US companies should stop being ‘useful idiots’ of China


Remember when Chinese Supreme Leader Xi Jinping closed the doors of the Middle Kingdom to all foreigners, and when liberal American opinion makers broke out on charges of racism and xenophobia?

Me neither, but it happened: no more foreign demons!

China has completely banned foreign visitors, effective at 12:01 p.m. Saturday. For now, the bros of Western finance and the types of consultants who have profited from deals with the totalitarian regime cannot bow down to the Forbidden City. And perhaps we should thank Xi for taking a key step towards unraveling our economy and that of China.

For decades, the United States and other Western powers have traded our industrial strength and technology to gain access to burgeoning Chinese markets and cheap consumer goods. Wall Street and a few big companies have benefited from the arrangement, as have US leaders like Hunter Biden, who until October sat on the board of a Chinese fund whose shareholders include many communist state-owned enterprises.

Westerners returned from swirling business trips, spouting new spanked airports, fast trains, obedient workers and skilled bureaucrats. Now, these elites, who made China a power, are waiting for the coronavirus in their Hamptons bunkers. They should use time to think about what the engagement with China meant: world supremacy delivered to the Beijing regime on a plate, with a “thank you” note.

The Chinese term for “crisis”, weiji, has the same character as jihui, “opportunity”. The Communist Party seizes this opportunity by spreading lies and trying to dominate the narrative of the coronaviruses – conspiracy theories about the US military creating the virus “Go, China!” posters in Italy.

It doesn’t matter that America tries to rule the world with the counter-discourse of the truth. For now, our priority should be to stop being China’s business colony, dependent on the anti-Western children of Mao Zedong for the most part.

We must bring back the production of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, while rethinking our global trade agreements to give priority to democratic allies in East Asia and elsewhere.

It’s a matter of life and death now. In the past two months, China has nationalized foreign mask producers and demanded extremely low prices for all medical equipment, creating a shortage in the rest of the world. The industrial conglomerate 3M, for example, saw most of its protective masks built in a factory in Shanghai bought locally even before the outbreak, and subsequently, the Chinese seized and “effectively nationalized” the capacity of the company , as White House trade czar Peter Navarro explained. he. This may be a good strategy for China, but our country cannot be subjected to the Communist Party.

An official Communist Party newspaper recently threatened that if China withheld medical supplies, America would “fall into the hell of a new coronavirus epidemic.” Such statements are not made without the approval of the summit, even if the Beijing envoy to Washington seems conciliatory. Many party officials and Chinese businessmen have friendly feelings for the United States, but not the supreme leader, Xi, and the worse he treats America, the better he looks in the eyes of his nationalist subjects.

China has been the best country of production and has the second largest consumer market in the world. But we stupidly put all or almost all of our eggs in one basket, a basket completely controlled by a totalitarian regime determined to make the world bend to its will.

And there are now better and more user-friendly alternatives: in fact, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are ahead of China in terms of “total competitiveness of cost factors”; the United Arab Emirates offers excellent tax incentives. The development of the Americas, from Mexico to Brazil, should be another priority. This process will be painful and costly as the best factories are now all in China, but this must happen in the interests of American economic independence.

President Trump’s greatest achievement has been to put an end to America’s fall into economic dependence on the Chinese Communist Party. His challenge now will be to resist calls for lower fares, which many believe prevent economic recovery.

We do not know how long the ban on foreign entry into China will last, but we do know that the Sino-US rivalry is permanent and intractable. It is time that we act like this. Our business elites may not take advantage of the Shanghai Peninsula or Beijing St. Regis while they crawl in front of Commie officials, but it is time to stop being useful idiots.

Nels Frye writes from Boston.


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