What Does China Want? No Answers From Ap.

By EWI EXCLUSIVE | by K.D.M. Jensen
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 @ 3:49AM

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“Thumbsucker, n.: A serious piece of journalism that concentrates on the background and interpretation of events rather than on the news or action.”

I disagree with the definition above.  To me, a “thumbsucker” is not a serious piece of journalism, but a piece that tells you nothing about what competent analysts who have acute takes on issues think.  You get only the opinions of thoughtful moderates (i.e., those who do not wish to offend anyone) and, of course, representative extremists.

The Associated Press has come up with a hefty thumbsucker on “what China wants” (see below).  Although it is indeed comprehensive on nearly the full range of what China is doing internationally in the political, economic, and espionage areas (and acknowledges the problems or potential problems created), it hardly speculates on what direction things in general are taking and refuses to relate economics and the Chinese military buildup to geo-strategy.  In conclusion, it seems to take David Shambaugh’s line that China is a “shallow power,” strong economically and weak militarily, and otherwise characterizes China as simply opportunistic.

Take a look at the piece and see what you think.  In my view, the chief deficiency of the article is that it portrays the Chinese as having absolutely no interest in foisting its political model on anyone and the rest of the world as having no interest in that model.  At the moment, however, the world is experiencing what might be called the rise of “bureaucratic totalitarianism.”  This is the Chinese political model (free markets and total political control) and is favored in varying degrees in Russia, Brussels, and elsewhere, even among some American Democrats. Perhaps the AP piece should have said that China doesn’t have to export its political model.

I should also mention that the piece speculates not at all about the fact that China holds seven percent of U.S. Treasuries and what it could attempt in the realm of economic warfare therefore.  And there is no speculation on how the huge and increasing number of Chinese abroad comports with the notion that such a fact may have more than economic implications.  Readers of this blog probably don’t recall events regarding Chinese companies in the Italian fashion industry in late June of this year.  The Italian authorities arrested 70 Chinese and confiscated something like $36 million in their assets.  Police said the businesses sent a total of €238 million from Italy to China without paying taxes.

I’m happy to say that the rest of the pieces for today are much more worthwhile, especially those on China and Europe, China and Africa, and China and Latin America.  The best piece, however, is by Michael Singh and Jacqueline Newmyer Deal on how China uses Iran to thwart American interests in the Middle East.

Categories: China, U.S. Policy

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