The Lesson of the Chinese Invasion

– Isn’t this how America took over much of Central and South America 50 to 100 years ago?   Selling them things they didn’t have, gaining control of their markets and buying up control of their natural resources?

– And then, eventually, as the Americans moved behind the scenes, right wing dictatorships friendly to American interests were installed so that the money from the local resources could keep flowing to the US and so that any local political unrest was kept in check?

– Many left-wing students of American foreign policy over the last 2 or 3 decades will recognize these patterns.   Allende, Copper & Chile and Nicaragua’s Sandinistas and Contras are just two arch-typical stories of this genre. 

– So, the wheel of history turns and the Chinese nw are only doing what rising economic powers do; which is to seek more of the same.    And the greed of the naive and unsuspecting for lower prices in their target markets makes it all quite easy for them.   And all the money returns home to China and the standard of living of the Chinese people rise each year and their military is rapidly advancing from third-world quality to first-wolrd.

– What part of this “writing on the wall” can students of history not see?

– But amazingly, the short terms benefits always drive us like lemmings bound for their cliff jumps, to stock our stores with cheap Chinese gee-gaws.  And while the cheaply manufactured stuff pours into our countries, our cash goes the other way and day by day we deliver increasing power over us to them.

– Even here in my new country, New Zealand, the big box stores are jammed with cheap gee-gaws.   And the currently ascendant National Party (a rough analog of the US’s Republican Party) is busy passing laws to allow the country to sell off chucks of it essential infrastructure; Electric power generation, rail systems, etc.   The say that they believe not more than 10 to 20% will be sold so we will still retain control.  But, significantly, they’ve put no legal limits on how much can be sold – so they don’t offend or scare off the buyers.  (right!).

– They are saying that we need to do this to raise capital to fund other infrastructure projects that the nation needs.   As a first-order argument, that sounds, perhaps, reasonable.   But turn the crank one more round, and those new infrastructures will also need to be sold to fund the next round.  And so on.

– How sweet for the offshore buyers; an entire country building itself up very nicely and selling itself off as it does so.   Eventually, we’ll have a very nice country with lots of excellent infrastructure here.   And all owned by someone else.

– Going down this path, either here or in the US, how long will it be before the Chinese’s unlimited money is controlling who is winning elections?   And how long before they’ve installed a majority of people in the government who are deeply sympathetic to Chinese interests?   After that, it’s a single inevitable step to a nation becoming a Banana Republic to the Chinese juggernaut – much like many nations in Central and South America were when the American hegemony was at its apex.

– To my Chinese friends and readers  this is not an anti-Chinese flame I’ve written.   I fully believe that if it was Brazil, or India or any of a dozen other countries, the results would be the same.    This is all driven by human greed for power and control.  And the fact that it is the Chinese who are just now sitting in the global power spot, is just a coincidence of history and not an indictment of them as a people.

– dennis

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Many economic Nostradamuses have long predicted that the epitaph on America’s tombstone will ultimately read, “Made In China.” But casual observers probably didn’t think the funeral procession would happen this fast. In the last year, though, most have wised up. Thanks to a spate of mind-blowing headlines, we are learning that the Chinese invasion isn’t just a distant possibility — it’s happening right now.

First, in February, ABC News reported that almost every Americana-themed trinket sold in the Smithsonian Institute is made in China. Then news hit that San Francisco is importing its new bay bridge from China. Then came the New York Times dispatch about the Big Apple awarding Chinese state-subsidized firms huge taxpayer-funded contracts to “renovate the subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium.”

Astounding as all of that is, it was quickly topped by news last week reminding us that the new Martin Luther King monument in Washington was designed by a Chinese government sculptor and assembled by low-wage Chinese workers.

The trend is enough to trouble any American. After all, when a memorial for a civil rights leader who deplored “starvation wages” and died supporting a sanitation union’s strike is built by non-union serfs from China, it’s a good sign there’s a big problem.

But then, what exactly is that problem?

Xenophobes will say China’s ascendance threatens America’s global cultural hegemony and promises to create a dystopia forcing us all to endure the supposed horrors of speaking Mandarin and using chopsticks.

Such misguided and bigoted demagoguery, though, distracts from the real crisis staring at us in our own mirror — a crisis not of other, but of self. Indeed, for all the fears of external assault, the Chinese invasion tells us the true problem is that America is no longer willing or able to invest in its own future.

– To read more…

 

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