HAWAII — China has not agreed on anything dealing with trade. I have seen China operate in Africa and they pay bribes. In America, if you pay a bribe you go to jail. Not so in China, where it’s a regular thing.
The bribes that are paid in Africa are often for roads and buildings. Do they hire locals? No! They pay the bribes and then bring in Chinese labor (often prisoners) to complete the task.
In America, if you accept a bribe, at least the locals benefit. With China, only the Chinese benefit. I have been to China three times, and after writing this I am clearly not going back.
I am also on the American advisory board of Reporters without Borders (RSF in France) and we know Chinese reporters are put in jail or executed if they write or say things in disagreement with the Chinese government.
When the century turned in 2000, there was a book out about the American Century; now I fear that in 2100, there will be publications about the China Century. Fortunately, I will not be around to see it, but it looks like they have it in their mind to take over the world. Mining of rare earth minerals, which China pursues in Africa, is now approaching 100,000 tons. That is a lot of rare earth minerals.
The Hill reported, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection raised duties from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of imports from China despite Chinese negotiators beginning talks in Washington on Thursday.”
There is now a list of products that would be affected by the new tariffs – and the products include unexpected things such as make-up and toilet paper, as well as things we might expect such as food products like fish.
Recently, there was an article in Forbes about what China wants from Africa. “China wants everything from Africa: its strategic location, its oil, its rare earth metals, and its fish, leaving African nations indebted to Beijing.”
Forbes reported: “In its long history, Africa has served the global ambitions of many foreigners. Foreigners have reached out to Africa as missionaries, financiers, and infrastructure builders. They have promised to place the continent on the globalization map and help its people grow out of poverty. But they ended up grabbing Africa’s riches, colonizing one nation after another, and letting their people steep in poverty. … China’s behavior is essentially the same as that of the United States in the second half of the 20th century … it’s using its rising economic power to build political oft power. And with the United States essentially rudderless when it comes to international relationships, the chances that China will succeed are very good indeed.”
We are also learning from the Los Angeles Times that “The Chinese government allows only about 35 American films to be released annually, and U.S. productions are granted just 25 percent of ticket sale revenue.”
When I was last in China, I was shown where the Chinese do their internet research (and hacking). They had no idea I was a journalist and I am sure they would not have shown it to me if they knew it.
Defense One notes: “They have exploited Africa for its rare earth’s elements and China raced to cement its global dominance (including building a new wing at Juba teaching hospital in South Sudan) in the field. It established the world’s largest rare earth research facility, a development that generally escaped U.S. notice, save in a single issue of the Ames National Laboratory rare earth newsletter. Chinese researchers filed for their first international rare earth patent in 1983; within 14 years, the total number of Chinese patent filings in the field exceeded that of the U.S., which had been working in the field since 1950. And Beijing was using its leverage as the world’s top producer of rare earths to acquire or import U.S. technology companies specializing in metals, alloys, magnets, and integrated rare earth components.”
I have no idea if tariffs with China will work. They currently import products in addition to food such as make-up – and even parking meters!
It is clear China wants to dominate the world. We can’t let them. What we did in the 19th century in Africa is not admirable – but this is 150 years later, and we can’t let China do the same thing to the continent or to us. Stop them now.