According to the Japanese government the aircraft in question was supposedly a Chinese Y-8 airborne warning plane (a four engine turboprop). However, the idiots at the Irish Times headlined the story as “Japanese warplanes scrambled after Chinese fighter jets enter airspace”.
“The Defense Department, with Feith, Cambone, Wolfowitz [and] Rumsfeld, was dispatching a person to Taiwan every week...essentially to tell Chen Shui-bian...that independence was a good thing.”
Wilkerson said Powell would then dispatch his own envoy “right behind that guy, every time they sent somebody, to disabuse the entire Taiwanese national security apparatus of what they’d been told by the Defense Department.”
“This went on,” he said of the pro-independence efforts, “until George Bush weighed in and told Rumsfeld to cease and desist [and] told him multiple times to re-establish military-to-military relations with China.”
Wilkerson’s account was supported by Douglas Paal, former head of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy in Taipei.
“In the early years of the Bush administration,” Paal said by e-mail last week, “there was a problem with mixed signals to Taiwan from Washington. This was most notably captured in the statements and actions of Ms. Therese Shaheen, the former AIT chair, which ultimately led to her departure.”Therese Sheehan was the previous head of AIT—and was married to Larry DeRita, Rumsfeld’s chief press flack at the Pentagon. She used her bully pulpit to push for Taiwan independence and support the credibility of the DoD approach until Colin Powell demanded her resignation and she was removed in 2004
In 2007, James Fallows recounted another anecdote concerning the Cheney China mindset conveyed to him by ex-US Senator Gary Hart:
As Dana Milbank reported at the time:
Then there were the intentional slights. China wanted a formal state visit such as Jiang [Zemin] got, but the administration refused, calling it instead an "official" visit. Bush acquiesced to the 21-gun salute but insisted on a luncheon instead of a formal dinner, in the East Room instead of the State Dining Room. Even the visiting country's flags were missing from the lampposts near the White House.
The capper to the disastrous visit was the outburst during Hu’s speech on the White House lawn by Dr Wang Wenyi of the Falun Gong spiritual practice movement, who gained access to the speech as a credentialed correspondence.
US news reports first concentrated on Dr. Wang’s dire—and legally more problematic statements—along the lines of “President Hu, your days are numbered!”
Subsequent reports concentrated on the more civil disobedience-styled Let My People Goisms such as “President Bush, stop him from persecuting Falun Gong!”. More recent reports merely described Dr. Wang as “pleading with Bush to stop the Chinese president from persecuting the Falun Gong”.
Ming Pao reported more categorically that Dr. Wang declaimed in a piercing voice, shouting exhortations such as “Heaven will destroy the Chinese Communists”, “Leave the Party”, “10 million heroes have left the party, when will you leave?”, “Judge Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang” and “Falun Practice is Great”.
Bush and Hu looked up, stunned. It took so long to silence her - a full three minutes - that Bush aides began to wonder if the Secret Service's strategy was to let her scream herself hoarse. The rattled Chinese president haltingly attempted to continue his speech and television coverage went to split screen.
The Epoch Times, extensively distributed in the United States as a free newspaper, was widely known as the organ of the Falun Gong, which had been at loggerheads with the Chinese Communist Party ever since the Chinese government suppressed its practice as subversive in 1999.
And, beyond Falun Gong’s well-known hostility to the Chinese Communist Party and Dr. Wang’s central role in Falung Gong’s most impassioned crusade against the Chinese regime, her prior personal history of confronting Hu Jintao was a matter of public record.
Hu did. The Chinese had warned the White House to be careful about who was admitted to the ceremony. To no avail: They granted a one-day pass to Wang Wenyi of the Falun Gong publication Epoch Times. A quick Nexis search shows that in 2001, she slipped through a security cordon in Malta protecting Jiang (she had been denied media credentials) and got into an argument with him. [emphasis added]
"It's hugely embarrassing," said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at the Pentagon and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
China "must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn't control this is going to play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust about American intentions toward China."
The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced "trilateral" security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.
That declaration put security, intelligence and military relations on the highest level they have been since World War II.
Maybe "rising Japan" really is a source of instability in East Asia.