Taming China

The always insightful Victor Davis Hanson has an article titled "How China 'Woke' America."

This could not have happened soon enough, because before being "woke," America was a pitiful giant with respect to China.  In every way imaginable, American leadership allowed China to take advantage of the U.S. and its citizens.  This woeful condition came about through matters large and small.  Look first at just some of the macro issues. 

For years, China was heisting American technology and intellectual property (I.P.) with abandon.  Through espionage and outright theft, it is estimated that this falls in the range of  between $225 to $600 billion each year

Imagine how many American middle-class jobs this represents.  This damage inflicted on the U.S. was not because the Chinese were so clever.  It came about because our political establishment and the corporate muckety-mucks not only turned a blind eye to this theft, but squelched any criticism of the arrangement.

On trade, the terms were deliberately skewed to favor China and its mercantile system.  This allowed China to amass hundreds of billions more in yearly trade surpluses.  And all this despite the fact that China is an authoritarian communist country that makes no secret of its ambitions to push the U.S. out of Asia and replace the post-WWII liberal world order with one of its own making. 

And it goes without saying, the I.P. thefts and trade surpluses are wealth extracted from the U.S. that China then uses to build its military. 

China has also infiltrated our universities and hi-tech companies on a massive scale.  This was an undeniable boon to China's ambition and a detriment to U.S. national interests.  But nobody seemed to care.  Money was being made by a select few, who made sure their views were heard in the halls of Congress.  

On smaller matters, here is my personal favorite because it says so much.  It's summarized by Fox News: "Former Coca-Cola scientist accused of stealing trade secrets to form a Chinese beverage rival." 

VDH says two things "woke" America to the Chinese threat.  First was China's obscene abuse of the trade system and our open society to unfairly enrich itself.  This overreach was becoming impossible to deny, although even today, Wall Street and many special-interest groups within the U.S. still try.  Perhaps that's understandable.  These big-moneyed elites have trillions of dollars at stake in keeping things just the way they were with China.

But even so, America may have continued in its stupor regarding China if it had not been for a catalyst by the name of Donald Trump.  He is the one who changed the paradigm on China.  Quoting Hanson: 

Donald Trump got elected president, all the while screaming that the Chinese emperor had no clothes.  The cheerleaders finally listened and admitted that China had been buck naked after all.

Make no mistake about it — the status quo that has prevailed since Bill Clinton threw open the American markets to China is over.  There will be no going back to business as usual.  The only question is what will be the rate of change in finding a new and fairer trade equilibrium.  With Trump winning in 2020, it will likely be pedal-to-the-metal speed.

The always insightful Victor Davis Hanson has an article titled "How China 'Woke' America."

This could not have happened soon enough, because before being "woke," America was a pitiful giant with respect to China.  In every way imaginable, American leadership allowed China to take advantage of the U.S. and its citizens.  This woeful condition came about through matters large and small.  Look first at just some of the macro issues. 

For years, China was heisting American technology and intellectual property (I.P.) with abandon.  Through espionage and outright theft, it is estimated that this falls in the range of  between $225 to $600 billion each year

Imagine how many American middle-class jobs this represents.  This damage inflicted on the U.S. was not because the Chinese were so clever.  It came about because our political establishment and the corporate muckety-mucks not only turned a blind eye to this theft, but squelched any criticism of the arrangement.

On trade, the terms were deliberately skewed to favor China and its mercantile system.  This allowed China to amass hundreds of billions more in yearly trade surpluses.  And all this despite the fact that China is an authoritarian communist country that makes no secret of its ambitions to push the U.S. out of Asia and replace the post-WWII liberal world order with one of its own making. 

And it goes without saying, the I.P. thefts and trade surpluses are wealth extracted from the U.S. that China then uses to build its military. 

China has also infiltrated our universities and hi-tech companies on a massive scale.  This was an undeniable boon to China's ambition and a detriment to U.S. national interests.  But nobody seemed to care.  Money was being made by a select few, who made sure their views were heard in the halls of Congress.  

On smaller matters, here is my personal favorite because it says so much.  It's summarized by Fox News: "Former Coca-Cola scientist accused of stealing trade secrets to form a Chinese beverage rival." 

VDH says two things "woke" America to the Chinese threat.  First was China's obscene abuse of the trade system and our open society to unfairly enrich itself.  This overreach was becoming impossible to deny, although even today, Wall Street and many special-interest groups within the U.S. still try.  Perhaps that's understandable.  These big-moneyed elites have trillions of dollars at stake in keeping things just the way they were with China.

But even so, America may have continued in its stupor regarding China if it had not been for a catalyst by the name of Donald Trump.  He is the one who changed the paradigm on China.  Quoting Hanson: 

Donald Trump got elected president, all the while screaming that the Chinese emperor had no clothes.  The cheerleaders finally listened and admitted that China had been buck naked after all.

Make no mistake about it — the status quo that has prevailed since Bill Clinton threw open the American markets to China is over.  There will be no going back to business as usual.  The only question is what will be the rate of change in finding a new and fairer trade equilibrium.  With Trump winning in 2020, it will likely be pedal-to-the-metal speed.