Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

China's Internal Problems Haunt US

Wind energy may help alleviate Chinese energy shortages.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (AFP) Feb 05, 2006
When President George W. Bush was asked at a recent public forum about his strategy to contain China's geopolitical ambitions, the US leader dwelled instead on the internal problems confronting Beijing, such as unemployment and energy shortage.

The United States is concerned by the increasing social, environmental and other domestic issues facing China's leadership and wants to work with Beijing to help shape some of the choices it makes to sustain rapid economic growth, officials say.

Washington is anxiously watching how Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao grapple with the plethora of questions facing them.

Will the sometimes violent public protests that have risen sharply in China spiral out of control? Is China's rapid economic growth going to cause more environmental catastrophes? Will income gaps widen and cause social chaos in the countryside? How should Beijing deal with an increasingly belligerent pro-independence Taiwanese President?

"China's economic 'miracle' is unfolding at a high cost, not just in terms of environmental degradation and public health, but also in terms of an erosion of social and ethical values," warned James Keith, senior advisor in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

"It is no surprise discontent is rising, and sometimes expressed in disturbing ways," he said at a Congressional hearing last week aptly titled "What keeps Chinese leaders awake at night, and what are US leaders doing in response."

The hearing by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission was told that rising public protests over uncompensated land seizures, arbitrary and illegal taxes, and the failure to pay workers their wages were causing unease among Chinese leaders.

Keith said while it was the Chinese government and people who would address their internal problems, the United States wanted to "help shape some of the choices they make," including on a variety of financial, environmental, health-related and energy issues.

Bush often emphasizes the "complex relationship" between US and China, which official say involves elements of increasingly close economic and diplomatic cooperation alongside the potential for serious conflict.

Washington remains worried about China's growing military and economic might and its human rights record.

But at a public forum in Manhattan, Kansas recently, Bush said one of his primary concerns is how Chinese President Hu is going to create enough jobs to maintain social order.

"It's really interesting, do you realize that it takes China 25 million new jobs a year to stay even? Think about that," he told a public forum in Manhattan, Kansas.

"I'm out there blowing when we get 4 million. This guy needs to get 25 million a year," Bush said.

Another issue that haunts Bush is China's insatiable demand for energy supplies, required to fuel double digit economic expansion, which is key to lifting the more than 200 million people living under poverty.

"We've got to share technology with China so they become better users of energy and better protectors of the environment," he said.

A string of environmental disasters of late in China, many of them deadly, is causing great anxiety to the United States, officials said.

"What may be keeping (the Chinese leadership) up at night is how to keep up the pace of economic growth by improving the efficiency of their industrial sector and balancing the high cost of a lot of needed environmental improvements," said Jerry Clifford, a senior official at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

He cited a chemical spill in a key Chinese river following an explosion at a chemical plant last November which contaminated the drinking supplies of millions of people and raised alarm bells in nearby Russia.

The Chinese public was not notified of the spill for more than a week.

As soon as the United States learned of the accident, President Bush offered to help but China declined the offer to send an American team there, Clifford said.

Beijing did invite a team of UN experts but the team was not allowed to visit the site of the accident nor were they allowed to take water samples. To this day, officials said, there is no accurate breakdown of the various chemicals in the spill.

"We don't know much about how China manages this kind of emergency and that improvements in our working relationship may provide opportunities for EPA to share its considerable knowledge," Clifford said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Pentagon Report Singles Out China As Potential Military Rival
Washington DC (AFP) Feb 03, 2006
A major review of US military strategy Friday singled out China as the country with the greatest potential to challenge the United States militarily.

  • Pentagon Report Singles Out China As Potential Military Rival
  • Pentagon Asks For 439.3Bn Dollar Budget
  • China's Internal Problems Haunt US
  • India Uses IAEA Vote To Foster Relations With US

  • UN Referral Would Fail To Halt Iran Nuclear Activities
  • NKorea Urges SKorea To Stop Military Exercises With US
  • Iran Has The Ability To Develop A Nuclear Weapon
  • Russia Presses For Iran Nuclear Diplomacy

  • India Says Latest Nuclear Missile Ready For Launch
  • Iran Secretly Tests New Surface-To-Surface Missile
  • Raytheon-Led Team Tests AIM-9X Missile
  • Lockheed Martin Announces Team For Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II

  • Northrop Grumman Receives $225M Contract For ICBM Propulsion Replacement Program
  • Bush Silent On BMD Success
  • Russia To Build New, Anti-Missile Warning System
  • BMD Watch: Trident Subs Will Fight Terror

  • Space Transformation Prepares For Air Force Future
  • Production Starts On STOVL F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Northrop Grumman Unveils New Modeling And Simulation Research Center
  • F-35 Simulator Demonstrates Fighter Of Tomorrow

  • Philippines To Purchase Unmanned Spy Planes
  • Global Hawk Earns Military Airworthiness Certification
  • USAF Orders Five Predator UAVs
  • Two Production RQ-4A Global Hawks Deploy In Global War On Terrorism

  • An Accord On Iraq
  • Insurgents Target Iraqis Over US Troops
  • Outside View: Iraq, Terror War Shocks
  • Iraqi IEDs As Deadly As Ever

  • LockMart Selects Production Site For Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System
  • Northrop Grumman Selects VMETRO For ALMDS Central Electronics Chassis
  • Eurocopter AS 550 C3 "Fennec" Adapted For Extreme Environments
  • UK-French Initiative On Lightweight Radar Breaks Ground For Defence R&T

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement