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The Great Decider Will Decide About China

is the bar open?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 19, 2006.

Probably the most important international meeting of some years starts Thursday when the Presidents of China and the US meet to chat about the world’s future in a very literal sense. Fortunately, our President is in full control, and we are all happy the Great Decider is in charge to deal with the diplomatic spawn of the Great Helmsman. Yup.

Cutting through the hoopla, and with great oversimplification, the US spent years trying to sever the last communist giant’s ties to socialism for benefit of our trade because of their supposed huge consumer base, and having partially done so is now faced with an economic colossus, as yet unformed, that may soon rival our own. Its economy is immense and growing at about 10% a year, although it’s hard to know how that would be computed, given the Chinese government’s lessening-but-still-strict hold on everything. Its money is kept artificially low against the dollar to keep its products cheap on the international market, and encourage purchase, and this among other things makes comparison, to a large degree, moot.

Worse, it’s a black market of the unpunished. China is the world’s biggest thief of software and entertainment products. Billions of dollars worth a year.

Worse yet, China may be taking advantage, with no effort, of the Bushies’ continuing diplomatic and foreign policy incompetence. Bush having solidified much of the Middle East as our outright enemy, the turbaned powers may just sign over their oil supplies to China, which needs them and can afford them, and cut us out in hopes of hurting both support of Israel and our other military adventures around the world. China, after all, just requires a pipeline. A huge pipeline, but still, then where would we be? Just a sample of the chuckles ahead.

China might do this not only for its economic benefit but because it has reason to hate us only slightly less than the Arabs do. Worse than British opium, in China’s eyes, we sent innumerable Christian missionaries, and although this provided the United States with a few centuries of complete and utter misinformation and highly entertaining delusions about the exotic land of China and its unstoppable march towards the Cross – and the military mettle to defend it - it gave China little but another source of internal conflict and anger towards us.

It is from these two conflicting lusts – trade and Christ – that we evolved our clueless and self defeating China policy that gave us both Chang’s painful military fiascos against the Japanese and the communists as well as the Korean and Vietnam War. You’d think we’d have learned, by now, and moved on. But in reality, the two forces that provided us with those heavily weighted bags of stupidity about China are the ruling forces in the Republican Party at present, and George W. Bush is beholden to both traditions.

This could be bad. And it probably will.

Back in the day, the GOP accused Truman and the Democrats under Surrender Monkey Dean Acheson of losing China. This supposed we’d actually once had China, but not content with that idiocy they spent the next twenty years badgering various presidents to “unleash” Chaing Kai Chek from Taiwan, where he’d run to quiver with his pillaged goods after his 1948 walloping. Unleash the incompetent to take back the mainland. This got a good laugh in various politburos around the planet, now mostly gone, but nowadays the slack has been picked up on this side.

And while the general hilarity has died down some, it still seethes in the bosom of every conservative to stick one to the Middle Kingdom and then, in its penultimate throes, to covert them all to Christianity. China, of course, knows this well. It may drive them to drink, but they, at least, know their opponent, if not really an enemy.

Rest assured, we find ourselves obligated to Taiwan against Beijing because Time Magazine founder Henry Luce was born in China to Christian missionaries, not because of anything that was of particular interest or benefit to the United States. We got into the Korean War, the Cold War, and Vietnam in no small part because Chaing Kai Chek and his highly seductive wife professed themselves Christians.

Because the Beijing Olympics are next year, it has been suggested that the Taiwanese government might decide in an all or nothing move if they still want independence, and declare itself a separate nation during the events China should do well in, and dare the mainland to risk embarrassment and war in the middle of their own party. We’ve given Taiwan the weaponry to make a good go of it. And if not then, when? They have better weapons than the mainland Chinese who, by the way and unlike Iran and other places, have not felt the need to go bonkers in an arms race they cannot win. Yet.

Just touching on the high points, here, of the subjects that China and the U.S. are, be there a God in heaven, chatting up in constructive humor. Sleep tight tonight. The Bushies are awake. Well, except for Bush himself. He’s asleep by nine.