Thus I was bemused by Donald Rumsfeld's recent comments that China was a country ''we hope and pray enters the civilized world in an orderly way."
Yet Greenway follows with a passage that shows we do "respect" China:
It was the expansion of China's military power that prompted Rumsfeld's remark. The Chinese military budget has doubled in recent years. The Chinese Navy is pushing out from coastal waters into the blue oceans. It may, Rumsfeld told Congress, overtake the US Navy in a decade.
Rumsfeld is paid to concern himself with such matters. A shift in the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait would be destabilizing, and this is an era in which the US Navy will cease to grow, and may shrink, due to the all-consuming expense of Rumsfeld's war in Iraq.
So we do respect China. We recognize their growing power and worry that they grow too strong.
But Greenway isn't about respect. Why else this little gem?
But China is too big for the Bush administration to bully. A nuclear power and a permanent member of the Security Council, China can both defend itself and hinder many things the United States would like to do. Europe may soon end a long-term arms embargo to China, a move that the Bush administration opposes.
Too big to bully? Bully?
This isn't about respect. We respect the power of China. We respect them enough to worry about them. His article is about admiration. Greenway admires China. They spotted Halley a thousand years before the West did. And there's more to admire:
ONE THOUSAND years before Pericles and the golden age of Athens, the Chinese were weaving silk, casting in bronze, and carving objects of beauty out of jade. Some of the world's greatest poetry was written in China when Alexander the Great was a toddler.
No matter that tens of millions died in the Great Leap Forward. No matter the nuclear and missile proliferation to rogue regimes. No matter Tibet and the grinding away of freedom in Hong Kong. No matter the Korean War and their aid to North Vietnam. No matter their aid to Iraq before we destroyed Saddam. No matter their coddling of North Korea now, that lets the Pillsbury Nuke Boy continue to exist and threaten us and our allies. Hey, they made beautiful jade a thousand freaking years before Pericles!
I see little to admire lately. But two thousand years ago? Like wow! That's supposed to count for a lot according to Greenway.
Me? I hope and pray China enters the world of civilized nations in an orderly fashion.