- April 6 -
Author of A Chinese Mirror: Moral Reflections on Political Economy, Rosemont is professor of philosophy -- specializing in Chinese philosophy -- at St. Mary's College in Maryland. He taught in China for four years, including during the 1989 crackdown. Rosemont said: "The Chinese government is behaving a little better than the U.S. government. We have a diplomatic agreement with China that provides for any citizen to have access to a member of the foreign service of his or her country within 48 hours. As far as can be ascertained, the Chinese complied with that. Unfortunately, the U.S. government was demanding access to the air personnel long before the 48 hours were up -- and castigating the Chinese government for not allowing that access. If a Chinese spy plane had landed in San Diego, the odds of the U.S. military greeting them with Big Mac and fries and then releasing them are very slim. The U.S. government's claim of sovereignty for the airplane even though it landed on Chinese soil must remind all Chinese of the U.S. demands for its own legal system to be the only binding system for its citizens in China from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century."
MIRIAM YOUNG, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.apcjp.org
Executive director of the Asia Pacific Center for Justice and Peace, Young said: "The midair collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese fighter has brought bilateral relations to their lowest level since the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May 1999.... The crisis strengthens the domestic political positions of Chinese and American leaders who stand to benefit from confrontation through a military buildup and fostering of mindless nationalism. The standoff will likely widen to areas not immediately related to the spy plane case, such as Taiwan arms sales, human rights and trade status."
JOHN GERSHMAN, email@example.com, www.fpif.org
Asia/Pacific editor for Foreign Policy in Focus, a web-based think tank, Gershman said: "The ongoing U.S.-China imbroglio over the spy plane accident exposes how foreign policy in Asia has largely been turned over to the Pentagon and the U.S. Navy in particular. As during the Cold War, the U.S. military regards the Pacific as an American lake, and the activities of U.S. military personnel in the region beyond accountability. The accident off the coast of China was the inevitable and logical outcome of a U.S. policy that has substituted China for the Soviet Union in a dangerous, arrogant and outdated policy to preserve U.S. hegemony in the region. The Bush administration violated a cardinal rule of diplomacy: keep your options open. By immediately ruling out an apology, even before an investigation that would determine what actually happened, the Bush administration boxed itself into a corner."
ROBERT WEIL, firstname.lastname@example.org
Weil is author of Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of "Market Socialism."
JENIFER DIXON, email@example.com, www.globalspin.org
Dixon edits "GlobalSpin.org" -- a web page that monitors how media from other countries cover major issues. This week it includes a statement by the missing Chinese pilot's wife.