Perhaps China sensed that Bush�s days are numbered

A.H. Jaffor Ullah


In the evening of October 31, 2004, barely 32 hours before the election booth will open its door for voting, the Beijing Administration did issue a statement, which this scribe found to be very puzzling.  The statement that was released by the Chinese government would not be coming in a normal time; however, this is no normal time because the U.S. election for the highest office is about to take place.  Come to think of it, why would the Beijing Administration lambaste a seating president?  I have my feeling that the Chinese government has sensed that American public may remove Bush from the catbird seat of power through voting.  That is the only reason I think the Chinese government is stating that they are not all that happy with the �Bush Doctrine.�

In the parlance of world politics, �Bush Doctrine� means a ruthless pre�mptive strike against a nation whom the American Administration think is its enemy.  Based on this doctrine, Mr. Bush and Pentagon waged a full-scale war against Afghanistan in November 2001 with a short notice.  Also in March 2003, the Bush Administration attacked Iraq thinking that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled �Weapons of Mass Destruction� or WMD.  Mr. Bush decided in late 2002 that Saddam Hussein has to go.  Therefore, on the plea of a �regime change� in Baghdad, the Pentagon planner that includes Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, his associate, Dr. Paul Wolfowitz, and a host of Pentagon brass chalked out a blueprint for a massive surgical attack against Iraq.  The pre�mptive strike took place in late March 2003.  The war lasted only 3 weeks, Baghdad fell, and Saddam went into hiding.  Many nations silently watched the occupation while Mr. Bush boisterously announced while visiting soldiers in a Navy fleet that the mission was accomplished.  Now the world knows better that it was Mr. Bush�s empty rhetoric because American soldiers are still locked in a fight against Iraqi insurgencies mostly in the Sunni Triangle.   


Senator Kerry, the Democratic challenger, who is trying to unseat President Bush, has made the Iraq War an election issue that brought some positive result vis-�-vis his quest to unseat the seating president.  All the polls taken 2-3 days before the election had indicated that the election is a dead heat.  With enough new voters coming to the polling place in certain battleground states, it may change the dynamics of the election so much so that Senator Kerry may come out victorious.  We may have to wait until November 3 or beyond to know whether Mr. Bush will stay in the White House or he would join his father in the great state of Texas as one-term president.


It seems as if the Beijing Administration has been reading the American polls too closely.  Are they thinking that the days of President Bush is on the wane?  Or else, why should they fuss about the �Bush Doctrine� only 30-40 hours before the election is set to go?


The Reuters news agency had reported today at about 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) that China criticized �Bush Doctrine� before U.S. poll.  The Reuters� reported, �On the eve of the U.S. election, China criticized the �Bush doctrine� of pre-emptive strikes, said the Iraq War has destroyed the global anti-terror coalition and blamed arrogance for problems dogging the United States around the world.�


As per Reuters, Qian Qichen, one of the main architects of China's foreign policy, said the United States was dreaming if it thought the 21st century was the �American Century.�  In a strongly-worded commentary, the Chinese leader said, �The Iraq war has ... destroyed the hard-won global anti-terror coalition.�  His statement was published in an article in the English-language China Daily newspaper.


The Chinese leader further said, �(The Doctrine) has made the United States even more unpopular in the international community than its war in Vietnam ... The 21st century is not the 'American Century'.  That does not mean that the United States does not want the dream.  Rather it is incapable of realizing the goal.�


As per Reuters, the �searing� article did not mention Senator Kerry�s name.  However, the timing of the scathing remarks by the Chinese authorities makes me wonder whether the vanguard of Beijing could sense that President Bush�s days in the office is numbered.  We have to wait hardly 48 hours to know whether Mr. Qian Qichen, the Chinese leader was onto something or not.  But in my view, the Beijing Administration is trying to send messages to Senator Kerry�s camp.  It is mentionable here that the Democratic challenger, Senator Kerry, has made scathing remarks about Bush�s doctrine while debating with the president in all three pre-election debates.  


The Chinese leaders of today are not at all like their predecessors of 1960s or 70s.  They are smart; surely, they know in which direction the political wind is blowing in the U.S.  If however, President Bush comes out victorious and the chances are fifty-fifty of happening that, then the Beijing Administration will be in heap of trouble.  However, my take on this matter is that the Chinese leaders know what they are talking about.  Does this then signal that the Beijing Administration could sense that Bush is on the way out from the White House.  For that, let us stay tuned.


Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher and columnist, writes from New Orleans, USA

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