China hawk talk.

Author:Pillsbury, Michael
Position:Letter to the editor

Soyoung Ho's profile of me ("Panda Slugger," July/August) is startlingly at odds with the interviews I granted, in hope of correcting her personal and substantive preconceptions. In tact, the article reflects a severe misunderstanding of the entire China policy debate.

I served as a researcher and consultant to the Defense Department for the entire Clinton administration, in the same way that I do today for the current administration. That unmentioned detail is significant since the books and reports in which she detects a rigid ideological slant against China were written during the Clinton years, and include jacket blurbs from Democrats. Indeed, my second book has been translated into Chinese and published in China by Xinhua Press, part of the government of China. Throughout, my scholarship has been about how Chinese authors debate strategic concepts, not what China will do or become some day. Other than name-calling, she does not explain how such work ties me to Secretary Rumsfeld or the White House "neocons."

The nuances of the China policy debate are complex, and need to be discussed precisely. Labeling me as this administration's "Ahmed Chalabi" Cassandra of China policy is silly. Of course she has no evidence of any encouragement let alone plan to invade China. In fact, the reader would never learn that Congressional Democrats are at the forefront of accusing the President of being "soft" on China. As I explained to Ms. Ho, I support the recent policy recommendations on China by both Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (a letter in April 2006 on his Senate website) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (on her web site in 2005) on China.

Ms. Ho also fails to mention my most recent report, presented at Stanford last year, that focuses on technological competitiveness, and which cites favorably the comments on the National Science Foundation budget of Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski and House Science Committee ranking Democrat Bart Gordon, and other Democrats about the need to improve U.S...

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