Sat, Feb 12, 2011 - Page 1 News List

F-16s a test of US support: academic

STRATEGIC UNEASE:One speaker worried that cultural misunderstandings could trigger a situation that spins out of control in a way that neither side wants to see

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in WASHINGTON

“If you are the top country, you have to discipline those below, otherwise they will throw you off your palm tree. In international relations, the Chinese use force regularly. They never use force as the sole instrument, they don’t have a separation of political and military policy. Conditions for the use of force are very carefully prepared. An environment is created by statements, by incidents short of force, by a stress on grievances, by arguments,” he added.

When force was used, the Chinese wanted it to be “almost instantaneously decisive,” Waldron said.

“What I worry about most is that for a variety of cultural reasons, one of these incidents could trigger a situation which would then get out of control in a way that neither the Chinese nor the rest of us would want,” he said.

Assistant US Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell delivered an off-the-record keynote address to the conference.

While it was not possible under the rules to report on the speech, sources said that Campbell did not deal with issues directly involving Taiwan.

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