The Real China & U.S. Relations Discovered – Satirist, James Campion inside the “China Syndrome”.

Aquarian Weekly 4/18/01 REALITY CHECK


The annual Reality Check News & Information Desk memo to the State Department regarding China and the defacto Cold War we’ve been waging with them for thirty years has once again only revealed the redundancy of its measures, the idiocy of its intent and the gnawing fact that it wasn’t due until mid-summer. But an international incident has a way of expediting useless correspondence, and there is little reason why anyone over there would be surprised at the events culminating from a spy plane boo-boo or why anyone should apologize for it.

A Chinese pilot died and 24 American spies were detained for a bit, but in the grand scheme of international espionage, all things ended somewhere between hunky and dory.

Human life has never rated particularly high in the overall theme of foreign relations. The Huns and the Vikings tried it for a time, but found raping and pillaging far more lucrative. The Greeks and Romans realized after a short bout of conscience that it just got in the way, and most of today’s nations manage that difficult balance of moral center while disregarding humanity completely.

The United States puts conditions on human life based on size of paycheck, color of skin and whether testicles are involved. China is completely lost in this category.

The real debate here is about financial diplomacy and the collective super ego: who looks like they won or lost before we’re back to business as usual.

And it is that spirit which is celebrated each time one of our corporations deals with China’s marketplace and the almighty free trade is freewheeling. Yet we spy and they spy, and we meet and they meet, and both countries put up wonderful fronts for the press and mom and pop apple pie and those unfortunate human rights casualties masquerading as citizens of China.

So it is a tad laughable that anything approaching a hostage situation, complete with room service and Great Wall rights, would rile anyone on either end of this political farce. Of course the Chinese are clumsy when it comes to snowing public relations, something this country has excelled at for a long time. Meanwhile, there are college kids in Beijing right now who hack into the Pentagon computer system on their lunch hour while IBM copyboys are sending forty miles of Chinese military secrets across crackling phone lines daily.

So for eleven days both countries postured over whom would apologize and how, and then in the wondrous tradition of a Bill Clinton grand jury appearance, the word “sorry” became only an apology when attached to a specific incident, as in “we’re sorry for the guy dying, but not for spying” or “we’re sorry we had to land because of your pilot’s inexplicably fatal actions, but not for landing on your air base.”

Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, a little perplexed that he’s not allowed to buy anyone in the new administration yet, was in the precarious position of staring down THE superpower on the planet, with one-tenth of its nuclear firepower and a host of his own spies in U.S. prisons. Zemin’s flimsy credibility stems from China’s massive population of potential American product consumers and the cheap slave labor that keeps K-Mart upper management in Christmas bonuses. China’s half-assed policy with Taiwan and North Korea is a minor inconvenience, and any real nuclear threat over the past four decades has been minimal at best.

China is no Soviet Union, regardless of what the flag-waving brutes tell you. The Chinese haven’t been as aggressive nor have they flaunted military might around the region the way Russia did for decades after World War II. China’s greatest crimes are within its borders and the human-rights abominations that are often ignored in Tibet.

And with all this spying going on, the U.S. government knows every gory detail.

This is followed by the obligatory public outrage, a few annual protests, an in-depth investigative report on 60 minutes during sweeps week and a bevy of speeches by government officials looking to keep the gig.

But yet we keep trading and smiling and spying, so, of course, there will be the occasional reconnaissance air craft lumbering across the sky – over international waters in international airspace, mind you – and something might or might not run into it. Then things are going to be strange and silly for a short time while everyone in charge scrambles to save face.

The real debate here is about financial diplomacy and the collective super ego: who looks like they won or lost before we’re back to business as usual. And rest assured business is what we’re talking about, because the days of “Yankee-Go-Home” and “Over There” and the comfy sense of national pride take the back seat to popular terms like “Bottom Line” and Profit Margins”.

George W. Bush has gotten what he wished for all along, he is the CEO of American Trade Concerns LTD, and it’s his job to keep those wheels greased and put out little brush fires like this latest embarrassment. And anytime a spy mission or a an under-the-table deal surfaces to the embarrassment of the two nations, there will be a ton of meetings and name calling and nasty good old-fashioned pride. And when it has been taken care of, like this latest screw up, then the money machine will be jumpstarted and all is right with the world again.

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