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• Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Visits China
• China Carries Out Successful Manned Space Mission

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Visits China

10-18: Secretary Rumsfeld made his first visit to Beijing since the Bush administration came into office. Rumsfeld’s visit had been postponed since the EP-3 incident early on in President Bush’s first term. Rumsfeld met with senior Chinese military leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao, General Cao Gangchuan, and General Jing Zhiyuan.

Rumsfeld accused the Chinese government of underestimating their defense spending by as much as sixty billion. General Cao countered Rumsfeld’s remarks by arguing that even with adjusted exchange rates, such a disparity was unthinkable. While China is open about the fact that it does not include its space program’s expenditure in the budget, the US has criticized China for not including foreign military purchases and funds used to support the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

On the nuclear issue, General Jing assured Secretary Rumsfeld that China would never launch a first strike nuclear attack against the United States. Previously, there had been a public suggestion by a senior Chinese General that China should use nuclear weapons against the US in the event of a confrontation over Taiwan.

Following his trip to China, Rumsfeld traveled to South Korea.

China Carries Out Successful Manned Space Mission

10-17: Chinese astronauts successfully completed China’s second manned space mission—only the third country in the world to do so. The last manned space flight was in 2003. Chinese astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng spent five days in spacecraft orbiting the earth, before touching down on Sunday.

China places enormous importance in its space program. The Chinese view it as a source of national pride and international prestige. Within five years, China hopes to construct a space station and later put an astronaut on the Moon.

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