By now, it should be obvious that President Donald Trump is responsible for every problem known to man and then some. So too in the case of the current economic stand-off with China over its trade imbalance with the United States and the issue of intellectual property theft. Yet while “Sleepy Joe” Biden recently went so far as to say that America has nothing to fear from the Chinese, plenty of evidence exists to the contrary, thus making it commendable that Trump is finally standing up to a nation with a history of manipulating U.S. presidents dating back to Richard Nixon.
Yes, China has long been engaged in the transfer of American intellectual property and technology, often through coercion and intimidation of U.S. industry. The Chinese have also employed spies to infiltrate the computer networks of nearly 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon, as well as banks and federal contractors, and launched cyberattacks in this concerted effort.
In light of Beijing’s strategy, Trump imposed tariffs last July on $250 billion of Chinese technological products which harm American economic growth and hurt U.S. jobs. In addition, Trump recently threatened tariffs on $325 billion in additional goods after a trade deal collapsed. Past trade negotiations have resulted in limited success; however, China’s economy has fared much worse in this game of cat-and-mouse. Yet economics is far from the only area where we should be wary of the Chinese.
China’s coordinated spy network is vast, extending to U.S. colleges and universities where an army of 30 million Chinese students selectively steal research and advanced technology concepts for the Communist regime. While those running these academic institutions merrily count the tuition money flowing into their coffers, this Chinese thievery has been so easy it can be likened to taking candy from a baby.
Most credible intelligence officials agree that China’s ultimate goal is simple: to replace the United States as the world’s dominant economic, military and political power. U.S. education used to teach the fact that this was the aim of Communism. It still is.
In 2018, the Chinese Communist Party elected Xi Jinping “president for life.” Since then, he has arrested tens of thousands of opponents. His government has also increased surveillance of its citizens via social credit scores, with officials monitoring people’s activity on the internet. Cameras are also used on China’s streets, and in the privacy of its peoples’ homes, to determine if they have committed a government-determined infraction. Accumulate enough infractions and you lose specific benefits and freedoms.
In addition, China has solicited Google to help develop the “Dragonfly” app to censor information negative about the government and assist it in controlling internet searches. But China is not merely content to control its population through surveillance. In an effort to systematically classify its Muslim Uighur population as mentally ill extremists, the government has imprisoned between 800,000 to 1.1 million of them in secretive re-education camps under brutal conditions.
China further represses religious freedom across its society. As an officially atheist nation, the Chinese have long faced religious persecution; however, it is steadily increasing.
The Chinese have also been involved in a continued military modernization and buildup; devoting more money to their military than the rest of Asia combined. They have made great advancements in space-based weaponry, electronics and cyberwarfare, as well as missile technology, while producing a new guided-missile destroyer and its first homegrown aircraft carrier.
Last but not least, for all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our elections, U.S. intelligence is well aware that China has been doing likewise. Specifically, they have sought to exploit division between federal and local officials in counties which voted for Donald Trump. Though not surprisingly, our media and politicians seem entirely uninterested or aware of this fact.
Today, China is much more than a supplier of cheap goods and iphones made to satisfy America’s fickle tastes and desires. Its across-the-board aggressiveness has been largely ignored by the rest of the world as well. Now is the time to temper our obsession with a clear and obvious foe in Russia, and to confront the duplicity and evil demonstrated by an even greater enemy in China; which threatens our very way of life with each passing day.
Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News. Reach him a firstname.lastname@example.org.