Defense Officials Tried to Reverse China Policy, Says Powell Aide – Jeff Stein

From the Congressional Quarterly:

The same top Bush administration neoconservatives who leap-frogged Washington’s foreign policy establishment to topple Saddam Hussein nearly pulled off a similar coup in U.S.-China relations”creating the potential of a nuclear war over Taiwan, a top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell says.

Lawrence B. Wilkerson, the U.S. Army colonel who was Powell’s chief of staff through two administrations, said in little-noted remarks early last month that “neocons” in the top rungs of the administration quietly encouraged Taiwanese politicians to move toward a declaration of independence from mainland China ” an act that the communist regime has repeatedly warned would provoke a military strike.

The top U.S. diplomat in Taiwan at the time, Douglas Paal, backs up Wilkerson’s account, which is being hotly disputed by key former defense officials. [Full text]

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