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Why We Need Not Envy China
Townhall.com ^ | November 3, 2011 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 11/03/2011 5:08:16 AM PDT by Kaslin

Up to 40 million Chinese people still live in caves. That's more than the populations of Texas and Illinois, combined. In fairness, a fraction of these caves are apparently pretty nice, complete with electricity and well-compacted dirt floors. But that's grading on a curve because, well, they're still caves.

Meanwhile, 21 million Chinese live below what the Communist Party calls the "absolute poverty" line. That sounds pretty good if you have in mind our poverty line, which is just under $11,000 per year for an individual and roughly $22,000 for a family of four. The absolute poverty rate in China is $90 a year, or $7.50 per month. And 35 million live on less than $125 per year. Hundreds of millions of Chinese live on $1 or $2 a day.

Michael Levy, who recently wrote a book on his stint as a Peace Corps worker in rural China (yes, China still asks for Peace Corps help) put it well in an interview with NPR: "Imagine that there's a country exactly like the United States. Exactly the same size. It's got the same cities. It's got the same number of rich people and poor people. It's just like us. And now add 1 billion peasants. That's China."

And yet that's the country President Obama insists we need to emulate. "Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics," then-candidate Obama told an audience in Virginia in 2008. "Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

Obama has returned to campaign mode and his fear-China refrain. To listen to Obama, China's beating us in some sort of infrastructure race. "Folks in Congress are also going to get a chance to decide ... whether our construction workers should sit around doing nothing while China builds the best railroads, the best schools, the best airports in the world."

Now maybe we could use more infrastructure spending, but China's got nothing to do with it. The reason China has invested massively in infrastructure is simply that it has relatively little of it. America has 5,194 airports with paved runways (the only kind I use, how about you?). That's more than 11 times China's 442. In fact, you can add up the paved airports of the next 10 countries combined, and America beats them with more than a thousand airports to spare. We have nearly twice the roadways China does and almost three times the railways.

Ah, but China is investing in high-speed rail! Which, we are told, will help us win the future. Except China has, in the words of the London Financial Times, "slammed the brakes" on its high-speed rail program for a slew of safety and economic reasons.

What people don't often mention is that we have the best freight system in the world (in Europe, they move people on rails and cargo on roads; we mostly do the opposite because we're so much more spread out). That's why Warren Buffett -- the president's favorite billionaire -- has invested massively in freight rail. Alas, switching to high-speed rail in the U.S. would seriously threaten the efficiency of our system.

Obviously, China's a formidable economic player, and a growing military and diplomatic power. But only a fool would trade our problems for theirs (even though Obama has reportedly told friends he envies the president of China for having an easier job). China's health and safety standards are abysmal compared with America's. China's air is crunchy, its rivers often flammable. Their housing bubble could make ours look like a minor correction. Demographically, China is still on target to get old before it gets rich.

Moreover, China's social fabric is in dire need of repair. Just consider the recent horrifying footage of a 2-year-old toddler who was struck by two vehicles and was left to die in agony in the middle of a busy street as passersby ignored her. The New York Times reported this summer that in some regions, it is common for officials to snatch newborn babies from parents -- and sell them. Indeed, China has a thriving market in children. And do you really think our problems with income inequality are worse than China's?

Oh, and let's not forget: It's still an autocratic police state.

Obama is hardly alone in his effort to mythologize China in order to justify expansion of government. Times columnist Tom Friedman -- who has written often of his envy for China's authoritarian system -- begins his new book comparing the unreliable escalators at his neighborhood subway station with a glitzy convention center in China, in order to suggest that China is winning the future. It's as instructive as comparing his mansion in Bethesda, Md., to a Chinese cave.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: billionaire; chicoms; china; chinagate; communistparty; multipolarity; obama; warrenbuffett

1 posted on 11/03/2011 5:08:18 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

And yet they finance a good chunk of our debt. Go figure.


2 posted on 11/03/2011 5:12:30 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Kaslin
OBAMA:

"I will not weaponize space"

"I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems"
_____________________________________________________

2008 Pentagon Report (March 2008):
China's Growing Military Space Power

By Leonard David
Special Correspondent, SPACE.com
March 6, 2008

GOLDEN, Colorado — A just-released Pentagon report spotlights a growing U.S. military concern that China is developing a multi- dimensional program to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by its potential adversaries during times of crisis or conflict.

Furthermore, last year's successful test by China of a direct-ascent, anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon to destroy its own defunct weather satellite, the report adds, underscores that country's expansion from the land, air, and sea dimensions of the traditional battlefield into the space and cyber-space domains.

Although China's commercial space program has utility for non- military research, that capability demonstrates space launch and control know-how that have direct military application. Even the Chang'e 1 — the Chinese lunar probe now circling the Moon — is flagged in the report as showcasing China's ability "to conduct complicated space maneuvers — a capability which has broad implications for military counterspace operations."

To read the entire publication [29.67MB/pdf], see U.S. Dept of Defense:
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/China_Military_Report_08.pdf
_____________________________________________________

From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/HI29Ag01.html
_____________________________________________________

"Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."

http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed092605a.cfm
_____________________________________________________

From the campaign trail, February 2008...

Obama Pledges Cuts in Missile Defense, Space, and Nuclear Weapons Programs

February 29, 2008 :: News
MissileThreat.com

A video has surfaced of Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama talking on his plans for strategic issues such as nuclear weapons and missile defense.

The full text from the video, as released, reads as follows:

Thanks so much for the Caucus4Priorities, for the great work you've been doing. As president, I will end misguided defense policies and stand with Caucus4Priorities in fighting special interests in Washington.

First, I'll stop spending $9 billion a month in Iraq. I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning. And as president I will end it.[not win it -etl]

Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending.

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.

I will not weaponize space.

I will slow our development of future combat systems.

And I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert [they are NOT on "hair-trigger alert" now -etl], and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

You know where I stand. I've fought for open, ethical and accountable government my entire public life. I don't switch positions or make promises that can't be kept. I don't posture on defense policy and I don't take money from federal lobbyists for powerful defense contractors. As president, my sole priority for defense spending will be protecting the American people. Thanks so much.

Article: Obama Pledges Cuts in Missile Defense, Space, and Nuclear Weapons Programs:
http://missilethreat.com/archives/id.7086/detail.asp

"MissileThreat.com is a project of The Claremont Institute devoted to understanding and promoting the requirements for the strategic defense of the United States."

3 posted on 11/03/2011 5:15:23 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Kaslin
"'We like your president. We want to see him reelected', former Chinese intelligence chief General Ji Shengde told Chinagate bagman Johnny Chung. Indeed, Chinese intelligence organized a massive covert operation aimed at tilting the 1996 election Clinton’s way."

The Idiot's Guide to Chinagate
By Richard Poe
May 26, 2003

CHINA WILL LIKELY replace the USA as world leader, said Bill Clinton in a recent Washington Post interview. It is just a matter of time. Clinton should know. He has personally done more to build China’s military strength than any man on earth.

Most Americans have heard of the so-called "Chinagate " scandal. Few understand its deadly import, however. Web sites such as "Chinagate for Dummies" and its companion "More Chinagate for Dummies" offer some assistance. Unfortunately, with a combined total of nearly 8,000 words, these two sites – like so many others of the genre – offer more detail than most of us "dummies" can absorb.

For that reason, in the 600 words left in this column, I will try to craft my own "Idiot’s Guide to Chinagate," dedicated to all those busy folks like you and me whose attention span tends to peter out after about 750 words. Here goes.

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, China presented little threat to the United States. Chinese missiles "couldn’t hit the side of a barn," notes Timothy W. Maier of Insight magazine. Few could reach North America and those that made it would likely miss their targets.

Thanks to Bill Clinton, China can now hit any city in the USA, using state-of-the-art, solid-fueled missiles with dead-accurate, computerized guidance systems and multiple warheads.

China probably has suitcase nukes as well. These enable China to strike by proxy – equipping nuclear-armed terrorists to do their dirty work, while the Chinese play innocent. Some intelligence sources claim that China maintains secret stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons on U.S. soil, for just such contingencies.

In 1997, Clinton allowed China to take over the Panama Canal. The Chinese company Hutchison Whampoa leased the ports of Cristobal and Balboa, on the east and west openings of the canal respectively, thus controlling access both ways. A public outcry stopped Clinton in 1998 from leasing California’s Long Beach Naval Yard to the Chinese firm COSCO. Even so, China can now strike U.S. targets easily from their bases in Panama, Vancouver and the Bahamas.

How did China catch up so fast? Easy. We sold them all the technology they needed – or handed it over for free. Neither neglect nor carelessness are to blame. Bill Clinton did it on purpose.

As a globalist, Clinton promotes "multipolarity" – the doctrine that no country (such as the USA) should be allowed to gain decisive advantage over others.

To this end, Clinton appointed anti-nuclear activist Hazel O’Leary to head the Department of Energy. O’Leary set to work "leveling the playing field," as she put it, by giving away our nuclear secrets. She declassified 11 million pages of data on U.S. nuclear weapons and loosened up security at weapons labs.

Federal investigators [Cox Report] later concluded that China made off with the "crown jewels" of our nuclear weapons research under Clinton’s open-door policy – probably including design specifications for suitcase nukes. Meanwhile, Clinton and his corporate cronies raked in millions.

In his book The China Threat, Washington Times correspondent Bill Gertz describes how the system worked. Defense contractors eager to sell technology to China poured millions of dollars into Clinton’s campaign. In return, Clinton called off the dogs.

Janet Reno and other counterintelligence officials stood down while Lockheed Martin, Hughes Electronics, Loral Space & Communications and other U.S. companies helped China modernize its nuclear strike force.

"We like your president. We want to see him reelected," former Chinese intelligence chief General Ji Shengde told Chinagate bagman Johnny Chung. Indeed, Chinese intelligence organized a massive covert operation aimed at tilting the 1996 election Clinton’s way.

Clinton’s top campaign contributors for 1992 were Chinese agents; his top donors in 1996 were U.S. defense contractors selling missile technology to China.

Clinton recieved funding directly from known or suspected Chinese intelligence agents, among them James and Mochtar Riady who own the Indonesian Lippo Group; John Huang; Charlie Trie; Ted Sioeng; Maria Hsia; Wang Jun and others.

Commerce Secretary Ron Brown served as Clinton’s front man in many Chinagate deals. When investigators began probing Brown’s Lippo Group and Chinagate connections, Brown died suddenly in a suspicious April 1996 plane crash.

Needless to say, China does not share Clinton’s enthusiasm for globalism or multipolarity. The Chinese look out for Number One.

"War [with the United States] is inevitable; we cannot avoid it," said Chinese Defense Minister General Chi Haotian in 2000. "The issue is that the Chinese armed forces must control the initiative in this war." Bill Clinton has given them a good start.

The Idiot's Guide to Chinagate:
http://www.richardpoe.com/column.cgi?story=125

or,
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/26/214938.shtml
(this version hasn't the necessary hyperlinks, but the above doesn't seem to be available any longer)
_________________________________

Related Stories
Richard Poe, "Chinagate: The Third-Way Scandal" (June 3, 1999)
Christopher Ruddy, "Russia and China Prepare for War: Parts I - VIII," NewsMax.com (March 9 -18, 1999)
_____________________________________________________________

From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/HI29Ag01.html
_____________________________________________________________

"As a globalist, [Bill] Clinton promotes "multipolarity" – the doctrine that no country (such as the USA) should be allowed to gain decisive advantage over others."

From a 2003 Washington Post article:

"...a statement [Bill] Clinton made in February 2002, in which he told an audience in Australia, 'This is a unique moment in U.S. history, a brief moment in history, when the U.S. has preeminent military, economic and political power. It won't last forever. This is just a period, a few decades this will last.'

Clinton continued...

'In all probability, we won't be the premier political and economic power we are now' in a few decades, he said, pointing to the growth of China's economy and the growing economic strength of the European Union.

Whether the United States maintains its military supremacy, he said, depends in part on how much those other entities invest in their militaries, and Clinton said working cooperatively is essential to U.S. interests.

But he said he did not want to be misunderstood. 'I never advocated that we not have the strongest military in the world...I don't think a single soul has thought I was advocating scaling back our military.'

Source: Washington Post article from May 2003:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A62253-2003Apr30&notFound=true

or find his remarks here (Talon News):
Clinton Predicts America's Decline:
http://mensnewsdaily.com/archive/newswire/nw03/talonnews/0503/newswire-tn-050503d.htm

4 posted on 11/03/2011 5:16:17 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Wolfie
And yet they finance a good chunk of our debt.

Even in the Obama economy, that's a less-risky bet than investing in infrastructure or industry in China. The U.S. has a history of doing well economically, even if we're currently being forced into recession by our own government. China has no history of rewarding economic investment in any reasonably calculable way.

5 posted on 11/03/2011 5:18:15 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I'm sure your dog likes you.)
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To: Kaslin

“we have the best freight system in the world (in Europe, they move people on rails and cargo on roads; we mostly do the opposite because we’re so much more spread out).”

I once made this point to the infamous lefty Willie Green, but all he did was ramble on about the NEED(but of course, not the demand) for more high speed rail.


6 posted on 11/03/2011 5:27:10 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Kaslin
What people don't often mention is that we have the best freight system in the world (in Europe, they move people on rails and cargo on roads; we mostly do the opposite because we're so much more spread out). That's why Warren Buffett -- the president's favorite billionaire -- has invested massively in freight rail. Alas, switching to high-speed rail in the U.S. would seriously threaten the efficiency of our system.

That short paragraph is is the most effective counter to the mindless clamor for high-speed passenger rail, particularly among naive, indoctrinated young idealists. Our freight rail network is a modern marvel, and we Americans are the most mobile people on earth.

7 posted on 11/03/2011 5:28:16 AM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: Kaslin

I’m going to pass this on to a few people.


8 posted on 11/03/2011 6:12:31 AM PDT by jimtorr
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Wake Up And Donate!


Click The Pic

Let's Make The Bar Yellow!

9 posted on 11/03/2011 6:32:09 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t think anyone with any basic understanding of geopolitics is “envious” of China, but I do think they are mindful of the fact that the majority of those 1,000,000,000 peasants can easily pick up an AK.


10 posted on 11/03/2011 6:47:05 AM PDT by snowrip (Liberal? You are a socialist idiot with no rational argument.)
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To: Kaslin

bookmark


11 posted on 11/03/2011 7:09:25 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing)
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To: Kaslin

12 posted on 11/03/2011 3:21:38 PM PDT by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: Kaslin
Propaganda isn't so much a lie, but only telling part of the truth. For example, the US has 11 times as many airports as China, however, most of the 5194 airports in the US are for general aviation, which the US does indeed tower not just over China, but the rest of the world combined.

But if you look at overall passenger traffic, the US will transport roughly 750 million people this year vs 300 million in China. And estimates put China's passenger traffic at 1.5 billion by 2030. And the US, maybe about 1.2 billion by 2030. And this won't include a high speed rail system like China.

Also, keep in mind, China is continually building. China will use 1.8 billion tons of cement this year (as much as the rest of the world combined) and will likely reach 2.5 billion per year by 2020. The US, on the other hand will use about 100 million tons, thereabouts, this year. So, China is still under construction.

And China currently produces more electricity than the US, but will likely, in the next 5 years, add to the grid a NET gain of more than the combined electricity capacity of Japan. And this just in the next 5 years. From now until 2025, the NET gain could be as large as today's US power grid.

China isn't a developed nation yet, but neither is it being idle.

13 posted on 11/04/2011 8:16:23 PM PDT by ponder life
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