The China Treat #in

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The China “Threat”

Everywhere you look, reporters, commentators, and policy wonks are examining the threats posed by the resurgent Middle Kingdom.
China has been busy modernizing its weapons systems.
These efforts include the deployment of cruise missiles similar to the ones that the United States uses in Pakistan, Yemen
John Gapper has an insightful column on the Chinese economic model, and how many of its state-owned companies are appropriating other countries’ intellectual capital.
CSR acquired much of its technological know-how from one of its former partners, Kawasaki Heavy Industries—the firm that constructed many of the original bullet trains in Japan. China is “determined to gain technological ascendancy by any means possible,” Gapper writes, “including taking western technology and reworking it just enough to claim it as its own
In acquiring know-how from abroad, protecting its infant industries, and using the levers of the state to hasten development, it is following a blueprint that most other developed countries used at some point—from Britain, to the United States, to Japan, to Taiwan and South Korea, to India. Indeed, as I argued in an essay in this week’s magazine, the Chinese mode of development—“state capitalism” is the phrase often used to describe it—rather than being something radical and new, can be seen as the country’s greatest knock-off. To quote myself: “Far from subverting the Western way of doing business, the developing world is, at last, stealing some of its tricks.”
Q: Who or what built the Internet? A: It wasn’t anybody who worked in the private sector.
This is a country that, in the nineteenth century, the West attacked and subjugated purely for commercial reasons. American school kids (and American adults) don’t know much, if anything, about the two Opium Wars, but in China they are an ever-present reminder of national humiliation. In the twentieth century, China suffered a devastating civil war and eventually adopted a particularly disastrous type of Communist ideology that, for five decades, impoverished the country while turning it into an international pariah.
rom its vast purchases of Treasury bonds to its central role in lowering the cost of many consumer goods, China is an invaluable trade partner of the United States, and should be treated as such rather than as a potential enemy. This is an issue where fairness and self-interest come together. In its leader this week, the Economist says: “The best way to turn China into an opponent is to treat it as one.” Amen to that!




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