China to an appeasement-minded U.S.: 'You die, I live'

These words by my  friend of 54 years, Arthur Waldron, as published in the Oct. 31 Wall Street Journal, have  rightfully gotten a lot of attention. They come from his remarks at an Oct. 2 conference in New York.

Today the People’s Republic has decided to abandon even talk of liberalization. She wants a Party dictatorship without end. She has no interest now in the United States.

We Americans do not yet entirely recognize that this change of course has been determined in China. . . . We believe other cultures will understand our gestures as we mean them: our hand proffered for a handshake, our attempt to walk a mile in their moccasins, our gestures of restraint, will signal desire for peace and understanding, even friendship. That is the message we are trying to send.

How does the Chinese government receive it? Not at all as intended, but as the opposite.

The official Chinese reaction will be, “We have successfully intimidated Washington to the point she won’t even mention us. The Americans are weak, irresolute, and when it comes to it, craven. We can deal with them and drive them out of Asia.”

“Compromise” is a scarce concept in Chinese theories of conflict. Rather the phrase they use is ni si wo huo—“you die, I live.” That is not “win-win.” …

Let me conclude with my deepest worry, which is the {U.S.} acceptance and normalization, as it were, of the …hideously oppressive PRC.

The Dalai Lama comes in past the garbage cansto the White House. We are the United Bloody States of America, as Churchill might have put it. …So since when does Beijing get to tell us how to treat our guests? We should tell them—write a protest, hand it to our deputy under assistant secretary and we will file it. And the Dalai Lama should go in from the front door and into the Oval Office.