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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Missile Defense System, Afghanistan

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R 220940Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6172
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS BEIJING 002718

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/CM, EAP/PA, EAP/PD, C
HQ PACOM FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR (J007)
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON KMDR OPRC CH
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM, AFGHANISTAN

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Editorial Quotes
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1. U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM

"Obama's new policy receives unprecedented criticism"

The official Communist Party international news publication Global
Times (Huanqiu Shibao)(09/22)(pg 1): "Obama's plan to reduce the
U.S. nuclear arsenal will surprise the world even more than his
decision to withdraw the plan for a missile defense system [in
Eastern Europe]. Although Obama's move has irritated conservatives
in the U.S., Chinese experts argued that he will be able to
implement his new policy despite conservatives' pressure. Niu
Xinchun, an international politics scholar, said the withdrawal of
the missile defense system shows that Obama is promoting a
neo-liberalist foreign policy, which is based on the idea that 'If I
treat you well, you will treat me well,' rather than the foreign
policy of the Bush administration, which was based on the idea that
'If I am stronger than you, you must treat me well.' Professor Han
Xudong argued, however, that giving up the missile defense system
has weakened the U.S.'s leadership. Allies of the United States
will feel like they are being fooled and will be less willing to
fight for the U.S. Obama may also change the U.S. strategy of
hedging its bets with regards to China, because he believes, 'If you
think China is an enemy, then China may really become an enemy.'
Obama's presidency may present an opportunity for U.S.-China
relations, one that China should grasp to develop friendship with,
not hostility towards, the U.S."

"U.S. missile defense plan changed; China should be wary"

The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal
(Shijie Xinwenbao)(pg 3): "Dai Xu, a renowned military expert, said
pressure from Europe may have eased tensions between the U.S. and
Russia. Major General Wang Haiyun, an expert in international
strategy, argued that the fact that the U.S. abandoned plans [for a
missile defense system in Eastern Europe] shows that the U.S. wanted
to ease European concerns and improve its relationship with Russia.
This was not a sudden decision by the U.S. government. Deploying a
missile defense system in Eastern Europe is not the optimal solution
from a technical standpoint. Cost savings and resource optimization
also influenced the decision. Song Xiaojun, a military expert, said
that the U.S. move may signal a strategic shift towards the
Asia-Pacific region. Dai Xu added that China will face increased
pressure from the U.S. due to the improvement in U.S.-Russia
relations. China should be particularly wary of greater U.S.
economic pressure. The U.S. has not stopped its efforts to set up a
missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region, which is
obviously targeted against China."

2. AFGHANISTAN

"U.S. will lose in Afghanistan if it does not send more troops"

The official popular newspaper Beijing Youth Daily (Beijing
Qingnianbao)(09/22)(pg B4): "In a recent assessment report, the top
U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said that the U.S. needs to
increase the number of troops in Afghanistan or it will lose the
war. The report argued that the U.S. also needs to adopt a new
strategy. Foreign troops have failed to protect the lives of
civilians, which makes them occupation troops. The new strategy's
primary goal should be winning the support of the Afghan people, not
launching attacks on armed forces. Experts argue that this
assessment has presented Obama with a difficult challenge since most
Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan. Obama is cautious about
sending more troops, but some Republican Congressmen have urged him
to make a decision quickly or risk a further deterioration of the
situation in Afghanistan."


HUNTSMAN

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