Wednesday, December 03, 2003

U.S. Busy - China On The Move

The most interesting dynamic in the world is China as a capitalist power, a huge future economic powerhouse. How will America fair in the dynamics of this great competition? Will we awake and rise to the challenges posed, and reform the international financial architecture, as needed, so fair trade can finally start the long journey to rebalance the world's markets? Or, will we play Rip-Van-Winkle too long? I have no idea which choice we will make, but, I do know if nothing is done America Inc. will pass by perpetual economic suzerainty[just as England did to America] from our hegemonic power to the hegemonic power of China Inc. Some may say, here, that China has no chance of this, it will go the way of Russia. Well, maybe so, but again, in this case due to the massive amount of global derivative insurance contracts, foreign direct investment, and global treasury instruments invested in or held by China - a closed capital market, the rest of the world would trip over itself being first to either help or support China in any future serious financial market troubles, as such could bring down the entire house of cards. This would then leave her strong enough to become the example of the first scenario - global eco-political hegemon. I'd say we'd better soon awake from the Great Cold War Snooze.

U.S. Busy, China Is Romping With Neighbors

....Beyond the economics and the diplomacy, something else is going on. China has the allure of the new. A new affinity is developing between the once feared China and the rest of Asia.

Karim Raslan, a Malaysian lawyer and writer who traveled to Washington recently on a Fulbright scholarship, put it this way. The American "obsession" with terror seems tedious to Asians, he said. "We've all got to live, we've all got to make money," said Mr. Raslan. "The Chinese want to make money and so do we." ....

.....Most disturbing for the United States, China's surging economy has much to offer America's most important Asian allies. Japan's rebound is being driven by a surge in exports to China. Australia's healthy economy is being kept that way by Chinese investments in liquid natural gas projects. China is now South Korea's largest trading partner.

Among Southeast Asian countries with significant Muslim populations, places where the American concentration on terror is particularly unappealing, China is on a buying spree.

In Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (and to a lesser extent Thailand), Washington's primary concern is the presence of Islamic militants. China's main interest is to scoop up what it can for its modernization. Indonesians have come to call this new relationship with Beijing as "feeding the dragon." ....

.....Not everyone is convinced that China's courtship of the region will last forever. "They're making progress because we're invisible and distracted; or bull-headed when we do show up," said Robert L. Suettinger, the author of the recent book "Beyond Tiananmen" and a member of the National Security Council during much of the Clinton administration. "There's no natural condominium for China in Southeast Asia. But I think it would behoove us to pay a bit more attention."

But the more provocative Mr. Przystup counters, "Today, China is East Asia's great power." ...Article Link

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