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The Latest News From China on Nanoweapons

Thursday, 01 December 2005 12:00 AM

On Monday, 11/21, the New York Times duly carried on its front page a column of four big photographs in color of President Bush against the background of the crimson wall of the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Sunday, 11/20/05. In the top photograph he is walking toward a door to exit. In the next photograph he finds that the door is locked – it is not an exit door. In the third photograph he is shown an exit door. And in the fourth photograph he exits through it.

Judging by the space and the prominence in color given by the New York Times to the event, this was the major world news on Sunday, 11/20/05.

Accompanying the column of photographs is a report in which President Bush says that the Sino-U.S. relationship is "good, vibrant, strong."

On previous occasions, the previous Chinese dictators (sorry to use a non-PC word) made token "human rights" gestures on the eve of the presidential visit, such as the release of some dissident whose arrest was especially notorious. Not Hu Jintao! Not a single token "human rights" gesture! Condi Rice offered a "brilliant" interpretation:

Incidentally, speaking shortly before to the Washington-based Center of Strategic and International Studies, Shintao Ishihara, governor of Tokyo, said that "Eastern countries" – Japan, Australia, India and South Korea – believe that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has pointed to U.S. weakness even in low-tech warfare. Mr. Ishihara said that U.S. ground forces are "extremely incompetent."

You can imagine how scared Hu was by Ms. Rice "pressing on human rights."

Another remarkable detail in the report of the New York Times attached to its four photographs in color, illustrating President Bush's exit:

In contrast to the New York Times, I am not a major newspaper that has correspondents in China about whom the Chinese dictator will think twice before arresting if they have said something that is not, in his opinion, politically correct. So I have to conceal the names of my correspondents, who on 11/20/05 reported to me the success in China of Eric Drexler, the American founder of nanotechnology, to whom the U.S. Congress has allocated not a cent for the Foresight Institute he founded in 1986. Why this scorn? Drexler's book of 1986 contains a chapter entitled "Engines of Destruction" about nano superweapons, which will make nuclear weapons obsolete.

Some U.S. businessmen in nonmilitary (commercial) fields of nanotechnology, who have been receiving allocations from the U.S. Congress, have been afraid that if Drexler's military warnings are taken seriously, the attempt to develop molecular nanoweapons as a deterrent ahead of China will take a lion's share of congressional nanotechnological allocations. Hence Drexler began to be personally denigrated in the United States as a charlatan who invented the possibility of nanoweapons.

Just as Einstein invented the possibility of nuclear weapons in his letter to Roosevelt in 1939? Oh no! Einstein was a scientist of genius, of course! As every reference book suggests today! But Drexler did not receive even a Nobel Prize! As one of his American detractors put it, his theory of molecular nanoweapons is good only for scaring little children!

On the other hand, Drexler's book of 1986 is on Web sites in China, and on 11/20/05 one of them (oursci.org) posted an article in Chinese, one paragraph of which reads, in translation into English, as follows:

Some partisans of a more conservative vision of Nanotechnology contest the feasibility of molecular manufacturing, and thus hold a conflicting long-term view to that of Eric Drexler, the foremost proponent of molecular manufacturing theory. It is important to keep this dissention in perspective however, because most of the researchers involved feel that the maturity of Nanotechnology is a positive development. ...

The Chinese Web site recommends five Web sites in the field. The first is for Drexler's Foresight Institute (www.foresight.org). Then follow the Chinese Web site nanovip.com and nanotech-now.com. The fourth is for CRN (www.crnano.org). (Few Americans know that the acronym means "Center for Responsible Nanotechnology," founded by Drexler's associates.) The final listing is for Howard Lovy's blog, http://nanobot.blogspot.com.

I know Lovy because we met at a Foresight Institute conference last year. But for those Chinese to know him! This is really "the United States in China"!

Not that the Chinese search for molecular nano superweapons began on 11/20/05. On June 15, 1996, the Chinese magazine National Defense carried an article entitled "Nanotech Weapons in Future Warfare" by Major General Sun Bailin of the Chinese Academy of Military Science. No U.S. military man has ever published such an article, though surely the United States is less secret, or more "transparent," than the dictatorship of China.

So, while President Bush spent, Sunday, 11/20/05, in China talking about Iraq and, if we are to believe Condi Rice, "pressing on human rights," time was not wasted by those Chinese who were looking forward to the Chinese superweapon that Drexler described in 1986, the year when Program 863 was founded in China to develop post-nuclear superweapons in seven fields. Today, 50 percent of Chinese students study nanotechnology, while the figure for the United States is 5 percent, and the population of China is more than four times that of the United States.

It seems that instead of any progress in human rights in China, about which the governor of Tokyo said, "I believe such predictions are totally wrong," Condi Rice will discover the Chinese ultimatum to the West and its allies, confronting them with (nano) annihilation, and they will be lucky if they surrender unconditionally.

The link to my book online is www.levnavrozov.com.

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On Monday, 11/21, the New York Times duly carried on its front page a column of four big photographs in color of President Bush against the background of the crimson wall of the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Sunday, 11/20/05.In the top photograph he is walking toward a...
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