Sunday, March 20, 2005

Breaking news: Bush administration suddenly realizes it needs allies.

And isn't this just the ultimate in poetic justice:

... The Bush administration wants China to do more to force North Korea to halt its nuclear programme and come back to the negotiating table...

Last month, Pyongyang pulled out of six-party talks hosted by China on the issue.

But China says it has limited influence and the US should be more flexible.

"We need to resolve this issue, it cannot go on forever," said Ms Rice, before her arrival in Beijing.

It is a commonly held belief outside China that it holds the key to North Korea, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Beijing.

The logic is simple, he says - without Chinese grain, oil and coal, North Korea's economy would collapse in a matter of weeks.

The US secretary of state would like to see China using those levers to get the North Koreans back to the table and negotiating an end to their nuclear weapons programme

And I can just imagine how galling it must be for this administration to have to swallow their pride, and put their overwhelming arrogance to one side, and have to actually ask someone else for help. Oh, man, that has to hurt. And you just know that the Chinese are going to want some quid pro quo out of this. And oh, look, there it is:

President Hu Jintao told Ms Rice that its new law designed to limit Taiwan's independence ambitions promoted "peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits".

Washington has opposed the move, but Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, whom she also met on Sunday, told her he hoped the US would respect the law.

Dear Taiwan: you are so fucked.

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