Donald Hank
Facts be damned: Russia is foe, China is friend
By Donald Hank
June 26, 2014

GOP mouthpieces are stating or suggesting in unison that, while China is guilty of economic misdemeanors, Russia is the most formidable military foe America has.

Remember that is was the GOP under Nixon and Kissinger that foisted Most Favored Nation status for China on a hapless America and repeated unrelentingly that this policy was a win-win for the US because it would open up the world's biggest buyer's market. It turned out that we were the buyer's market. Oh well.

And they're still at it, even now as American jobs are disappearing forever and as new economic reports tell us the US economy dropped 2.9% the first quarter of this year.

Phil Kerpen jubilantly states in the National Review:
    The liberalization of trade between the U.S. and China has been a stunning success for both countries. For China, integration into the world economy has brought sustained 10 percent economic growth, lifting a stunning 400 million people out of poverty over the past two decades, according to World Bank estimates. In the U.S., we've enjoyed a low-price retailing revolution, dramatically increasing real standards of living for moderate- and middle-income Americans alongside a decade of zero inflation in import-heavy market segments.
Stunning success, Phil? Yes, our free trade made poor Chinese rich, but it also enabled them to build up their war machine, even as we pared ours down. Not to mention that America's jobs went to China.

The most powerful Republicans, including the last two losing presidential candidates, say Russia is the bad boy but give China a pass. In the last campaign, Governor Mitt Romney said Russia is our worst geopolitical foe:

    "This is without question our number one geopolitical foe; they fight for every cause for the world's worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed," he [Romney] said.
By the time Romney was making that stern speech focused solely on economics, China had boasted, in newspapers distributed to the general Chinese public that it had a formidable arsenal including a nuclear missile capable of hitting any city in the US. I first read about it in a Chinese language newspaper from the local Chinatown here in Panama. I found nothing on this in English.

I therefore translated related reports and wrote commentaries on this here and here. I assume the US government and presidential candidates could afford advisors who scan the world press and provide translations like this to guide our foreign policies. Where are they? What about the media? While it is true that, with some difficulty, one can find out important details in specialized media about the Chinese buildup , there is not a word in the press about the tone of Chinese reports that go out to their own people. A scarcely dissimulated disdain for their number 1 trading partner is expressed in the Chinese language media and is not being translated or acknowledged anywhere in the West. This is one reason clueless politicians get away with their vacuous utterances and why people still vote for these people. (BTW, I am not letting the Democrats off the hook here. They are as clueless as the Republicans.)

Why would China brag about being able to annihilate our country, its favorite trading partner? I'm asking you, Governor? Ever wonder? Wouldn't only a foe do this? Yet on China – in contrast to Russia – your rhetoric softens. You call them currency manipulators (er, what about QE1 and QE2, Governor?) and say they pirate our products. Not a word about the unprecedented Chinese military buildup that far surpasses that of Russia.

But now that China is claiming territory that is clearly not theirs, where is that word "foe"? Oh, why that word is reserved for Russia, officially the only foe America has. Forget Middle East terror organizations too, of course.

I strongly suspect this has a lot to do with Russia's push back against the West's social engineering. Unlike Russia, China has not protested Western manipulation of the definition of marriage, for example.

Thus, despite some stern words on China's currency manipulation, computer hacking and pirating, Romney says :
    We have to recognize they are going to be an economic powerhouse. And with that reality, we're going to make sure that we're friendly, .
But not with Russia? Are we only going to be friendly to foes – er, nations – that are economic powerhouses, while beating up on the rest when they don't behave? Isn't that what bullies do, Governor? Didn't you support the campaign against bullying in your state?

Well, the GOP's contention that Obama is soft on "foes" is not inaccurate. But what about the GOP's ability to distinguish between friend and foe?

If I were China, none of the palavering of the political class (both parties) would be lost on me. The GOP keeps warning about Russia as a military foe. If I were China I would therefore test the US's resolve to stop me from grabbing territory I had always had an eye on.

And in fact, this policy of pretending that Russia is the only geopolitical foe on the horizon and giving China a pass is coming home to roost, to whit:

NBC news just announced that China has sent more oil rigs to the South China sea to be set up in Vietnamese territorial waters. They didn't deign to consult with Vietnam first, which had already held violent protests against the first Chinese rig in their waters.

After all, the Chinese clearly believe they have the biggest military in the world. And they have the Dongfeng missile that, as they say, can kill us all. All thanks to their Most Favored Nation status, compliments of Uncle Sam (both parties).

Good thing China is a friend, eh, Governor?

Hey, I have an idea. Let's blame it all on Russia.

© Donald Hank


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife and daughter.

A former language teacher, he holds an undergraduate degree in French and German from Millersville State University (PA), a Master's degree in Russian language and literature from Kutztown State College (also in PA), has studied Chinese for 3 years in Taiwan at the Mandarin Training Center, and is self-taught in other languages, having logged a total of 8 years abroad in total immersion situations.

He is also the founder of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, a volunteer organization that provides Christian counseling for non-custodial parents.


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