China wants the U.S. out of Asia, and will continue to upgrade and
enhance its military capability to accomplish that goal, according to a
senior congressional policy analyst.

Al Santoli, a foreign policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Dana
Rohrabacher
, R-CA, and an
analyst at the American Foreign Policy Council,
believes current administration policies toward
China of so-called “constructive engagement” are “worse than
appeasement,” and will further jeopardize U.S. national security in the
long run.

Santoli made his remarks in a telephone interview with WorldNetDaily,
and was adamant that all indications point to the Chinese continuing
their decade-long effort to obtain more sensitive U.S. technology before
their “window of opportunity closes” at the end of the Clinton
administration.

The latest attempt by China to obtain more U.S. technology occurred
earlier this month, when Chinese businessman Collin Shu was arrested in
Massachusetts trying to buy gyroscopes from U.S. undercover agents. The
gyroscopes are precision tools used to guide everything from missiles to
smart bombs, and officials said that Shu was attempting to ship them to
China through Canada via a front company he owns.

What is equally important, however, are the uses China has found for
all the new knowledge. Both Rohrabacher and Santoli are worried that
Chinese military buildups in key areas surrounding mainland China will
not only threaten the stability of the region but make any eventual U.S.
intervention costly and difficult.

Santoli told WorldNetDaily that while he believes the issue of Taiwan
is currently the most contentious between the U.S. and China, he also
indicated that a threat is emerging in the South China Sea because of
China’s claim of sovereignty over a small collection of islands. For
years China has continued a military buildup
in
the Spratly Islands,
adding a
three-story structure and completing work on multiple helicopter pads
and communications facilities all within the past 60 days.

Critics have denounced the opinions of Rohrabacher and Santoli as
alarmist, but both men say their concerns are based on first-hand
observations. Santoli is an expert in the area of Asian foreign policy
and the California congressman has personally visited the Spratly
Islands twice in the past several weeks.

Not only are new structures complete on portions of the island chain,
but they added that more projects are already under way that will be
completed over the next several months. The additional capabilities will
put China in the best position to make good on their claim over the
islands — reportedly rich in natural gas and oil — which will result
in a likely foreign policy
nightmare for the United States. Other U.S. allies in the region also
claim some or all of the Spratly Islands, but attempts to soften the
Chinese position on the sovereignty issue have met with resistance. As a
result, the Clinton administration’s policies favoring the Chinese
appear to legitimize their claim over the Spratlys which may have
emboldened their efforts to beef up
existing garrisons.

Because of the State Department’s willingness to ignore technology
sales and transfers, and because of the Clinton administration’s
continued ambivalence toward China, Santoli believes “we’re actually
helping to facilitate the Chinese military buildup, especially with all
this military-to-military cooperation.”

Last week Rohrabacher addressed these concerns in a letter he sent to
Defense Secretary William Cohen. The Pentagon has just announced
increased military ties with China in 1999, including high-level
contacts that may end up providing the Chinese military with insights
into improving logistics, battlefield tactics and technological efforts.
In his letter, the
congressman said continuing to provide the Chinese with access to
sensitive U.S. technology, military tactics and logistical expertise was
“insanity.” Rohrabacher wrote, “There is no country in the world that we
are more likely to be at war with 10 years from now than Communist
China, and here we are modernizing their military. It’s insanity.”

Santoli addressed a gambit of concerns he has with current U.S.-China
policies. He spoke to issues of trade and appeasement, and summarized
the
current status of several Chinese military projects. Most importantly,
he pointed out that while it is not prudent to abandon all contact with
the Chinese, it is foolish to believe they are the benevolent behemoth
the administration says they are.

Santoli said the Chinese have been able to upgrade weapons systems so
rapidly because of huge trade imbalances. He said, “We’ve got a $60
billion per year trade deficit with China, mostly because of the
imbalance within import and export duties.” That imbalance, he
explained, has enabled China to accumulate huge sums of disposable cash
to purchase weapons, technology and expand their own domestic production
capability.

Not only that, Santoli said, loopholes in U.S. trade policy with
China “have made it very easy to continue to get access to U.S.
technology, even today,” despite congressional reports that national
security has been already been harmed due to the sale of sensitive
technology. “Many PLA (People’s Liberation Army) businesses are fronts
in Hong Kong, and the importation/exportation rules into Hong Kong from
America are much less restrictive,” he said.

And he pointed some of the blame for lax trade policies on members of
the White House advisory staff. For example, he said, before joining the
Clinton White House as the president’s National Security Adviser, Sandy
Berger had substantial business contacts which have been enhanced
since Clinton relaxed the technology export rules.

“The Commerce Department has definitely improved Mr. Berger’s
business relationships,” Santoli said. And it is precisely these kinds
of relationships throughout the Clinton administration that have led to
a series of foreign policy gaffes and missteps.

Regarding the current status of Chinese weapons systems, Santoli said
the PLA is making progress in a number of areas. Besides building their
first supersonic bomber, the Hong-7, China has developed the first
stages of an anti-satellite capability, is building anti-ship missiles
that can be fired from helicopters, is expanding into a blue water
navy, and has “an aggressive military aircraft production capability,
which includes in-flight refueling capacity purchased from Russia.”

Santoli said China’s regional goal is simple. They “want the U.S. out
of the Pacific and they want to dominate the region.” Admiral Joseph
Prueher, outgoing commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific and Asia
agrees, telling reporters last week, “At some point in the future they
(the Chinese) would like to have everyone in the region have to have
China’s approval for whatever they might want to do.”

Their military strategy for gaining influence is time-tested, Santoli
explained. “Basically, they are island-hopping,” he said, referencing a
military strategy widely used by the Japanese in the years leading up to
World War II. He said that since the Chinese do not currently possess
the logistical capacity of the United States, they are acquiring
existing land masses in the region
and turning them “into floating military bases instead.”

For instance, China recently acquired the island of Tarawa — the
site of a bloody World War II battle

— from the
island nation of Kiribati, where they have built a major satellite
listening and observation post. Tarawa is strategically located between
the U.S. and the Chinese mainland, and is only about 1,500 miles from
Hawaii. “It gives China the ability to monitor all U.S. anti-missile
systems and missile tests,” Santoli said.

The Asian foreign policy expert said he also sees China
simultaneously developing other military technologies that are designed
to attack U.S. information systems. He explained that China is “very
interested” in exploiting “asymmetrical warfare” — a concept that
involves attacking an enemy’s satellites, computer systems, and
information infrastructure.

He was also blunt about Chinese intentions towards Taiwan. “They want
to take Taiwan over, pure and simple. Even last week they were talking
about it,” he said, referring to China’s anger over U.S. intentions to
construct an ad hoc missile defense system for Taiwan and Japan as a
result of ongoing ballistic missile threats from both China and North
Korea.

Santoli appeared skeptical about the U.S. decision, saying, “Any
missile defense system in the short term would be inadequate” because
“there really isn’t one that would go against the number of missiles
China could deploy — at this time.”

Santoli also questioned China’s budding new relationship with Russia,
calling it “a danger for us, but one that will end up being a mistake
for Russia.” He predicted that “they (the Chinese) will turn on Russia
after they get what they want from them and after they deal with us,”
and he dismissed recent attempts by Russia to include India in any
future coalition with China as
unworkable. “India just doesn’t trust the Chinese, and they aren’t
enemies of ours — nor do they want to be.”

Finally, Santoli said he was not “quite as worried about Chinese
aggression” during the final years of the Clinton administration as he
is in the years immediately following the expiration of Clinton’s term.
He believes the Chinese know the window of opportunity to access U.S.
technology will close soon, but he believes “they’ll have already
perfected several new weapons systems and will be much more enhanced
strategically by then,” he said.

“Some kind of confrontation with China could happen before then, but
they’re really not ready yet,” he explained. “They want to build more
missiles, improve their blue water navy, enhance their air forces, and
perfect their high-tech anti-satellite capabilities.”

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