Chinese Cold War


Tariffs and trade wars create more risk in our globalized era that we might imagine, especially if China and the West relive history.

Can they even lead to an apocalypse and war?

nyt.com

The image above from article “China’s South Sea control, a done deal; short of war with the US”(1)  shows how the Chinese have created seven military bases, complete with radar domes, shelters.

Here’s a thought published in the New York Times opinion section presented by Stephen Wertheim, a historian who writes about American foreign policy.  His article is “Is It Too Late to Stop a New Cold War With China?” (2).

Wertheim says: Washington is swiftly and decisively turning against the world’s No. 2 power. That could be disastrous.

George Orwell celebrated victory in World War II by warning that a “cold war” would soon commence.  A cold war, he wrote in his 1945 essay “You and the Atomic Bomb,” (3) was a “peace that is no peace.”

Nuclear weapons would prevent direct invasions, but the superpowers would otherwise lead irreconcilable world orders, each seeking to quarantine and trounce the other.

“East Asia, dominated by China.” Until very recently, he looked mistaken. Since the 1970s, the United States and a rising China pursued economic enmeshment and a measure of diplomatic collaboration.

Then he tells how over the past decade officials in Washington have had a growing fear that China was straying from the path of liberalization and cooperation.

The military buildup in the South China Sea, China’s restriction of market access for American businesses, the theft of US innovation and authoritarian tightening under President Xi Jinping have all been growing concerns.

These concerns have led the US government to create an “economic iron curtain” around the world as every issue – security, economics, technology, human rights is fusing together.  The idea is to last a long “fight” with China.

The question is Why a Cold War now?

Perhaps we can see if we follow the money.

Mr Wertheim goes on to say: At the moment, confrontation with China might seem to offer something for everyone, much as the anti-Soviet crusade initially promised. In the late 1940s, businesses saw an opportunity to expand trade and secure capitalism; organized labor signed on, agreeing to discipline its ranks for a slice of the economic pie. It seemed like a good bargain, at least until growth stalled and the Cold War turned out to mean dying in Vietnam.

Is this a swap from the “red scare” to the “yellow peril” so that the military industrial complex can gain greater profits and accumulate more power under the guise of keeping the nation safe.

In 1946, Henry Wallace, President Truman’s Commerce Secretary, cautioned that America should stop rearming and acquiring bases around the world. These actions would make the Soviets insecure, ensuring the conflict they meant to prevent. “To other nations,” he counseled, “our foreign policy consists not only of the principles that we advocate but of the actions we take.” Mr. Truman asked Mr. Wallace to resign, and the superpowers launched the first Cold War. Will we avoid a second?

How that war links to opiates, the current trade war and our lives in the hear and now.

Jerod Diamond in his book “Guns Germs & Steel” tells how China’s evolution was different than Europe’s because the entire country remained connected by one monarchy.

Diamond  wrote: In contrast, Europe’s geographic balkanization resulted in dozens or hundreds of independent, competing statelets and centers of innovation. If one state did not pursue some particular innovation, another did, forcing neighboring states to do likewise or else be conquered or left economically behind. Europe’s barriers were sufficient to prevent political unification, but insufficient to halt the spread of technology and ideas. There has never been one despot who could turn off the tap for all of Europe, as of China.

But China’s connectedness eventually became a disadvantage, because a decision by one despot could and repeatedly did halt innovation.

To find an answer to this question we have to look back approximately 121 years.

quora

This 1899 cartoon shows the American eagle, German vulture, British lion, Austro-Hungarian double-headed eagle, Italian wolf, Japanese leopard, French rooster, and Russian bear, all attacking  a sick dragon representing China, during the opium wars.

The lack of technological advance created by China’s connectedness hit the country about 121 years when there was a huge trade imbalance between China and Great Britain.   The wealthiest in Europe, and England, were using a lot of Chinese luxury goods, silk, lacquer and porcelain. Tea was popular with the middle class symbol.

So much money was flowing from England to China that the British resorted to smuggling opium through its East India Company into China, to reverse the trade deficit.  Huge numbers of Chinese became drug addicts.

China made opium imports illegal, confiscated and burned millions of pounds of opium from the British merchants.  This led to the Opium War where and the Chinese swords and spears could not defeat British rifles and canons.

This led to an era called “China’s hundred years of humiliation”. This era did not end until 1949.

This history will not have been forgotten in China!

In addition to China’s long term plans, globalization has been with us for quite a while.  The utilization of world resources is more efficient, but a trade war, especially between the US and China, no longer just hurts the country where tariffs are imposed.

In our recent era, China, with one sixth of world GDP, contributed  the most to global economic growth, as much as a third of the growth.  This has helped  consumers everywhere enjoy more than two decades low inflation.

A trade war between the US and China will impact everyone.  The catastrophe could exceed the Great Depression, because the global economy is so much more linked than it was during the 30’s.  The impact could be huge and take decades to recover.

Even worse, the trade war could lead to war.

China’s economy has grown so much that the huge middle class there expects and demands a better life.

Will they be willing to tighten their belts, and for how long?

If unfulfilled expectations in the Chinese middle class puts too much pressure on the Chinese government, the Chinese leaders may heighten the tensions with military action in the South China Sea.

The Worst of all a Not Bombed but Still Scortched Earth

The world has so much to gain if China and the US cooperate.   Human nature, on both sides of the Pacific, might make this impossible. Increasing tensions between China and the US create enormous opportunity for a few, leading to further income and wealth in equality.

China is the top emitter of greenhouse gases.  The problrms of climate change requires America and China to cooperate and channel their competition into salvaging the planet rather than seizing its resources.

The American people can live with an authoritarian China. They cannot live on an uninhabitable Earth.

Gary

Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere

How to Gain Extra Freedom – While Almost Everyone Loses Theirs.  Profit from post COVID-19 trends.

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ecuador-banks

Dining room tables we worked from (and we also sold the tables for a profit).

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Let me be clear.  I expect that the world will get better, at least for the few who adapt and avoid the dangers that the changes from the COVID pandemic will bring. 

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goldenseal ginseng

Ginseng we grew in our back yard.  I know about growing ginseng through experience and explain why and how in the report “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere”.

Loquats are another example of an easy to grow crop that help promote natural health.

loquats

Here I am by one of the many loquat trees at our Florida farm.

Loquats are a great fruit for making jam and such, but the loquat leaf has amazing medicinal qualities.  Its is a registered medicine in China and due to its anti viral and respiratory system enhancing qualities has an especially  growing demand right now.   The images below from Amazon.com show that the leaves sell for about a dollar per leaf!

I have many trees on the farm but started growing loquat seedlings last year.

loquat

Loquat leaf tea has become really important during the pandemic due to its respiratory strengthening qualities.

I have been drinking a lot of home made loquat leaf tea during the pandemic.

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Fwd: gary-scott-tipis

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gary-scott-farming

Our North Carolina greenhouse.

gary scott greenhouse

Our Florida greenhouse.

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merrily farms

This pond we created at our farm brought us pleasure but also helped create a safe, healthy food supply, extra income and a tax deduction as well.

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(1) www.nytimes.com: South China Sea Navy

(2)  www.nytimes.com: China cold war

(3) orwell.ru/library/articles/ABomb/english/e_abomb