The New York Times reports on a rare public rebuke of President Bush by a senior Chinese official. Ye Xiaowen, director of China’s State Bureau of Religious Affairs, wrote in the overseas edition of People’s Daily:
“The more they oppose terrorism, the more terror they produce,” Mr. Ye said in the article. “How many more troops will they send to die in the meat grinder” of Iraq.
Mr. Ye wrote that Mr. Bush had effectively “hijacked” one religion, Christianity, to engage in a battle against another one, Islam. That has strengthened Islamic fundamentalists and made the war unwinnable, he contended.
“Unilateralism and terrorism breed each other, but neither can overcome the other,” he wrote.
While such assessments of Mr. Bush’s leadership are not new among his opponents in the United States and abroad, Chinese officials generally take pains to maintain cordial relations with Washington. Beijing remained on the sidelines when the United States invaded Iraq, and Chinese officials have refrained from commenting extensively on the difficulties the American military has faced there. [Full text]
UPDATE: A translation of the text of Ye Xiaowen’s article is available via the China Elections and Governance website.