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With the implementation of President Trump’s tariffs last month, China is all the talk in the world of trade. The tariffs in question place $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports following a seven-month investigation into intellectual property theft. These actions against China are much needed and long overdue: about 20 years overdue to be exact.
Since the 1990s and especially since the beginning of the 21st century, we have seen a huge expansion of the Chinese economy and and increase in their global influence.
The Chinese have expanded and modernized their military and technological capabilities, reached heavily into the African, Asian and European continents for control of resources, and have built militarized man-made islands in the South China Sea. Yet with all this, the West is sitting idle and has not done much to respond to this growing menace.
This is partly because of Western capitulation to the draw of cheap manufactured goods and labor costs at the expense of the American worker. Products, services, and companies that Americans use on a daily basis gradually have come under the control of Chinese government corporate proxies. There is no such thing as separation between government and corporate interests in China, which is something many Westerners fail to understand. Moreover, prominent Western politicians are being paid off to maintain lopsided trade deals that favor the Chinese.
No wonder these politicians and corporate leaders are deriding tariffs. They know that the jig is up and their free ride on the ‘free trade’ train is over. To the dismay of the “Republican” leadership, Trump has begun to overturn years ‘ worth of work designed (wittingly or not) to empower a hostile foreign entity that entrenched itself across the world and into our own society.
In the years since Mao Zedong’s death, China has grown exponentially in terms of military and economic strength. Under the leadership of Den Xiaoping and successive leaders, China went from being a poor, Marxist, economically downtrodden nation to a powerful global manufacturing and military giant. It has opened its doors to foreign investment and manufacturing, knowing that foreign corporations would rather take advantage of the cheap labor in China than employ citizens of their own nations. In so doing, the West has empowered a hostile foreign nation that has every intention of reviving the glory of its historical dynasties.
China’s intentions are evident in the doctrines of the PRC and in the statements made by prominent military and political leaders of the Chinese government. In retired People’s Liberation Army Colonel Liu Mingfu’s book, The China Dream, he states “China’s job is to create a civilization that grows without conquest, a non-conquering civilization.” He continues, “To use non-conquering methods to create a non-conquering civilization is China’s responsibility. It is the demand of China to create a new world order that prefers peace, development, freedom and cooperative civilization. Chinese civilization’s traditions and cultural heritage will be able to accomplish this important task.” “Non-conquering” or not, the goal is domination and the “peace” they seek is the peace that accompanies submission. If this quote doesn’t send shivers down your spine, I’m not sure what will.
Over the last decade, the United States has seen its industries gradually taken over by various different Chinese corporations. Little do most Americans know that they empower these corporate proxies of the Communist Party of China (CCP) every day. A number of well-known U.S. companies have been bought out and taken over. These include:
Starwood Hotels: Purchased by Anbang Insurance for $14.3 billon in March 2016
Smithfield Foods: Purchased by Shuanghui International for $7.1 billion in May 2013
Ingram Micro: Purchased by Tianjin Tianhai Investment Development Co. in February 2016.
General Electric Appliance Business: Purchased by Qingdao Haier Co. in June 2016
Terex Corporation: Attempted by Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science, but acquisition negations ultimately fell apart.
Legendary Entertainment: Purchased by Dalian Wanda in January 2016
Motorola Mobility: Purchased by Lenovo in January 2014
AMC Entertainment Holdings: Purchased by Dalian Wanda in May 2012
These are only a handful of the largest buyouts by major Chinese corporations. Remember, any Chinese company is either state-owned or beholden to the Communist government in some way. Given the deep political and business ties between Communist Party officials and corporate heads, it’s hard to distinguish corporate interests from national interests. In effect, the Chinese Communist Party is insinuating itself in key foreign industries in order to exercise greater political and economic influence abroad. This is happening all over Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Australia, and yes, even the United States.
As Peter Schweizer highlighted in his new book, Secret Empires, the depth of Chinese infiltration is astonishing. Two of the biggest American political families have had direct dealings with the PRC. According to Schweizer’s findings, in 2013 When Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were conducting sensitive diplomatic work with the Chinese, Biden’s son, Hunter, landed a $1.5 million business deal with the bank of China. This deal happened during these sensitive talks, as Hunter travelled with his father to China for this meeting.
But it’s not just Democrats who have been taken in by Chinese designs. In 2008, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao received between $5 Million and $25 million from Chao’s father, James Chao who is the founder and senior chairman of the Foremost Group, an international shipping and trading company. The Foremost Group is a direct military contractor for the PRC. Elaine’s sister, Angela, sits on the board of directors for The Bank of China. Since marrying Chao, McConnell’s anti-China stance has softened significantly.
With Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, the United States has taken a hard stance against Chinese neo-mercantilist and expansionist trade practices. His top appointments on trade—Robert Lighthizer, Wilbur Ross, and Peter Navarro— have, like Trump, all warned about the encroaching economic imperialism of the Chinese and are pushing policies that will address China on this matter.
In the last two decades, China has emerged as an international power rivaling that of the United States. Economically, technologically and militarily, China is catching up to us. The United States has been asleep at the wheel for far too long and Trump’s $50 billion in tariffs are only the beginning to of a shift in policy and understanding that will be required to take on China in their game of global dominance.
Photo credit: Vitaly NevarTASS via Getty Images