China’s Challenge

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


Pages: 1 2

China’s rise, in both the economic sense and military sense, presents the United States with a host of tough challenges. Those tasks will grow more and more difficult the longer that America struggles with ten percent unemployment while China’s economy continues to grow at ten percent per year. Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit this Week highlights the many problems that a resurgent China presents to the West and the Obama administration’s spotty record of dealing with those issues effectively.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deserves praise for calling out the eight-hundred pound gorilla that dominates the room labeled “US-China Relations”: human rights violations in the PRC. Last Friday, Clinton called on Chinese leaders to fulfill their human rights obligations to the nation’s citizens and specifically expressed support for prominent dissidents, including 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. From the lack of religious freedom to the statist control of personal freedoms inherent to the Hukou System to the absence of anything that the West would recognize as due process, the PRC continues to be a brutal, totalitarian state and – given its size and growing strength – the most important totalitarian state in the world today. Yet, America’s massive and still-growing national debt and the role China plays in securing that debt ultimately puts the current administration in an awkward position. The Secretary of State might be allowed to talk tough about China, but her boss isn’t going to dare do the same thing.

“I want to suggest that there has been an evolution in China over the last thirty years since the first normalization of relations between the United States and China, and my expectation is that thirty years from now we will have seen further evolution and further change,” President Obama said when asked about human rights in China yesterday.

And so what my approach will continue to be is to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the Chinese people, their extraordinary civilization, the multiple areas in which we have to cooperate not only for the sakes of our countries, but for the sakes of the world, to acknowledge we are going to have certain differences and to be honest as I think any partner needs to be honest when it comes to how we view many of these issues. And so that frank and candid assessment on our part will continue. That doesn’t prevent us from cooperating in these other critical areas.

There has, of course, been an evolution in China over the last thirty years, but it’s not exactly the sort of evolution that President Obama suggests. Chinese leadership, confronted with the implosion of the USSR and the obvious economic disasters that Mao created, finally wised up. They understood that slavish devotion to the Marxist economic theories would ultimately bring about the downfall of the ruling class, but a clever melding of capitalist economic principles and communist/fascist style control could result in the best of both worlds: a nation that would grow rich, but where the vast majority of those riches would enhance the lives of the ruling class. And so has modern-day China grown. There is, to be sure, much more of a middle class in China today than there has ever been, for that is a price that must be paid for a solid economic foundation. On the other hand, the ruling class is growing richer and richer, where hundreds of millions of Chinese in the working classes are no better off today than they were thirty years ago. Chinese leaders are no more tolerant of opposing thoughts and opinions in 2011 than they were in 1981. Instead, the infusion of riches provides those leaders with the luxury of sounding a great deal more tolerant and respectable than they actually are.

Pages: 1 2

  • okrahead

    Official White House Tapes of Meeting Between Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao
    19 January 2011
    Commence 09:15:09 EST

    POTUS: Mr. President, allow me take this opportunity to extend the warmest possible welcome on behalf of the American people, I hope that this meeting can be productive and mutually……

    POPRC: Lower!

    POTUS: Ummm, excuse me?

    POPRC: If you are going to bow like that, do it right! Bow lower!

    POTUS: Oh, okay, sorry, didn't realize I was doing it wrong. Is this better?

    POPRC: Lower! And why you look at me like that, barbarian?

    POTUS: Ummm, okay, I guess I can get a little lower? But aren't you supposed to make eye contact when you bow? I mean, that's how it was in the first Karate Kid movie and all that….

    POPRC: Shut up! Bow lower! Can't you do anything right? All I want to see is back of your head! Okay, I guess that best you can do, stupid barbarian dog. Now let's get down to business.

    POTUS: Um, okay, sure, yeah. Listen, I think we need to talk about this whole currency business. Some of my folks over at treasury…. Read the rest here…. http://beautifulletters-bls.blogspot.com/2011/01/

  • BLJ

    Obama is the wrong guy to be in the White House. He probably admires the Chinese Red's. The MSM acts like China is some kind of friend to the U.S.

    News Alert: They are not, never have and never will be. Their goal is to take over America someday. As long as we keep electing idiots like Obama this may very well happen.

  • Michael

    Unfortunately, the only way to negotiate with China from a position of strength is by rebuilding US manufacturing industry. The only way to rebuild US manufacturing industry is to undercut China on labor costs. The only way to undercut China on labor costs is to make Americans slave away in sweatshops for no pay until they keel over and die.

    Sorry, America! The game's up.

  • USMCSniper

    Obama will not take up the issue of human rights more directly than he has done so far. Human rights activists were alarmed when he did not meet with the Dalai Lama in Washington last month, and when Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to play down the issue of human rights during her first official visit to Beijing as secretary of state eight months ago. The issue of human rights in China will not go past the joint public press pronouncements of Obama for the MSM consumption. Political prisoners will still get show trials, be pre-found guilty, and be shot in the back of their head at dawn the bext day. Then then family will be billed for the bullet and their organs harvested as property of the State.

  • hijinx60

    "…celebrate the incredible acomplishments…." of stealing the trade secrets of American industry, our great military (actually not stolen, but given by Clinton), of self defense (also given by Clinton), of nuclear reactors (ditto), of hacking our Pentagon, and many other "great accomplishments" not listed. China didn't buy us, the White House and all previous occupants gave us away.

  • Amused

    yea , yadda ,yadda, yadda , as American Buisinesses CONTINUE to pour BILLIONS into China . And THAT didn't start with the present Administration . As for any " bowing down " going on , some bloggers had better study the recent history of the past 4 decades of U.S. relations with China . btw , hijinx 60 , glad you used the term ALL PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS …….for ALL of them bow down FIRST to Big Buisiness , who have been drooling at the mouth and lobbying the living hell out of Washington since NIXON opened the door [ btw----a conservative ..in case you didn't know that ]

    • BLJ

      Nixon was playing China off against the Soviets. He never bowed to Mao. Obama was raised on Marxist teachings as well.

  • Amused

    Let's just keep playing with our i-phones and i- pads , and it'll all go away . btw if you owe the IRS back taxes , just forward your check to Beijing .

  • Lightning Jack

    Over 80 percent of the chairman, C.E.O.s and presidents of almost every major American corporation would sell their mothers last oxygen bottles to do business in China. Loyalty to American industry, its manufacturing infrastructure or employee job security has nothing to do with it…it's the bottom line $$$$$$.

    China is today the direct consequence American government and corporate kowtowing, the maniacal obsession move business to China at any cost, to allow unfair currency manipulation and trade policies, irregardless of the damage to America's economic and strategic security, which started with the Nixon -Kissinger administration and continues under Obama and Congress.

    As Lenin once said, "We will hang the last capitalist one day with the very rope he has made." It appears that the US Government and corporate America is doing everything it can to assist along the way.

  • http://healthcolours.com/ gracielarubeli

    Fighting…