Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You say potato, I say SU-30MK2 FLANKER....

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today visited China, and told them that they're sending "mixed signals." He said this in response to a Professor asking him about "conflicting messages" from US officials.

Hmmm. Could Sec. Rumsfeld be referring to the assertion that China is ready to nuke the US in response to a conventional weapons attack? These comments were taken back, but you don't want your generals spouting off that they've got their finger on a button, and they're ready if they see something they don't like. That's a mixed signal.

Or maybe he was referring to joint Russian-Chinese war games, simulating an invasion on China's east coast, which had "only peaceful aims." Nevermind the fact that Russia and China haven't cooperated with eachother on this level before. So I guess maybe that's a mixed signal.

And then there's the whole debate about what China is or isn't spending its money on militarily. Is the money going to building the military, and they aren't being public about it, or are they buying more food like they say they are?

Those points being in consideration, Rumsfeld was able to visit the headquarters of the Second Artillery, which is in charge of China's nuclear forces, making him the first foreign official to do so.

One point I thought was funny, which the AP article brought up, Chinese Defense Minister General Cao Gangchuan noted that it's been 5 years since a US Defense Secretary has visited China. So he's subtlely putting forward the fact that the Bush Administration hasn't had someone from that position visit China before, which is notable. Maybe that has something to do with downing a US military plane, and then holding the crew hostage?

I don't know, just putting that one out there.

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