These are questions for the future, along with ‘when did we become the bad guys?’
But since we aim to stay ahead of the news cycle, we will ask now:
Does China threaten to invade California? Does it hijack US ships…and crucify the crews in Tiananmen Square? What did it do that was so bad?
The answer is, of course, nothing. But it doesn’t need to do anything. It only has to exist — as a commercial rival…as a ‘strategic competitor’…as an alternative way of doing things. That’s enough to set the great US jaw against it.
The latest boondoggle war — in the Ukraine — is not going so well.
‘Now, two months into that offensive and with summer’s end nearing, that scenario looks increasingly unlikely. The Ukrainian offensive has by all accounts stalled, as often exhausted, inexperienced, and hastily trained troops are running headfirst into dug-in and heavily mined Russian defences, at [a] horrific human cost.
‘This is all being reported, too, in major [US] media, including CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times. These and other outlets, which have been explicitly supportive of Ukraine’s war effort, have begun painting quite a bleak picture of the situation on the ground.
‘Ukrainian forces are expending material at an unsustainable rate, using up 90,000 shells a month when the Pentagon is only producing a third of that, while 20% of the NATO weaponry it deployed was damaged or destroyed in the first two weeks. In light of the limited gains made by the offensive, President Joe Biden is now asking Congress for US$20.6 billion more in aid for Ukraine, stressing that “the US is committed to maintaining strong global opposition to Russia’s illegal war.”’
But while the Biden Administration is keen to stay in its quagmire on the Eurasian steppes, US foreign policy experts are ‘pivoting’ towards a more dangerous boondoggle. The ‘neo-realists’ are urging the US to prepare for a showdown with a new enemy: China.
Counter to intelligence
China has sent the US about US$1 billion worth of goods per day for the last 10 years…and gotten only dollars in exchange. (That’s roughly the net trade deficit over that period).
What thanks does it get? The FBI:
‘The counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the Government of China and the Chinese Communist Party are a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the US.’
The Washington Post elaborates, ‘China harvests masses of data on Western targets, documents show’:
‘These include a US$320,000 Chinese state media software program that mines Twitter and Facebook to create a database of foreign journalists and academics; a US$216,000 Beijing police intelligence program that analyses Western chatter on Hong Kong and Taiwan; and a cyber centre in Xinjiang, home to most of China’s Uyghur population, that catalogues the mainly Muslim minority group’s language content abroad.
‘“Now we can better understand the underground network of anti-China personnel,” said a Beijing-based analyst who works for a unit reporting to China’s Central Propaganda Department.’
Horrors! China is listening in. And here’s CNBC:
‘“China is a growing threat to national security, US companies and [US] workers,” US Commerce Secretary [Gina] Raimondo says.
‘“Over the past decade, China’s leaders have made clear that they do not plan to pursue political and economic reform and are instead pursuing an alternative vision of their country’s future,” Raimondo said in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
‘Raimondo said Chinese leaders have made it apparent over the last decade that “increasing the role of the state society and economy,” “constraining the free flow of capital”, and “decoupling in technology areas of the future” is more important than political and economic reform.’
What to make of it? Is this a real thing…is there a real threat buried somewhere in those words? Or is this like the ‘conspiracy’ charges against Donald Trump…with so much swirling bluff and bluster it’s hard to find evidence of a real crime.
China is interfering with its own businesses. It is telling people where they can and can’t invest their money. It is not planning to ‘pursue political and economic reform.’ Instead, gasp! It has an ‘alternative vision.’
In other words, China is making mistakes. Surely it will suffer from its overbearing central planning. Surely it will lose market share and growth, because of its lack of ‘reform.’ No doubt, it will fall behind as it pursues its ‘alternative vision.’
More broadly, an economy run by communists is bound to be a disaster. After all, what do political hacks, whether they be in Beijing or Washington, know about capital allocation? When were their ‘investments’ ever not failures?
What luck! You’d think US experts would be delighted; they have found an enemy that is even more badly governed than we are. They should welcome China’s many weaknesses and errors. ‘Never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake,’ advised Napoleon.
Instead, they rant and rave…and rattle their sabers. The empire has found its next target.
For The Daily Reckoning Australia