Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
March 28, 2023
The US is an open society, so freedom of speech is protected by law. However, the public must be educated and be able to reason. As pointed by Robert Reich: “the fact that our educational system left almost 80% of our young people unable to comprehend a news magazine and many others unprepared for work.” There is no “American Leadership” to speak of, and our national strength will naturally decay as time goes by, even without the challenges from anyone outside the US.
It means that, even we follow the recommendations of Heritage Foundation declaring a new cold war against China and faithfully implement the recommended plan “sustained U.S. economic growth, greater political will, stronger external partnerships, secure borders, synchronized economic and security policies, resilient supply chains, enhanced military deterrence, and U.S. energy independence,” how the plan will work overtime?
- Why has our political will been weakened? Because our society is divided, and our politics are bogged down by partisan attacks!
- Who will “synchronize economic and security polices” for us? Have China or anyone else caused our policy to de-synchronize?
- The US has achieved energy independence already, we have the world largest LNG export capacities already, and it is expanding. We also export coal, oil, and petrochemical products worldwide. But we have high gasoline prices and high inflations: it is a US problem, made in the USA.
- The US has the world largest military force, and our national defense budget is over US$850 billion and increasing year by year. China’s national defense budget is a distant second to the US around US$224 billion. If China increases military expenditure by 10% per year and the US froze the expenditure at current level, it will take more that ten years for China to catch up!
Thus, dollar vs dollar, how much more should the US invest in military to “enhance military deterrence?”
- The US has a very pores southern border, and it is a shame. But only the US can, and should, fix the immigration-border problem.
Overall, the US has to invest and focus on education and training, highly qualified work force is the key element of moving any nation forward. Specifically, the core of military strength is her human capital.
Heritage Foundation declares new Cold War with China: ‘More capable and dangerous’ than Soviet Union
Tue, March 28, 2023 at 6:00 AM PDT
FIRST ON FOX – The Heritage Foundation released a report Tuesday that says the U.S. is in a new Cold War with China, and that the U.S. must take several steps to defend itself from China’s economic, military and cultural efforts to supplant American leadership.
“Whether politicians and pundits in Washington care to acknowledge it or not, the United States is in a new Cold War with the PRC, an adversary even more capable and dangerous than the Soviet Union was at the height of its power,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said in a forward to the report.
“Critical supply chains, from vital rare-earth elements to key pharmaceutical products, remain largely or wholly dependent on the PRC,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how much of the U.S. economy is reliant on the PRC for essential goods and services.”
The report finds that China is also working on U.S. soil to subvert U.S. culture by establishing itself on college campuses and in U.S. cities, where Chinese authorities seek to regulate the activities of Chinese Americans. Because of these steps, and the broad rivalry seen on issues such as economic strength and military prowess, the report finds that the bilateral relationship “increasingly bears all the hallmarks of a cold war.”
It is a message that is likely to resonate with Republicans in Congress – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued in December that the U.S. has entered a Cold War with China – but also many Democrats who have joined with the GOP this year to pass legislation that recognizes the need to treat China less as an ally and more as a strategic threat. In early January, more than two-thirds of House Democrats voted with Republicans to establish a new House committee to examine America’s strategic competition with China, and many voted with the GOP to block the sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Chinese entities.
After a Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted over U.S. territory and was shot down by the Biden administration after it was allowed to cross the entire country at 60,000 feet, every Democrat voted with Republicans in the House to condemn China and demand more information about the incident.
Additionally, this month, all House Republicans and Democrats voted to pass a bill demanding the declassification of all information that links China to the COVID vaccine.
“From unleashing COVID on the world and facilitating the Fentanyl crisis to espionage and intellectual property theft at our universities, Communist China has made clear they are more than a competitor,” said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a member of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. “The CCP is our greatest adversary and must be treated as such.”
“For the past three decades, America operated under the naive belief that the era of great power competition was over,” added Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Now, we are facing the single greatest threat our nation has ever known.”
Both lawmakers praised the Heritage report for offering a blueprint on how to counter China, which the report warns has the capacity to be a long-term threat to the U.S. and its allies.
“To win the New Cold War, this plan calls for sustained U.S. economic growth, greater political will, stronger external partnerships, secure borders, synchronized economic and security policies, resilient supply chains, enhanced military deterrence, and U.S. energy independence,” it said. “This plan simultaneously exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive tactics against the U.S. and represents a call-to-arms for all segments of U.S. society, including state and local governments, the private sector, the American people, and U.S. allies and partners abroad.”
Among other things, the report calls on the executive branch to deny Chinese government access to Defense Department-funded research projects, eliminate all Chinese police operations in the U.S. used to control Chinese Americans, ban Chinese-owned apps like TikTok, work with state and local governments to prevent Chinese companies from winning contracts to build infrastructure, and exert tighter controls over Chinese land purchases in the U.S.
It recommends tighter sanctions against Chinese entities that contribute to the flow of fentanyl across the border.
The report insists on a series of steps aimed at strengthening the U.S. economy, so the U.S. is in a better position to compete against China. That includes setting up reliable supply chains for semiconductors and critical minerals outside of China and boosting protection of U.S. intellectual property.
It calls on policymakers to beef up U.S. defense capabilities to deal with China – that includes rebuilding the depleted U.S. Navy fleet and taking steps to arm Taiwan against a possible Chinese invasion.
Additionally, it recommends an investigation into how COVID spread and holding China accountable for its role in the pandemic. “Until a transparent and thorough investigation is conducted with full Chinese cooperation, the U.S. should suspend funding and cooperation with Chinese laboratories on biomedical research,” it said.
Robert B. Reich: Distinguishing between a Chinese challenge and a Chinese enemy
Helen I. Bennett, Hartford Courant
Tue, March 28, 2023 at 3:30 AM PDT
Last week, lawmakers from both parties sought to tie TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew personally to the Chinese Communist Party. Despite his pledge to keep safe the data of American users and shield TikTok from foreign manipulation, lawmakers repeatedly asserted that TikTok is a tool of China’s Communist government. Washington state’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, claimed, “TikTok is a weapon by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on you, manipulate what you see and exploit for future generations.”
Confession: I’ve posted short videos on TikTok.
Hell, I’ve even danced on TikTok.
I don’t want to make light of the challenge China represents to the United States, but the greatest danger America faces today is not coming from China. It is our drift toward proto-fascism. We must take care not to demonize China so much that we generate paranoia that further distorts our priorities, fuels American nativism and xenophobia, and encourages authoritarianism at home.
There’s a difference between seeing China as challenging American technological and economic dominance, on the one hand, and viewing China as potentially threatening America’s existence. The former is correct, and can be beneficial if it induces further investments in American education, basic research, and infrastructure — on which our future standard of living depends. The latter leads to zero-sum strategies and possible warfare.
In the 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to implode, America found its next foil in Japan. Japanese-made cars were taking market share away from the Big Three automakers. At the same time, Mitsubishi bought a substantial interest in Rockefeller Center, Sony purchased Columbia Pictures, and Nintendo considered buying the Seattle Mariners.
Hearings were held on the Japanese “threat.” Members of Congress proposed a tsunami of legislation to keep American technology out of the hands of the Japanese. Techno-nationalism became the rage.
Alarmist books demonized Japan. Pat Choate’s “Agents of Influence” claimed Tokyo’s alleged payoffs to influential Americans were designed to achieve “effective political domination over the United States.” Robert Zielinski and Nigel Holloway, in “Unequal Equities,” claimed that Japan rigged its capital markets to undermine American corporations. Daniel Burstein asserted in “Yen! Japan’s New Financial Empire and Its Threat to America” that Japan’s growing power put the United States at risk of falling prey to a “hostile Japanese … world order.” Clyde Prestowitz’s “Trading Places” argued that because of our failure to respond adequately to Japan, “the power of the United States and the quality of American life is diminishing rapidly in every respect.” William S. Dietrich’s “In the Shadow of the Rising Sun” claimed Japan “threatens our way of life and ultimately our freedoms as much as past dangers from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.”
And on it went: “The Japanese Power Game,” “The Coming War with Japan,” “Zaibatsu America: How Japanese Firms are Colonizing Vital U.S. Industries,” “The Silent War,” “Trade Wars.”
But there was no vicious plot. America failed to acknowledge that Japan had invested heavily in its own education, research, and infrastructure — which enabled it to make products that American consumers wanted to buy. We didn’t see that our own financial system was coming to resemble a casino, demanding immediate profits over long-term investment. We overlooked the fact that our educational system left almost 80% of our young people unable to comprehend a news magazine and many others unprepared for work. We didn’t notice that our infrastructure of unsafe bridges and potholed roads was draining our productivity.
The question for America — ever more diverse but more deeply divided than in generations — is whether it is possible to rediscover our identity and mutual responsibilities without creating another enemy.
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of “The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It.” Read more from Robert Reich at https://robertreich.substack.com/