Beware Bush warriors masquerading as Clintonites

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 December, 2004, 12:00am

America must be a terribly inhospitable place for Clintonites these days, but what are all these advisers to the most recent Democrat president doing in Hong Kong?

In the past two weeks, former US anti-terrorism tsar Richard Clarke and Neal Lane and Kenneth Lieberthal, respectively the top science and China advisers to Bill Clinton, have arrived to share their wisdom on, among other things, cyber-crime, nanotechnology and the challenges facing the new Beijing leadership.

Mr Clarke's bestseller, Against All Enemies, caused such loathing in the White House when it came out in March that he must qualify as an uber-Clintonite. You might think Mr Clarke was the most topical of the trio, but I would argue the other two, or at least the views they represent, are far more relevant, and possibly dangerous, if you happen to live on either side of the Taiwan Strait.

Professor Lieberthal has been advocating a rethink of the one-China policy and is calling for greater diplomatic freedom for Taiwan. Understandably, he didn't talk much about that during this trip at the invitation of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, for the opening of its new China studies centre.

The university also invited Professor Lane to deliver a keynote speech at a nanotech experts' conference yesterday. The physicist spoke at length about the US National Nanotechnology Initiative, which all sounded harmless until you turn to its website with the stated goal: 'The NNI provides a multi-agency framework to ensure US leadership in nanotechnology that will be essential to improved human health, economic well-being and national security.'

Sounds like a world-domination scheme of the Bush administration.

Perhaps those two Clintonites are actually Bushies in disguise?