China was admitted into the World Trade Organization in 2001 with the understanding that they would participate in free trade and to international norms.
Until the 1970s, China’s economy was managed by the communist government and was kept closed from other economies. Together with political reforms, China in the early 1980s began to open its economy and signed a number of regional trade agreements. China gained observer status with GATT and from 1986, began working towards joining that organization. China aimed to be included as a WTO founding member (which would validate it as a world economic power) but this attempt was thwarted because the United States, European countries, and Japan requested that China first reform various tariff policies, including tariff reductions, open markets and industrial policies.
That has not happened. China has followed a mercantilist trade policy, stealing intellectual property, requiring companies selling to the Chinese to share ownership with often corrupt entities owned by the Peoples Liberation Army and relatives of regime principals.
Mercantilism is a policy that is designed to maximize the exports and minimize the imports for an economy. It promotes imperialism, tariffs and subsidies on traded goods to achieve that goal. These policies aim to reduce a possible current account deficit or reach a current account surplus. Mercantilism includes an economic policy aimed at accumulating monetary reserves through a positive balance of trade, especially of finished goods. Historically, such policies frequently led to war and also motivated colonial expansion. Mercantilist theory varies in sophistication from one writer to another and has evolved over time.
America has been largely passive in tolerating this behavior until Donald Trump became president. Some of this passivity may reflect Chinese influence with US politicians.
While it may seem politics as usual in Washington today, some are alarmed.
“Nobody in the 1980s would have represented the Russian government. And now you find so many lobbying for the Chinese government,” said Frank Wolf, a retired U.S. representative from Virginia who long served as the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. “I served in Congress for 34 years. I find it shocking.”
Below are some of the more prominent former U.S. politicians and officials whose have lobbied for China or whose business interests are closely connected to it.
Donald (Andy) Purdy Jr.
And there are more with details at the link. Both parties are represented including Diane Feinstein and her Chinese “driver.”
It happened five years ago, but additional information is just surfacing about how the Bay Area senator’s office was infiltrated by a Chinese spy.
The Bay Area is a hotbed for Russian and Chinese espionage. Late last year, the feds shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco.
You may remember the thick black smoke that billowing from building before Russian diplomats turned it over to authorities, presumably produced by burning documents.
Now, all eyes are on Chinese intelligence in the Bay Area after the website Politico reported last week that a staffer for Senator Feinstein turned out to be a Chinese spy who reported back to the government officials about local politics.
Both she and Nancy Pelosi are married to men who have made millions from their wives influence in China.
According to her 2011 financial disclosure statement, Pelosi received between $1 million and $5 million in partnership income from Matthews International Capital Management LLC, a group, which brags about its “singular focus on investing in Asia.” Paul Pelosi was listed as one of the Directors of Matthews International Capital when it was formed in 2010. Funds managed by the company include the Asian Growth and Income Fund, the China Dividend Fund, the Pacific Tiger Fund, and the China Fund.
Now, China is embroiled in the Wuhan virus scandal. It is also heavily involved in illegal drug imports to the US.
The coronavirus has turned America upside-down. In less than three months, the virus has killed 70,000 Americans and destroyed more than 30 million jobs. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “enormous evidence” shows that the virus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China—not in that city’s infamous “wet markets.” But while few question that the virus originates in Wuhan, many don’t know that Wuhan is also the source of another deadly epidemic: America’s fentanyl overdoses.
Fentanyl, a form of synthetic opioid, has quickly become America’s most dangerous drug. In 2018, fentanyl killed 31,897 people in the United States—more than twice the number of any other narcotic. The chemical compound is so lethal, in fact, that just two milligrams—enough to cover Lincoln’s beard on a penny—can prove fatal. In the past five years, fentanyl has devastated hundreds of American communities, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, where overdose death rates have skyrocketed.
“Most of the fentanyl and novel synthetic opioids in U.S. street markets—as well as their precursor chemicals—originate in China
There is currently much concern about Chinese dominance in the Pharmaceutical industry for legal drugs.
Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States’ growing reliance on China’s pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House. In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China. “If you’re the Chinese and you want to really just destroy us, just stop sending us antibiotics,” he said.
Much of this dominance is a result of Chinese cartels that undercut US manufacturers until they shut down. In addition, Chinese quality controls are abysmal.
While the potential exposure to raw material supply disruptions drives part of our fear, concern about the safety and efficacy of Chinese-made pharmaceuticals is another component. In the summer of 2018, one of China’s largest domestic vaccine makers sold at least 250,000 substandard doses of vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. It was the latest in a slew of scandals caused by poor quality drug products made in China over the last decade. In 2008, the contamination of a raw ingredient imported from China and used to make heparin, a blood-thinning drug, was associated with at least eighty-one deaths the United States. According to an investigative journalist, fraud and manipulation of quality data is still endemic in Chinese pharmaceutical firms.
There is now pretty good evidence that a lab accident in the Wuhan Biological virus lab in October may have set off the world wide epidemic.
Donald Trump set off a firestorm by winning the 2016 election. Several reasons. One may be that he has decided to reverse the submission to China in world trade.
For thousands of years China’s internal weaknesses—natural disaster, famine, plague, civil unrest, and foreign invasion—kept its attention inward. We are now at the greatest turning point in Chinese history since its unification in the 3rd century B.C. China is turning outward—but doesn’t want to rule you. Like the Borg in Star Trek, it wants to assimilate you.
President Trump is right to insist that America’s status quo with China can’t continue. He campaigned against their systemic theft of U.S. intellectual property and the migration of our manufacturing to China. He reversed 20 years of benign neglect toward China’s challenge to our strategic dominance and took vigorous steps to check China’s expansion. But he hasn’t succeeded. Thus far he has addressed symptoms rather than causes. Our trade war with China settled into an uneasy truce by the end of 2019, with modest damage to both economies but no clear winner.
Now, has the CCP enraged by the reaction to the virus epidemic, become unstable ?
Covid-19 has scarred the Chinese psyche. The CCP’s draconian response to the outbreak upended lives and devastated the economy. Correcting previously fabricated data, the Wuhan government recently increased its official death toll by 50 percent. The Chinese naturally want to know the pandemic’s source, who should be held responsible, and how to prevent future outbreaks. Yet the rest of the world already understands that the virus originated in Wuhan, where the CCP’s coverups turned a containable situation into a global crisis.
The CCP launched a well-coordinated propaganda war, spreading disinformation to deflect any blame and instead demand praise for its response. One Chinese official, for example, tweeted that the U.S. military planted the virus in Wuhan. Though his outrageous conspiracy theory drew laughter internationally, a portion of China’s domestic audience seems to have believed the claim. Then, after Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Wuhan on March 10, the country declared victory in the “people’s war” on the virus, claiming that all new cases came from foreign visitors.
It’s interesting to consider what this means about China and the future.