Skip to comments.Pat Buchanan: Is China the Country of the Future?
Posted on 10/04/2019 7:48:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
"Who Lost China?"
With the fall of the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, the defeat of his armies and the flight to Formosa, that was the question of the hour in 1949. And no one demanded to know more insistently than the anti-Communist Congressman John F. Kennedy:
"Whatever share of the responsibility was Roosevelt's and whatever share was (General George) Marshall's, the vital interest of the United States in the independent integrity of China was sacrificed, and the foundation was laid for the present tragic situation in the Far East."
Tragic indeed was the situation. The most populous nation on earth, for which America had risked and fought a war with the Japanese Empire, had been lost to Stalin's empire.
A year after Peking fell to Mao Zedong, Chinese armies stormed into Korea to drive the Americans back from the Yalu River and back across the 38th parallel, threatening to throw them off the Peninsula.
In the seven decades since October 1949, millions of Chinese have perished in ideological pogroms like the "Great Leap Forward" of the '50s, and the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" during which President Nixon came to China.
Yet in terms of national and state power over those 70 years, and especially in the last 30 when America threw open her markets to Chinese goods and Beijing ran up $4 trillion to $5 trillion in trade surpluses with the U.S., a new China arose. It was on display this week in Tiananmen Square.
The China of Xi Jinping boasts land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that provide a strategic deterrent against the United States. Beijing's conventional forces on land, sea, and in air and space rival any on earth.
Since Y2K, its economy has swept past that of Italy, France, Britain, Germany and Japan to become the world's second largest. China is now the world's premier manufacturing power.
Yet, under Xi Jinping, the mask of benign giant has slipped and the menacing face of 21st-century China is being revealed, for its people, its neighbors, and the world to see.
The Uighurs of west China are being forced into re-education camps to be cured of their tribalist, nationalist and Islamic beliefs. Christians are being persecuted. Tibetans are being replaced in their homeland by Han Chinese. The Communist Party's role and rule as the font of ideological, political and moral truth is being elevated and imposed.
The Chinese still hold land seized from India 50 years ago. China now claims as sovereign territory virtually all of a South China Sea, which encompasses territorial waters of six nations. It has begun building air, naval and military bases on rocks and reefs belonging to Manila.
China has warned foreign warships to stay out of the Taiwan Strait and has built up its force on the mainland opposite the island, warning that any move by Taiwan to declare independence would be regarded as an act of war. It claims the Japanese-held Senkaku Islands.
In its Belt and Road projects to tie China to Central and South Asia and Europe, China has lent billions to build ports, only to take possession of the facilities when local regimes default on their loans.
But not all is going well for the regime on its 70th birthday.
The people of Hong Kong, who are surely being cheered by many on the mainland of China, have been protesting for months, demanding the liberty and independence for which American patriots fought in our Revolution, not Mao's revolution.
Nor are the newly prosperous Chinese people fools. They relish the rising power of China and the respect their country commands in the world, but they know it was not Marx, Lenin or Mao who produced their prosperity. It was capitalism. They cannot but be uneasy seeing the freedoms and benefits they enjoy being dissipated in a trade war with the Americans and the new repression issuing from Beijing.
Among the epochal blunders America has committed since the end of the Cold War, three stand out.
The first was our disastrous plunge into the Middle East to create regimes oriented to the West. The second was the expansion of NATO to the front porch of Russia, driving the largest nation on earth, and one of its most formidable nuclear powers, into the arms of China.
The third was to throw open America's markets to Chinese goods on favorable terms, which led to the enrichment and empowerment of a regime whose long-term threat to U.S. interests and American values is as great as was that of the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
The question for America's statesmen is how to cope with the rising challenge of China while avoiding a war that would be a calamity for all mankind. Patience, prudence and perseverance commend themselves.
But the first necessity is to toss out the ideological liberalism which proclaims that David Ricardo's free trade dogmatism is truth for all nations at all times and that John Locke's ideas apply to all cultures and countries.
What is the purpose of this article?
One day China will be sorely tempted to incorporate thinly populated, mineral rich Siberia. Inevitably a de facto alliance between Russia, Japan, the nations of Southeast Asia, Australia, and of course the United States will evolve to “contain” China. The global stage is always evolving.
It has endured while empires rose and fell and countless countries were built, conquered, destroyed, rebuilt, invaded, and faded from history and memory.
China isn't going away.
And despite the strength of western civilization, western civilization now has one fatal flaw.
China was smart thousands of years ago. THEY built a wall to preserve THEIR culture.
“What is the purpose of this article?”
Mr. Buchanan is suggesting a reordering of priorities for the U.S. government, and the underlying philosophy of those who consider themselves conservative.
It is really all in the last few lines. While free enterprise is a good, it does not operate in a vacuum, and refusing to recognize that allows bad players like Red China to use aspects of the free market to pursue evil ends, which left unchecked can make the whole thing topple world-wide. God and Country, allowing for local cultures, before business bottom-line.
I do disagree with Buchanan that PRC naval power is anywhere close to ours.
The Chinese wanted change, and some of the reforms they wanted weren't just employment for the poor in the provinces.
The opium problem had become unbearable. When the Japanese called China “the sick man of Asia” they were referring to the ubiquitous addicts which were every where. Think San Francisco but even dirtier. And opium use was on the rise again after the war.
Chiang Kai-shek had long been colluding with the Opium trade, and his corruption was well known.
The United States refused to drop him and support a different strong man. Given a choice between the unknown of Mao and his Communism or the known corrupt system of government bribery and open drugs of Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese gambled with Mao and lost.
The thing is, they were both losing propositions.
America could have intervened, but we had no clue how bad Mao would turn out to be.
Nonetheless, if you want to pass out blame...Trueman was the guy who could have done something before it was too late. And Chiang Kai-shek was too corrupt for the argument that we owed him any loyalty to carry water.
RE: What is the purpose of this article?
To serve as a lesson to Westerners. We can always learn from the mistakes and successes of a country, especially one whose economy is the second largest in the world and is our rival in many ways.
Ricardo and Locke are correct and the lessons apply to all nations. China is proof that free-er trade can enrich a nation. Which is why the US should be careful in who engages in free trade with. Ricardos and Lockes principals were not diminished by the refusal of the US and allies to open up to the USSR during the Cold War.
Trump has cleverly disguised a type of Cold War with China as a trade war. It remains to be seen if a trade war conducted this way does not result in a hot war. It didnt work as very well with Imperial Japan. It worked out well with the USSR.
I agree with much of what Buchanan says historically. We can differ on conclusions but many fail to grasp the historical significance of past and potential future events.
Buchanan bull shit........ Pat may have been but now is not.
RE: Buchanan bull shit
Can you elaborate on where his BS is?
Every word he utters is nostalgic dwelling in the past that really never was
RE: Every word he utters is nostalgic dwelling in the past that really never was
Let’s take an example from the article:
In the seven decades since October 1949, millions of Chinese have perished in ideological pogroms like the “Great Leap Forward” of the ‘50s, and the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” during which President Nixon came to China.
Where in the above paragraph is what “really never was”?
He did touch on dissidents in concentration camps, the persecution of Christians and the erosion of Hong Kong citizen rights.
These are valid points but he could have added the extreme Chinese surveillance state with facial recognition cameras everywhere, social credit scores. Of course, China would never allow its citizens to own firearms.
In this sense, I do see the feds eagerly following this course of action. Fed government people are either leftists or statists no matter who is president.
The Imperial Japanese wanted a war; the USSR did not.
My guess, which is Trump's guess, is that the Communist Chinese don't want a war. One proof of this, by the way, is the Nork's endless "missile tests": numerous shots across the bow but nothing causing damage.
I would add a corollary, that China thinks economic hegemony will get them the global hegemony that they want. That is why Trump is engaged in a low-level economic war. If Trump can keep China distracted having to deal with us and the destabilizing of their currency, then they will be less able to push their agenda in SE Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Sigh. Such crap.
China is aging almost as fast as Japan. This is a MAJOR problem for them. Their energy supplies are in the south, but the ChiCom gubment is in the north. Major problem. But even then, their energy isn’t remotely close to supporting growth. So they must import from the ME.
When the balloon goes up in the ME (only a matter of time between SA/Iran, or Iran/someone else there) we won’t be involved, but the ChiComs will be cut off of their oil
All their vaunted naval growth faces a grim reality: they are totally boxed in by a string of island nations ALL hostile to them with land based missiles, land based air, and their own navies. Japan’s is already better and bigger than China’s. And all of this is backed up in a second ring of the US Pacific fleet.
Third, the capitalist growth requires some degree of democracy, as the Soviet Union learned. It is simply incompatible with top-down planning.
Fourth, you think the US debt is bad? China’s debt is off the charts, and it’s estimated that fully 90% of it is completely toxic. It cannot be unloaded or refinanced.
Fifth, Trump’s trade war is breaking them, day by day. Samsung pulled out today. When China starts to face joblessness combined with a declining work force that (in market situations would drive prices way up), there will be a massive crackdown.
Lastly, EVERYONE who looks at China agrees that the growth rates were way overblown, that they have collapsed to under or near ours.
I suggest Patsy read Peter Zeihan or George Friedman, especialy Zeihan who is a specialist in oil and energy, which THEY DON’T HAVE.
“Fifth, Trumps trade war is breaking them, day by day. Samsung pulled out today. When China starts to face joblessness combined with a declining work force that (in market situations would drive prices way up), there will be a massive crackdown.”
Samsung? Do you have further news on this? I am curious on how the tech companies are negotiating the decades of stupidity of doing business there...
China doesn’t want a war with us, that is for sure. They want what they always want: to be the one true power in east Asia, with all the other states paying homage and tribute to them. They also want us to stay the hell out of their backyard.