May 22, 2019

Arriving at Wisdom Late on China

Timothy Birdnow

Newt Gingrich learns wisdom in his dotage.

From Fox News:

For decades, our diplomatic, economic, and security strategies related to China have been based on a set of key myths. We (myself included) sold ourselves an optimistic, American-centric, fantasy version of China that has never existed – and will likely never exist.

The real China is much more formidable and dangerous than we have wanted to believe.


Like many Western scholars and policy makers, I bought into the idea that open global markets and information sharing would bring China out of its communist-totalitarian past and into a global democratic (or at least open) future. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

In fact, China has always had its own agenda. It wants to reclaim its position as the Middle Kingdom – the center of world affairs. With its 5,000-year history, it is also deeply Chinese. It has no interest in becoming westernized. China is also deeply committed to its communist system – but its leaders have recognized that its people must be made prosperous to keep this system going.

Further, I’ve learned how concerted they are in their efforts to undermine the United States, and other democratized western nations, with a very specific plan for technological and economic global domination.

Well, better late than never, I suppose, but this fairy tale told by Progressives on both sides of the aisle - including "conservative" types like Gingrich - have allowed China to become a true superpower, and now we are in the inenviable position of having to fight another Cold War.

I remember when the Soviet Union collapsed, so many people like Gingrich argued that this was the end, ding dong the witch is dead! and we only had to export some tennis shoes and blue jeans to the Chinese to turn them into happy capitalists. I knew then it wouldn't work and I was not wrong.

Cold comfort.

Instead we exported technology to them, taught them how to build tech that could compete with our own, and gave them extremely favorable trade terms that allowed them to supercharge their industrial growth. Now we face a behemoth that really is starting to show it's fangs.

This could have been prevented had we isolated and squeezed the Chicoms. Instead, dazzled by the lust for selling coca cola and Nikes, we gave them what they needed to destroy us. Bill Clinton was especially guilty; he took Chinese money to win the'96 election and did some favors for them, like allowing Loral Aerospace to tell them how to fix their launch vehicles, making it possible for China to nuke the United States. Money and power, power and money. The lust for both will cost us dearly.

Hopefully America has awakened to the fact that China is not our friend and will act accordingly. I would argue the Chinese are in a far worse position than we, because they do much more trading with us than we do with them, so a trade war will be painful to us but catastrophic to the Chinese. And we have a larger nuclear arsenal. And more ships. But this is a very dangerous time.

But if we fail to act the Chinese will wind up pushing us into a "fortress America" scenario. It's what they want. And they have always said war with the United States is inevitable. I don't expect our friends to come to our aid aas they are obligated to do, either.

I never did understand how the Cold War was over when a quarter of the world still lived under Communism. Gingrich and the other Rooseveltian conservatives are finally starting to figure that out.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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