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By Owen Paine on Wednesday March 12, 2008 01:27 PM

Mr Y -- my man at the bottom of Foggy Bottom's great-game pile -- now sends me e-mails from time to time. His half-drunk late-night phone calls seem to be a thing of the past. Perhaps he has a girlfriend. Here's his latest:





Very funny, Y. I clicked over to China Matters:


... a great site for sideliners like me interested in great-game antics -- kung fu division. They give us the gist:


Apparently what got Y excited was a think piece by one Tian Wenlin of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. Comrade Tian, it seems, wants to be the admiral Mahan of Han chauvinism:

"Looking at the four conflicts [First Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq War], the bigger the discrepancy between US and opposing forces, the easier it is to provoke an American desire to attack -- Saddam Hussein voluntarily destroyed his weapons of mass destruction, thereby allowing America to attack without worry. In the opposite example, North Korea -- "
China Matters remarks:
"China's rising paranoiacs will find a goodly amount to chew on in Tian's conclusion that military strength -- specifically, naval strength and aircraft carriers, lots of them! -- are necessary to secure China's economic progress."
There's a nice by-the-way quote from Iran's prez Ahmadinejad:
"If this question [nuke building] is resolved, the United States would bring up human rights. If human rights were resolved, they'd bring up animal rights."

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