The Bush administration is bowing to not-so-peacefully rising China when it comes to two important issues--North Korean arms proliferation and Taiwanese freedom.
1. North Korea. The Stalinist/Kimist/criminal regime has actually stepped up its proliferation activities under cover of the flawed, six-party denuclearization deal, as shown by satellite images and other evidence of North Korean-Syrian nuclear cooperation. But appeasement-minded diplomats in the US State Department downplay the alarming developments because they are desperate to show progress in Korea. Advocates of appeasing Pyongyang also ignore its continued close cooperation--and coordination--with Iran. And the US appeasement camp resists pressure to demand a full accounting from North Korea and China, even though it is inconceivable that China was not aware of what its vassal was up to in the Middle East.
2. Taiwan. The island nation--a thriving democracy that has been self-ruled since 1949--deserves and needs to be a member of the United Nations. UN membership could deter China from making good on its vow to take Taiwan back by force if negotiations to peacefully reunify fail to produce a deal on China's terms. But the Bush administration strongly opposes Taiwan's UN bid. The administration is basically betraying brave little Taiwan in an attempt to appease China. One reason: the administration still hopes to obtain China's support for new sanctions on Iran. Another reason: the embattled administration is intimidated by China, worn out by the war in Iraq, intellectually exhausted and incapable of dealing with more crises and confrontation. Still another reason: China has powerful friends within the administration and across the US foreign policy establishment. Like the lobby for Saudi Arabia, the China lobby can be expected to fight tooth and nail to protect the self-serving economic interests that its members conflate with the US national interest.