In This Issue
Vol. 27 Issue 3
DISENGAGEMENT: PART III
- Economic Warfare 101
- Made in China 2025 and Beyond
- The Ivory Tower Sinks into the Mud
- How to Disengage
“I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them.” – Isaac Asimov
“The combination of hatred and technology is the greatest danger threatening mankind.” – Simon Wiesenthal
One of the most important fields in which the United States and its allies must disengage from the People’s Republic of China is that of high technology.
Such a statement, whose defense will come in the following pages, would have sounded alarmist at best, just a decade or two ago. Of course, then the PRC was a relatively medium-sized economy going through an economic transition that promised to bring hundreds of millions out of poverty.
The United States, among many other nations, was (is) entranced by the vast promise of market access and the equally naïve but widely held belief that an increase in capitalist activity in the Eastern nation would somehow magically lead to an increase in democracy and human rights.
The opposite, as has since become obvious, turned out to be true.
As the PRC continued to “open up” to foreign interaction and business, the method of corporate entrapment through promised market access became increasingly constant. Speaking to a group of European business leaders in the mid-2020s, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan noted: “I know you have complaints, but the charm of the Chinese market is irresistible.” As Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption tsar, Wang would go on to help Xi consolidate power by slaughtering his enemies, both figuratively and literally.
The PRC government’s lack of concern for mewling foreign corporations did cause alarm for some. In 2010, Jeff Immelt, then CEO of General Electric, told a group of executives in Rome: “I really worry about China. I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful.”
Immelt was right to worry. In fact, the major draw for the PRC in allowing foreign companies to enter the market was not business per se, but the theft and forced transfer of technology.