02/12/21

Confucius Speaks With Forked Tongue

Beloved readers, China is spying on us whenever and wherever they can. Even President Biden has recently been heard to say, “China is going to eat our lunch!” This was after his recent chat with President Forever Xi of China.

Comes now the Confucius Institutes — Chinese government funded propaganda operations at American colleges and universities — which once totaled as many as 100 but are now down to 75 as college presidents recognize the danger these Chinese government entities represent.

“Haha, you can trust me. I’m Country Joe Confucius. Howdy!”

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08/22/20

China Ignoring The Obvious

As I think of China, it seems it was a short time ago when we had prominent politicians telling us that China was not our enemy.

Today, that statement seems to have been one of the most clueless utterances ever made. We know a different China today.

We know a China that has its Red Chinese Communist jackboots on the neck of Hong Kong, who murders its ethnic minorities, that runs re-education camps for dissidents before they even dissent, who steals a dozen atolls in the South China Sea and militarizes them, who lies about pandemic viruses they have let loose on the world, and who has cataloged their entire population in a brutal system that awards simple life benefits only to those who are helpful to and cooperative with the Communist regime whilst brutally punishing those who are not.

Jonathan Bartlett illustration for Foreign Policy

At the same time, we are on a sounder trade footing charging the Chinese billions in tariffs, beginning to repatriate strategic industries, and taking a more sober look at China in regard to their military footprint including Taiwan.

Interestingly, the Chinese are ordering, paying for, and receiving the largest agricultural orders in US-China history.

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07/28/20

The Supply Chain Comes Home From China

The COVID19 episode exposed a critical weakness — the American supply chain (particularly medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing) was grounded so thoroughly in China that it could not serve the United States when it was desperately needed.

China prevented American companies from shipping product manufactured by American companies in China to the US.

Everyone was quick to say — “Bring the strategic supply chain back home to America!” 

Like a lot of good ideas, it requires real action to make real change. How could this obvious strategic move be instigated? Where would the leadership come from? How would it be funded?

I am pleased to report that this is, in fact, happening.

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05/28/20

Hong Kong — Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

Hong Kong is in its last days as an “autonomous” region and part of the “One China, Two Systems” promise. Dust off your funeral suit and dress.

China has cracked the whip and made obvious its intentions to slap the snot out of Hong Kong, to terminate its faux autonomous region nonsense, and to quell any nascent thoughts of freedom.

Let’s examine the time line.

 1. In 1997, the British lease for Hong Kong terminated. The Brits returned Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty based on the promise that Hong Kong would be an autonomous region, though part of China.

 2. As part of that transfer, the Chinese solemnly promised to govern Hong Kong by allowing its own legislature and leadership to continue part of a plan they called “One China, Two Systems.”

 3. This system was to prevail until 2047 — fifty years.

 4. Based on this arrangement, this promise, countries agreed to treat Hong Kong in a manner similar to how they had when the Brits ran the place.

 5. In current terms that means that when the US imposed tariffs on China, these same tariffs did not fall on Hong Kong.

 6. The relationship with Hong Kong was so tight, that almost 100,000 American citizens reside full time in Hong Kong.

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04/29/20

Japan Abandons China

Relations between Japan and China have always been dicey since before World War II, so a new development between them is not a huge surprise.

The nature of the development in this instance is.

Japan has funded a program — as part of its COVID19 economic stimulus package — to financially support companies who move their manufacturing from China back to Japan.

In addition, the program also supports companies who move their manufacturing from China to another Asian country whose main qualification is — Not Made In China.

This comes on the heels of a very simple impetus — the realization of how much Japanese manufacturing had moved from Japan to China.

Why did they move in the first place you ask? Cheap labor. Cheap cost of finished goods because of the cheap labor, prison labor, child labor, lower environmental standards (if any at all), and cheaper materials.

Japan acted pretty damn quick. No wasted time.

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04/28/20

Unmasking China

The world wants to know what exactly China knew about its most recent gift to the world — the virus that creates COVID19.

What did China know and when did they know it; and, why didn’t they  tell us?

China is bristling at all the attention. President Trump recently indicated his unhappiness with China for their failure to be forthcoming on the subject and said there would be consequences, but not until COVID19 has run its course.

Since before President Trump announced his candidacy in 2016, Donald J Trump has been a skeptic and a critic when it comes to China. It appears he was correct on all things pertinent to China.

We have a clear indication of the Chinese attitude when delving into their recent dialogue with Australia.

Australia and China are keen trading partners with more than 25% of Australian exports going to China. Australia annually sells China $235,000,000,000 of coal, iron ore, wine, beef, tourism and tertiary education.

Chinese tourists love Australia with more than 772,000 Chinese visiting Australia, staying on average 43 nights, and spending more than $12,000,000,000.

The second highest number of travelers come from New Zealand. These 534,000 New Zealanders spent on average 10 days and $2,600,000,000.

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03/13/20

China — The Danger of Medical Dependence

Back in December 2019, there was an article written around the findings of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission that focused on China’s efforts to become the world’s largest producer of pharmaceutical products. It was not given much play time.

Rosemary Gibson, an author and adviser on health care issues at the Hastings Center, was the co-author of a book: “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.”

In that book, she said three interesting things:

“Medicines can be used as a weapon of war against the United States.”

“Supplies can be withheld. Medicines can be made with lethal contaminants or sold without any real medicine in them, rendering them ineffective.”

“If China shut the door on exports of medicines and their key ingredients and raw material, US hospitals and military hospitals and clinics would case to function within months, if not days.”

Now, the United States finds itself in exactly the vulnerable position that both of these writings suggested might happen.

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12/16/19

Understanding US Trade

The last two weeks have been monumental in the arena of trade, but the country was too enmired in the shallow grave of impeachment to really focus on it.

Three things happened:

 1. The USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement) was passed by the United States House of Representatives.

This deal replaces NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and does great things for agriculture with Canada and US product content in goods (cars) whose final assembly is done in Mexico as well as prevailing wages.

 2. The US and China had a first date on trade — nobody is renting reception halls for the marriage, but it was a first step on the crawl, walk, run continuum.

 3. The US neutered the World Trade Organization by refusing to nominate members thereby destroying the quorum and preventing the WTO from taking any action against the US, a brilliant move. This is one that is completely overlooked.

The guy who did this is the man on the right, Robert Lighthizer.

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