the
      > Communist Party with
      > Jiang Zemin at its core, the military is concerned
      > Jiang's focus
      > on China's economic reforms and opening undermines
      > the strength
      > of the military and the party.
      >
      > A recent article in the People's Liberation Army
      > Daily emphasized
      > the importance of implementing Jiang's thinking in
      > the military,
      > but that the economic policies in China have led
      > some "veteran
      > comrades" to "become the captive of decadent
      > cultures and a fast
      > life."
      >
      > The current issues follow years of cuts in the
      > Chinese military.
      > Over the past two decades, the People's Liberation
      > Army was pared
      > from 4 million active-duty servicemen to just 2.5
      > million today.
      > The cut has meant a loss of political clout for the
      > PLA in
      > formulating China's internal planning and foreign
      > relations. In
      > addition, the PLA has been cut out of its business
      > operations,
      > making it more dependent financially on the central
      > government.
      >
      > To regain greater internal leverage over policy
      > decisions and
      > funding, the PLA has a history of exploiting
      > international
      > tensions, including raising the apparent threat
      > posed by Taiwan
      > and the United States. The PLA has apparently forced
      > the central
      > political leadership's hand in the current potential
      > crisis with
      > the United States as well.
      >
      > After colliding with a Chinese Jian-8, the U.S.
      > EP-3E performed
      > an emergency landing at Lingshui military air base
      > in the south
      > of Hainan. Armed Chinese troops boarded the EP-3E to
      > remove the
      > U.S. crew. For the military, this offers an
      > infrequent
      > opportunity to gain valuable insight into U.S.
      > intelligence
      > capabilities and reciprocate for the recent
      > defection of high-
      > ranking PLA officers to the United States. The
      > incident has been
      > compared to the capture and boarding of the USS
      > Pueblo by North
      > Koreans in 1968 - a violation of sovereign U.S.
      > territory and
      > international norms.
      >
      > It's clear Beijing is struggling to get a grip on a
      > course of
      > action. The initial accident likely resulted from a
      > decision in
      > Beijing to fly closer and more aggressively toward
      > U.S.
      > surveillance aircraft, a pattern noted by U.S.
      > officials. The
      > decision was an outgrowth of the heightened rhetoric
      > between
      > Beijing and Washington over several contentious
      > issues.
      >
      > In its initial attempt to cover its own likely
      > culpability for
      > the accident, Beijing laid the blame on Washington,
      > saying the
      > unpredictable actions of the EP-3E crew caused the
      > collision, not
      > any incorrect behavior on the part of the Chinese
      > pilots. This
      > line, however, opened the door for the PLA to
      > exploit the
      > situation and grab for control in Beijing.
      >
      > By boarding the EP-3E, the military severely
      > constrained the
      > options of Beijing's political leadership. Being
      > unable to undo
      > the actions of the military, the central government
      > was forced to
      > stick to its initial public line that the collision
      > was the U.S.
      > pilot's fault while internally debating what course
      > should be
      > taken next.
      >
      > The civilian leadership is attempting to send
      > reassuring signs to
      > Washington and Europe that it will not allow
      > tensions to escalate
      > further. While saying he wanted a quick solution,
      > Tang also said
      > Beijing must "give an explanation to the Chinese
      > people,"
      > suggesting Washington look to China's ultimate
      > actions rather
      > than the rhetoric being spread inside China. China
      > has said it
      > will allow U.S. representatives to meet with the
      > crew of the EP-
      > 3E Tuesday, but is unlikely to return the plane to
      > the United
      > States soon.
      >
      > As with the bombing of the Chinese embassy in
      > Belgrade, Beijing
      > is using the current tensions with Washington to
      > redirect the
      > focus of China's population away from internal
      > economic troubles
      > toward an outside hegemonic aggressor. In order to
      > maintain
      > control of the situation, Beijing must balance the
      > internal
      > rhetoric with reassurances to the international
      > community that it
      > has no intention of ending its economic reform and
      > opening.
      > Beijing has thus far kept domestic displays of anger
      > on Chinese
      > Web pages, rather than allowing or staging street
      > protests like
      > those that broke out after the embassy bombing.
      >
      > With much of China's central leadership set to
      > change in the next
      > two years and the military seeking to reassert
      > itself and take
      > control of the government's internal economic and
      > foreign
      > policies, China's leaders find themselves in an
      > increasingly
      > difficult situation. Beijing's civilian leadership
      > cannot allow
      > the PLA to continue to interject into foreign policy
      > without
      > risking losing complete control over international
      > relations.
      > Ultimately, this latest power play by the PLA will
      > likely lead to
      > stricter central government restrictions on the
      > PLA's contact
      > with foreign - particularly American - military
      > assets.
      >
      >
      ___________________________________________________________________
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