Clinton’s Acquiescence to Chinese Thuggery in Washington, Hong Kong Encourages Bloodshed in July

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(Washington, D.C.): On Tuesday, the Clinton
Administration sponsored a theater of the absurd
performance in Washington by the Chinese Minister of
Defense, General Chi Haotian. Before an audience of U.S.
military officers and other government officials at the
National Defense University, General Chi asserted with a
straight face that “not a single person lost his
life in Tiananmen Square.”

It must be asked: Was General Chi Haotian —
the man who, as Chinese chief of staff, planned and
executed the tank-backed assault that murdered some 3,700
democracy demonstrators in that Square in 1989 —
encouraged to lie about the lethal results of his attack
by an official biography of him prepared by the
Clinton Administration’s CIA that omitted any reference
to his involvement in that travesty
?

Whether the Clinton Administration bears some
responsibility for this brazen act of thuggery in
Washington or not, the fact that it has seen fit to
accord General Chi the red carpet treatment during a
ten-day visit to the United States can only convey one
message to Beijing — this U.S. government will
look the other way on inconvenient Communist Chinese
conduct
. Like the Bush Administration before it
— which dispatched National Security Advisor Brent
Scowcroft and then-Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence
Eagleburger to China shortly after the murderous
Tiananmen crackdown to toast Li Peng and the cabal that
ordered it — the Clinton team has signaled that, in the
interest of promoting U.S.-China trade relations, anything
goes
.

Meanwhile, Back in Hong Kong

Ominously, the same day that General Chi was testing
the extent of the present U.S. administration’s moral
collapse, China was laying the groundwork for what may be
its next major move to crush democratic aspirations — by
force, if necessary. Beijing arranged the selection of
Tung Chee-hwa to be its puppet ruler of Hong Kong after
the colony reverts to Chinese control on 1 July 1997.
This step, taken over the strenuous objections of Hong
Kong’s democratic forces, is of a piece with the plans
Tung’s masters have announced to dismantle the elected
Legislative Council and move forces into Hong Kong so as
to ensure what is euphemistically called an orderly
transition to Communist sovereignty.

That “Chief Executive” Tung is comfortable
implementing such plans was evident in a profile
published in today’s New York Times. According
to the Times, Tung has “made it clear that he
has little patience for Hong Kong’s recent experiment
with democratic politics. ‘Our society has become too
political
in recent years.’ …He has emphasized the
need to roll back [British Governor Chris] Patten’s
democratic changes, to abolish the elected legislature
and to enforce a more authoritarian executive government
….”
(Emphasis added.)

The coincidence of the timing of General Chi’s
revisionist remarks and the ascendancy of Tung Chee-hwa
is particularly ominous. The failure of the
Clinton Administration publicly to rebut — not to say, condemn
— a mass murderer’s distortion of one act of genocidal
repression may actually induce General Chi and the rest
of the leadership in Beijing to believe that the United
States will also ignore a future one in Hong Kong
should they deem it necessary.
If so, there will
blood on the hands of Mr. Clinton and his National
Security Advisor Anthony Lake — along with those of the
outgoing Secretaries of State and Defense, Warren
Christopher and William Perry.

The Bottom Line

As the 105th Congress prepares to consider the
nominations of Director of Central Intelligence-designate
Lake, Secretary of State-designate Madeleine Albright and
other members of President Clinton’s new national
security team, urgent attention must be given to the
near- and longer-term implications of the
Administration’s appeasement of China. In the meantime,
the congressional leadership would be well-advised to
distance itself from those policies and to establish that
the representatives of the American people in Congress,
at least, will not be party to trade-driven efforts to
rehabilitate, or otherwise advance the agenda of, the
Butchers of Beijing.

– 30 –

Center for Security Policy

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