Saturday, March 19, 2005

This is Asia

Secretary Rice is bolstering and rewarding Japan while challenging China to embrace democracy and their mini-me, North Korea, to return to talks to end their nuclear goals:

Condoleezza Rice, on her first foray into Asia as secretary of state, outlined a new U.S. vision of Japan's increasing global importance Saturday and challenged China to "embrace some form of open and generally representative government."

Rice unambiguously supported Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the U. N. Security Council ...

We are helping a Japan that has stepped up as a true ally to help us on the ground in Iraq and to confront North Korea and China with a solid alliance. Japan deserves a permanent seat.

India, too, will one day get one with our support. But Japan must be first to reward restraint in the nuclear area. India went nuclear and must wait a little longer for that complication to a volatile region of the world. Friends and allies we will be, but a permanent seat must wait.

China, which seems to have snuffed Liberty's flame in 1989 with the blood of thousands of Chinese citizens, has been reminded that we are not unaware of their government. We may deal with them but we know who they are. Perhaps this reminder will help rekindle the desire for freedom that once led the Chinese to parade under Lady Liberty before the tanks rolled in.

And North Korea? Rice spoke soft words even as we squeeze them. They will collapse and they won't even realize it until it is too late.

Not a bad day's work.

This is the Asia we will be working with and against for many decades.