News Release

Tension with China: Interviews Available


In the aftermath of a U.S. spy plane landing in China, the following analysts are available for interviews:

Author of Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of “Market Socialism,” Weil said today: “The Bush administration has clearly taken a more confrontational attitude toward China from the start. Such a stance is bound to lead to these types of tense situations. What would the reaction be if the Chinese were routinely patrolling with spy planes off of Long Island? I don’t think it would be particularly well-received, especially if a situation like this occurred.”

Co-director of the Project on Defense Alternatives and editor of the “Chinese Military Power” web page, Conetta said today: “China spends a smaller percentage of its much smaller wealth on the military than we do, about the equivalent of $60 billion per year — we spend about five times as much. People have focused on China increasing its military spending, but over the last decade, China has actually lost ground when you look at military spending in the regional context, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and India. They’re doing their best to modernize, but China remains the largest military museum in the world.”
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A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency, now senior fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Madsen has written on espionage for periodicals such as Covert Action Quarterly.
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Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said today: “This is very provocative action by the U.S. off the coast of China. The argument that this plane is U.S. sovereign territory is without merit. It would normally have immunity, but that is compromised when you’re spying, like the Gary Powers case, though that went directly over the USSR. The U.S. would never tolerate similar behavior by China; we maintain a 200-mile Air Defense Intercept Zone. Just because we say that this is international airspace doesn’t mean that the Chinese accept it; this area in the South China Sea is highly disputed.”

Professor of law at Ohio State University specializing in international law, Quigley is coauthor of a law review article, “Foreigners on Texas’ Death Row and the Right of Access to a Consul.” He said today: “The administration is correct in demanding that U.S. consul have contact with the air personnel. However, that procedure is routinely ignored by U.S. law enforcement, which rarely informs foreigners that they have the right to contact their consul at the time of their arrest — there are about 70 such individuals currently on death row. Germany is currently litigating a case involving two Germans who were executed but not told at the time of their arrest that they could contact the German consul.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020