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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thomas Friedman, "What’s Up With You?": Tom's Truth About China Will Set You Free

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "What’s Up With You?," Thomas Friedman would explain to us America's relationship with China:

"But here’s the truth: the American and Chinese economies and futures today are now totally intertwined, so much so that they are the real 'one country-two systems' to watch.

. . . .

Both countries almost take for granted the ties that bind them today: the $600 billion in annual bilateral trade; the 275,000 Chinese studying in America, and the 25,000 Americans studying in China; the fact that China is now America’s largest agricultural market and the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt; and the fact that last year Chinese investment in the United States for the first time exceeded American investment in China."

Ah yes, the "truth." Friedman could have also mentioned that the prison population in the US is the highest in the world, with second place going to China. On the other hand, the US doesn't even come near China's world-leading number of executions per annum. (Iran under its "moderate" president Hassan Rouhnai is executing people, including homosexuals and women accused of adultery, at a record pace and coming up fast in this category.)

Observing a trend toward innovation in China, Friedman writes of Chinese President Xi:

"Xi has begun a huge push for 'innovation,' for transforming China’s economy from manufacturing and assembly to more knowledge-intensive work, so this one-child generation will be able to afford to take care of two retiring parents in a country with an inadequate social-safety net.

. . . .

President Xi seems to be betting that China is big enough and smart enough to curb the Internet and political speech just enough to prevent dissent but not enough to choke off innovation. This is the biggest bet in the world today. And if he’s wrong (and color me dubious) we’re all going to feel it."

"We're all going to feel it"? Especially if American is forced to pay back its $1.3 trillion debt to China anytime soon.

Meanwhile, if China is successful in its push for innovation, one can only wonder what it will do with it 3 million slave laborers. (No mention of slave labor in Tom's opinion piece.)

"One country-two systems"? "Two systems" without a doubt, but "one country" is more than I can stomach.

1 comment:

  1. Some of us hope China will take California for that $1.3TRil.

    one country (!)