- CHINA'S attempt to whip up anti-American emotions over the bombing of
its Belgrade embassy elicited warnings of a new Cold War in Washington
yesterday as Beijing accused exiled dissidents of supporting the missile
- Attempts by the Clinton administration
to cool China's outrage over the bombing were being countered in Washington
by a growing lobby insisting that the White House should get tough with
- members of Congress said that for the
President to have apologised five times for the
- incident was more than enough and China
was acting like a spoilt child.
- Beijing's determination to keep up the
anti-West propaganda over a 10-day-old incident has been puzzling analysts
in both capitals. Western businessmen in China say that in conversations
with economic ministry officials and Chinese colleagues, they are reassured
that Beijing's stance is "merely for domestic consumption".
- China-based analysts are reluctant to
- accept American talk of a new Cold War,
or immediate dangers to Western security
- as a result of Beijing's rhetoric. They
point to the resumption of contacts at the highest level. President Clinton
has spoken by telephone to President Jiang Zemin, who had refused his calls
immediately after the strike. The Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, spoke
to his opposite number, Tang Jiaxuan, on Saturday, after being made to
- for some days.
- Meanwhile in America, reports about the
long-term and damaging efforts of Chinese spies to secure the secrets of
the West's nuclear armoury have stoked fires of impatience with what is
seen as an overreaction by Beijing to the embassy bombing.
- When Li Zhaoxing, China's ambassador
to the United States, appeared on television on Sunday to answer questions
about subjects ranging from the bombing of the embassy to his country's
appalling human rights record, all of his replies were turned to centre
on what he called the "atrocity" perpetrated against the embassy.
It was a throwback to Cold War rhetoric that took even normally pro-Chinese
commentators by surprise.
- Later, Senator John McCain, a candidate
for the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election, said that
China was "trying to stick a thumb in our eye" over the bombing.
He said: "They have got to start showing some maturity here and right
now, otherwise we are going to end up in confrontation which is in the
interests of neither country."
- The spate of espionage stories seems
to have been leaked by figures within the Republican Party or the Pentagon
who see it in the long-term interests of America to have one big enemy.
- Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, of the Centre
for Defence Information, an independent think-tank, said: "There is
a demonisation of China going on here. I'm not sure who is doing it, but
these leaks are orchestrated to show China as the yellow peril again. I
do not believe that this is either a good idea in the long term nor is
it going to help us reach a proper resolution of the situation in Kosovo."
- In Beijing, analysts caution that while
the West need not feel immediately threatened by seething nationalism,
China's regional security inspires more concern. China has several outstanding
aggressive claims within its region, ranging from Taiwan to almost all
of the South China Sea.
- Beijing has several times stepped back
from the brink of direct confrontation with the United States, which has
acted as the
- post-Second World War guarantor of peace
for allies such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
- While Chinese police have ended orchestrated
protests outside the American and British embassies in Beijing, they continue
to make their diplomats feel uneasy. At the weekend they warned that demonstrators
were heading for the diplomatic quarter, causing embassy staff to drag
themselves to work, only to find a false alarm.
- Western embassies are now trying to determine
whether the twin themes of domestic nationalism and overseas pragmatism
are two elements of a single negotiating ploy, or signs of two competing
factions at the highest levels. One Western official said: "There
are signs that the policy of engagement with the outside world is under
pressure, but we just don't know."
- Sino-American relations are set to be
- further soured this week, as the much-leaked
US congressional report on transfers of sensitive technology to China is
published. Even as China fiercely denies stealing any
- nuclear secrets from America, regional
security experts said that China's People's Liberation Army will be pressing
for further modernisation of its ageing, limited-range missiles, plans
and naval ships.