US-Sino relations keep on exacerbating

Signs of another point of disagreement between China and the US start to show. US Defence Minister Donald Ramsfeld has ordered that all contacts between the Chinese and US military should be suspended for an unspecified period of time, Pentagon spokesmen has announced. The relationships between the Chinese and American military have long been tense, so the latest move seems to many quite natural. Still, this information has caused a real confusion. A Pentagon spokesman has said the initial order - released to the media only two hours earlier - was a mistake, based on a misinterpretation of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's intentions. According to the latest version, Mr. Rumsfeld had in fact ordered a review of all contacts and activities with the Chinese military on a case-by-case basis, but one of his aides misunderstood him. Despite official assurances, it is still unclear whether the rescinded order was just an administrative error, according to BBC. The newspaper of China's Communist Party, the People's Daily, has meanwhile published a strongly worded personal attack on President George W Bush. An article in the paper's Thursday edition accused Mr. Bush of being egotistical and driven by a personal desire for attention. The paper said this desire not to be seen as a weak president lay behind his decisions to sell weapons to Taiwan, to push ahead with building a missile defence system and his handling of the spy plane crisis with China. The latest confusion comes at a delicate moment in Sino-US relations. True, American civil technicians have been allowed to examine the spy plane on Hainan Island - which was forced to land after a mid-air collision with a Chinese fighter jet. Still, China has not yet given permission for the aircraft to be taken back to the US. So, the relations between the two countries have come under increasing strain since President George W. Bush was inaugurated in January. Now, the US military leadership has announced plans to start searches for US servicemen missing on the Chinese territory since the World War II. In turn, China has reacted to US plans to sell arms to Taiwan by sending its 2 warships to the island.

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