Tuesday, June 28, 2005

China And A Possible Challenge To U.S. Emerges As An Editorial Issue In NYT

Written from Dawson Creek, BC, Beginning of Alaska Highway--

On Sunday, June 26, the New York Times devoted a long editorial to an important subject, China and its increasing challenge to the U.S.

The NYT, it is obvious, takes this very seriously, and it does not adopt the dovish line it takes on the Middle East. China, it writes, is forcing the U.S. to "decide how it plans to protect its economy, husband its resources and grow in a world where it is no longer the only economic powerhouse."

Of particular concern is China's sudden bid for the Union Oil Co. This has quite appropriately stirred up Congress, and I believe it should go without saying that a foreign power should not be permitted to take control of an oil company which could adversely affect the American supply of oil, if it started following non-American wishes.

The New York Times editorial writers are not gutsy enough to flatly oppose China's bid for UNOCAL, but they do warn against "complacency." In short, they are courageous enough, like most editorial writers, to be cautious.

The globalists, such as NYT columnist Tom Friedman, have been slow to recognize that there are points where free trade is not in the U.S. interest. For instance, allowing China to export textiles without restraint has ruined many American textile companies and impacted Europe badly as well.

Ssme American businessmen, such as a Dartmouth classmate of mine, have recently found the Chinese making extravagant bids which would in fact install Chinese control over their businesses. My classmate said that he was perfectly willing to enter into a limited contract with China to see how a business relationship would work out, but not do more immediately. He is being correctly prudent.

It could well be the New York Times editorial was right in asserting that the huge budget deficits run up by the Bush Aaministration have given the Chinese, with their huge holdings of U.S. dollars and treasuries too much power over the U.S. economy and that this is more to the blame of President Bush than the Chinese.

I believe that in the long run, we can develop a fair relationship with China if we are reasonable but vigilant at the same time. But as the NYT editorial points out, it is going to take intelligent U.S. policymaking, not just hopes the Chinese behave.

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