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Monday, October 24, 2016

U.S. Should Learn From China, Not Fear Its Rise

Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — I had dinner this week in Beijing with an elegant 85-year-old woman named He Liliang, who had one of the great front-row seats to history.

Her late husband, Huang Hua, translated for the journalist Edgar Snow when he conducted his famous interviews with Mao Zedong in 1936. Her father was Mao’s teacher, and instructed him in the work of Carl von Clausewitz, the German military strategist best known for his maxim that “war is the extension of politics by other means.”

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  • schwacke

    The core problem is that China’s environmental protection, human
    rights and nationally subsidized industrial policies create a massive and immoral cost advantage. Equalization is the solution; the creation of an environmental and humanitarian equalization tariff is the vehicle.

    Although ill-defined, there is a dollar value connected to protecting our environment and quality of life, and at least short term it is expensive. As a country we have decided it is money well spent, and we must aggressively protect that decision; at least within our borders.

    There is no question that countries which do not respect these values, while massively subsidizing exports, have a huge cost advantage in international commerce. We need to make adjustments in order to compete with them economically, and contrary to the beliefs of the short sighted, this does not mean lowering our standards to meet theirs. It does mean punishing the “dumping” which has all but killed many of our core manufacturing industries, including solar energy.

    Obviously, we cannot continue to subsidize these nations at the expense of our own; the goal has to be the creation of a level playing field. It is my opinion that as a nation, we need to immediately do the calculations needed to define the real and total costs of sound environmental policy, fair working conditions and good wages, and use these numbers as a factual basis for creating a meaningful solution to inequitably priced imports.

    Based on those calculations, the solution is the creation of an environmental and human exploitation levy to be placed on all countries who want access to our markets and whose humanitarian polices are below those we have adopted. For those who share our values, there would be little or no levy, for those who do not, the costs would be substantial. The proceeds would then be used to fund national technology initiatives.

    A related issue is countries who engage in espionage in order to gain our country’s military and industrial secrets. This is extremely expensive and must be aggressively rooted out and punished. In the case of China, this
    has been particularly pervasive. Our only possibilities for compensation is through the seizure of their assets which is impractical, or assessing large, long term, punitive levys on their goods and services while aggressively enforcing our anti-dumping laws.

    In my opinion, these actions would force countries like China, India and others to clean up their acts in order to compete fairly in international markets; while helping us attain the critically important goals of restoring our onshore manufacturing base and good paying jobs, the middle class, and upward mobility.

  • commserver

    The Chinese military budget is often not transparent. The PLA doesn’t announce its military budget, unlike the U.S. The U.S. Military is dependent on Congressional largess.

    It isn’t good idea to compare U.S. and Chinese budget using dollars and cents. Remember that the cost of living in China is much lower. Therefore the cost of labor, which is by the way the allure of our moving manufacturing to Chinese, is lower.

    There is also the use of CYBERWAR. Cyberwar is going on today.

    The Chinese had T88 tanks from the 1980’s? What about the pictures from the National Day military parades. Go to the following site:

    I say keep a wary eye on China.

  • [email protected]

    It is an elusive opportunity for you to play at face-to-face. As there are so many problems lying ahead between the USA and China, such as currency rate, uneven trades deficit, human right, China’s military development threatening the safety of western Pacific,…., why not level them more or less? Maybe you are overcomed by the taste of Peking dug, Mao Tai wine,…, and its soft words. Few of visitors there could have such smooth tone like you to them and bring back to appease the worrying manner to Chinese playing. I hope more like you to go there so that the USA could have living on high easy chair.

  • michael nola

    Thank you, Jonathan Alter for revealing your inside the Beltway bonafides. You seem to think that since China is not and has no intention to be a military threat to us, that they are no threat at all. Ridiculous.

    The greatest power any nation can have is its economy, and only idiots like the USA think otherwise by putting far to much of their national treasure and resources into non productive but so alluring military prowess.

    History is clear; any nation that seeks global dominance by military means, which we clearly do, has chosen eventual collpase.

  • dcole

    I think Schwacke’s comments about creating a level playing field for production is definitely worth pursuing. We should require that imports into our country should have been produced with concern for the workers and the environment–and Michael Nola is correct in saying that economic strength is crucial in effecting real change. China is embracing Capitalism. But like our own country, there needs to be regulations and standards to prevent greed from corrupting society and the environment.

  • chinabrett

    Are you kidding me? American values. Oh you mean like American corporations bleeding the middle class dry, you mean regulations on corporations that allow them to ship jobs overseas to China and then blame China for an imbalance….Please! give me a break. America and Americans have no right to chastise any other country until they get their own house in order, and that just isn’t happening.

  • marshall95111

    who said we scare of China or any nation. The only fear which we are facing is a weak and untrusted President. We fear because he made us looked so.
    By the way, do not believe Chinese government. You are dead wrong about this “Red Evil” the suck you dry before you know it.

  • schwacke

    Unfortunately, I cannot attach graphics of the new aircraft carrier which they have in development, if reports are correct, it will be ready in 2015 and will be spectacular in all respects.

    The question is not whether or not they have a right to develop their military, of course they do. The question is whether they have the right to do it with stolen US technology, and whether we will stand idly by while they eat our lunch. Obviously, there are other question like how could we be so stupid as to let this happen, but most importantly what do we do about it now?

    As many others have pointed out, financial strength is the ultimate weapon, and as the world’s largest economy, we still have a small window in time to utilize it.

    In my opinion, we must use this power while we still can.

  • RobertChapman

    The U.S. defense budget of nearly $700 billion is roughly six times as large as China’s and more than twice the percentage of gross domestic product.

    The above statement taken from Jonathan Alter’s article, Don’t Fear China, is seriously misleading. China still operates as a command economy. There is little or no market discipline and no open political process directing the allocation of their resources. The accounting methods they do not promote transparency or clear understanding of what resourecs are allocated or how public funds are used.

    It is probably true that the US has a bigger defense budget and it is demonstrably true that the US has a sizeable military advantage in terms of the weapons that project power, but it is not a foregone conclusion that these advantages will continue to decisively offset the Chinese advantages of propinquity and sheer magnitude of forces in contested areas along China’s borders.

  • bedix

    I have always thought that it was so stupid for America not to make friends with China. The people of China are so creative and industrious. America can learn a few things from the Chinese culture. Finally, we have done what should have always been: We have reached out to people of another culture. Westerners really find this hard to do for some reason. I will not attempt to explain at the present time.

  • dadsspook58

    Just remember what Mao tse-Tung said, we will wait our time for eventually we will take America, too. She will allow us to do so because she will self-destruct from inside. There are still some party members who are very much radical communists left, who would love to take us over, just ask the Tiannamen Square protesters.

  • Integra

    Given a chance to choose between China and US. I am more inclined to vote for China to be the progenitor of tensions in-between the region of the southern seas; mainly because of Chinas singular stance and attitude in dealing the dispute over The Spratley’s. That’s very unprofessional to say the least. Attitudes doesnt need to be dragged into the bargaining table knowing that the claim is relatively preposterous.


    Everyone has to abide by the same set of rules. No prefferential treatment for making the rules or paying more in fees for the same. The more invested will yield more in compinsation in and of itself. This will free the markets up so people wont have to create things out of thin air to benefit the few at the majorities expense.