Before the Verizon and Prism reveals, Barack Obama was thought to have planned to pummel visiting China President Xi Jinping on the issues of Chinese hacking and cyber security.
However, given the behind-the-curtain look at the depth and breadth of the American surveillance state, it’s more likely that Xi asked Mr. Obama for some pointers. (Similarly, Xi might also consider an off-the-record visit with AG Eric Holder regarding unfreedom of the press and with the IRS on the punitive use of the federal bureaucracy.)
Perhaps, as he’s doing with America’s nuclear deterrent force, Mr. Obama will choose to unilaterally cyber disarm, so as to demonstrate our good faith towards China.
The story is disturbing: Chinese hackers have compromised U.S. weapons systems including missile defense (the PAC-3, THAAD, and Aegis systems), aircraft (the F/A-18, the V-22, the Blackhawk helicopter, and the F-35), as well as the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship.
But imbedded within the story is another angle, the fact that Eric Holder would now appear to be cleared hot to tap the phone lines of the Washington Post, the private cell phones of its reporters, as well as their texts and e-mails.
How so? The report the Chinese hacking story is based on information that is not intended for public release (emphasis added):
Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.
As such, the President’s war on the press should be set to continue unabated.
If consistency counts for anything, one would expect the Administration to go after the Washington Post.
Will they have the stones to do so? Don’t count on it. The Washington Post does not equal Fox News.
China says it has a responsibility to try and dissuade its “blood ally,” North Korea, from launching a three-stage rocket in a few weeks but that they only hold so much sway over their belligerent neighbors.
First, it would be better said that China is North Korea’s “bloody ally.”
Second, the non-power of the UN is again on display. There are already at least two resolutions against North Korea with regard to pursuing ballistic missile technologies and testing such capabilities. It’s like the bumper sticker on gun laws: when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. And China could easily get North Korea to turn off any such test were they so inclined.
Finally, maybe this would be a good chance for a more useful UN resolution, one that would endorse the US using its anti-missile systems to shoot down any North Korean launch. Yes, Russia and China would be opposed, but the US, along with South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, could form a formidable political block of shared interests on the subject, and as with North Korea, could just ignore the lack of authorization and act if they wanted.
Still, don’t hold your breath on a real world missile defense demonstration. Much bureaucratic wrangling and consensus building would be required (the State Department is good at making speeches and traveling; not so good at building consensus) and for the rest of the Obama Administration, were a shoot-down to occur, it would only refocus their de-funding decisions on missile defense as well as the pending cuts to defense spending (and the country’s associated security vulnerabilities) via sequestration.
China has pulled a
Government General Motors only it’s regarding solar power instead of transportation. From the New York Times:
China’s biggest solar panel makers are suffering losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year, as panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008. Even though the cost of solar power has fallen, it still remains triple the price of coal-generated power in China, requiring substantial subsidies through a tax imposed on industrial users of electricity to cover the higher cost of renewable energy.
This sort of government interference has also taken root in America; consider the Chevy Volt, losing up to $50K (and disputed by GM, and likely, the government) for each vehicle sold.
Per Obamanomics, China has a plan to make everything better: they’ll fix their per unit losses by increasing their sales volume.
Finally, doesn’t the photo make one long for a U.S. manufacturing resurgence?
Do you know Ye Shiwen, the 16 year old female Chinese swimmer? The one who has passed her Olympic drug tests?
…she swam the final 50 meters of the freestyle leg in 28.93 seconds. That was faster Ryan Lochte, an American swimmer who won the men’s event. During the breaststroke leg, Ye had been trailing American Elizabeth Beisel before unleashing a devastating final kick that was faster than both Lochte and Michael Phelps, who finished fourth in the men’s medley. Her time on Saturday was also seven seconds faster than her own previous best time in the 400 IM last year.
When the drug tests don’t check for the drugs being used, they’re unlikely to indict the athlete.
I believe Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens also passed all their drug tests.
Fareed Zakaira, AKA Farside Zakaria, found an acorn in today’s column on China.
Basically, he asserts China faces an economic crisis. The hypothesis goes like this:
- China’s economic growth will slow because their economy has become so large. The sort of GDP growth seen in the last three decades, which also happened in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, will revert to the mean.
- China has worked through its population bubble and labor costs will increase; there will be fewer new workers in the demographic pipeline due to the one-child policy and the aging of the existing population.
These economic problems may drive political problems for China’s leaders. And political problems in China tend to have brute force solutions.
The Japan analogy, when further unpacked, seems spot on. Remember when the U.S. feared Japan who was thought to be destroying U.S. automobile manufacturing, buying all the good real estate (Rockefeller Plaza, Pebble Beach, etc.) and U.S. culture businesses (MCA, Columbia Pictures, CBS Records), etc.? Well, consider that the Chinese just bought AMC.
But ignored by Zakaria is this: there is a world-wide production glut of almost everything except oil. The U.S. generally has all the t-shirts, fishing poles, Nikes, DVD players, flat screens, and the likes it needs (watch Storage Wars if you don’t believe me) for a long time, so who will buy the stuff China makes?
If anyone, it will be developing nations—and internal customers—who historically have received less Chinese government attention. Additionally, since big-ticket items like cars and trucks are better than they’ve ever been, lasting longer, becoming safer and more reliable, and becoming obsolescent more slowly further reducing demand.
And what does the United States need? Food, shelter (at a national level we’re probably OK on that), clean water, fuel, and the pursuit of happiness.
So is China turning Japanese?
That’s why recycled pap, sequels, and prequels often rule the day.
But there hasn’t been a re-make of Red Dawn with China cast as 1984’s USSR.
Well, there has. It’s been made and was ready for a 2010 release (with China as the antagonist), but the movie needed to go in for some post production changes. What sort of changes? A massive storyline alteration needed to make the North Korean the bad guys instead of the Chinese.
Money. Chinese money. Consider Chinese ticket buyers and also Chinese distribution fees.
Prediction: with Chinese control of AMC, copyright and intellectual property enforcement becomes more important issues to the Chinese government. Expect to see the issue on the UN’s radar before too long.
Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng hopes to claim political refugee status by appealing to American embassy officials in Beijing.
After some hope, things change: he’s delivered back to the Chinese via their health care system.
The lesson: when there are no absolute truths, some will be thrown under the bus in the name of pragmatism.
But here’s the lesson the liberal media asserts:
If any episode crystallizes the ruthlessness of President Obama, it should be this one. Even as the GOP tries to depict him as an impotent president..
Regarding ruthless and impotent, Indigo Montoya comes to mind. The President isn’t impotent; he’s inept.
What can the United States learn from China?
We can learn what not to do.
- The rule of law? Vital. We are trending strongly towards legislation via regulation, a dangerous thing.
- Private property? Critical. That’s why the Kelo ruling was such a bummer.
- Freedom (within the rule of law)? Essential.
- Governmental power, interference, favoritism, and cronyism? Deadly,both metaphorically and often, literally.
Lefties holding China in high regard is like their fascination with the Soviet Union in the 1930s, a monster non sequitur that requires some serious thought as to rationale and motives.
In China, a big television show—drawing 40 million viewers—is based on interviews with members of China’s death row. No, not the record label; the real death row.
The scenes are recorded sometimes minutes before the prisoners are put to death, or in other cases when only days of their life remain.
That description makes it sound like a Schwarzenegger flick, something akin to The Running Man. Maybe The Dying Man? How about Dead Man Talking?
The name of the show is Interviews Before Execution which certainly has the ring of literal Chinese authenticity to it. Of course the X(ecution) Factor would be a lot snappier, but it’s taken, kind of. And with 40 million viewers already on board, the branding die has been cast.
Why don’t we have a similar shows in the West? Probably no one has quite figured out how to monetize the endeavor.
As distasteful as it all seems, it sounds less offensive and contrived than America’s own twisted misogynistic sister, Bill Maher.
(Whon Duck Loh, Peking Super-Paper, Beijing)
America is an important trading partner for China, and we Chinese are becoming increasingly concerned at the shocking failures we see in your country. The failure we’re most worried about is called crony capitalism. We’re familiar with state-sponsored capitalism, which is similar, but is far more efficient.
Crony capitalism is analogous to the socialization of loss and the privatization of gain; state-sponsored capitalism is money made by the state on the backs of the citizenry.
“Cronyism” describes what your President Obama is pursing in his politics as well: the socialization of his failure (on the backs of the “makers,” productive Americans) and the privatization of his own political gain (a second term). Of course, in time, even we in China know his failures will be paid for by your “taking” class as well. Why do we care? China will similarly fail if we can’t continue to serve an America abundant in buyers. That would be bad for Americans, Chinese, and the world in general.
In President Obama, you now have the worst of both the “intellect” and “temperament” aspects of leadership. It’s one thing to be a fool, but a fool with initiative can do real damage, and that’s just what you have in the White House. The President’s solution to everything is four more years, with increased government spending and regulation. Apparently the United States is too much to destroy in only one term, but China doesn’t want America to be destroyed; it would be bad for our economy, especially with Europe headed straight down the toilet.
Your President Obama is far from being the most intelligent president; if he were, he’d have long-ago revealed his test scores, transcripts, and writings. If he were your most clever president, he would have doctored those same items. It’s perhaps even worse for the American people based on his temperament, which our intelligence agencies have compared to the quality control efforts at our Chinese hot dog factories. Let’s just say you should be shocked.
While people whine about the President’s frequent vacations and golf outings, you should rather rejoice that he isn’t out “getting things done.” The President accuses your Congress, the Democrat Senate and the seated in 2011 Republican House as “do-nothing,” but America (and China) should have been so lucky as to have had a do-nothing President Obama.
China is a peaceful nation, dedicated to our own well-being. If it’s convenient, we’ll gladly meet many of your needs as the manufacturer of choice. But for the good of China and the good of your nation, President Obama’s ineptness can no longer be rewarded. We already hold well over $1 trillion of your debt as a result of the President’s stimulus and economic regression, and we can ill-afford to pay for his Obama Care.
Dear Americans, look at the crony political capitalist in the White House and ask if you can do better. China is confident you can. We believe in you.
Whon Duck Loh is President of the Great Wall Manufactures’ Association and the opinions expressed here are his own.