Feb 012011
 
 China Follies:
 
President Barack Obama has met with China President Hu Jintao in the White House, the reason for this meeting is supposedly to clean up U.S.-China relations, but is this possible?  Or is there another reason for this visit? 
 
To begin with, China has since the communist takeover established a track record of doing what it thinks is good for the Chinese government and nothing else. It has controlled its currency to give it an unfair advantage in international trade, ignored intellectual property rights, abused its citizens for the sake of profit and censored every means of free speech it can think of, while countering America on important issues like North Korea and Iran. Will China change its ways based solely on President Obama’s smooth talking. I don’t think so.
 
But to be objective about this; it has to be realized that America is somewhat at fault for the American-China mess. It was American business people that sent American factories to China for cheap labor; I mean how can you compare Chinese people working for one dollar per hour with subsidized housing and food; when American workers make from $7.25 per hour to well over a hundred dollars per hour. Also, included in the cost of American labor  is medical, social security, pensions, prescriptions, dental, eye glasses, OSHA workplace regulations, EPA regulations, government regulations etc. China has none of these regulations. It’s a wonder anybody hires American workers at all.
 
Also, it has to be realized that any action on the international front has consequences that are often unforseen, the main one being that China used the above mentioned to rise from a very backward nation –  to one that is now well on it’s way to becoming a major world power. Does this mean that trouble is on the way? Maybe, with Taiwan remaining a point of contention because China claims Taiwan as part of China’s mainland while Taiwan wants to remain independent of China. And with America being a main arms supplier to Taiwan, this is certainly a problem. Complicating this problem is the fact that China is making a major build up of its armed forces, most notability its nuclear arsenal, a new stealth jet fighter and a missile that can destroy an aircraft carrier.  With America and Britain being the only nations with aircraft carriers, this certainly raises a question as to Chinas real intentions.
 
The Chinese President Hu Jintao said that he wants new areas of “collaboration” with America in aviation, space, infastructure and clean energy. Or to translate this into English – he wants another technology transfer to China.  If congress is naive enough to go along with this; it remains to be seen. But then again, if the payoff is good enough, Congress most likely will go along and transfer this technology to China.
 
In the current climate with China doing all it can to keep American products out of China while doing all it can to maximize Chinese exports to America, causing a very large trade imbalance, for China to ask for another technology transfer is certainly asking a lot, or maybe China thinks like President Obama in that smooth talking can do wonders.
 
But then again, some Republicans in Congress do not seem to be very impressed with the Chinese President and are thinking more to the tune of trade restrictions on China. How this can work with America being a major debtor to China can certainly complicate better relations.
 
Or to sum up this essay, better relations are not in the forecast. But China is certainly having a great time making a fool of America.
 
Jose Lugo
 
 
 

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