“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, November 06, 2006

China Trade Reserve Now $1 Trillion. Did Nixon Give Away the Back Forty to China?

China reserves reach $1 trillion

China says its foreign exchange reserves have reached $1 trillion - a milestone in its economic development. The huge wealth is a result of China's trade surplus, with the imbalance especially marked with the US.

The sum is the largest holding of foreign exchange reserves in the world and exceeds the annual amount of economic activity in most nations.

China's reserves have been growing at a rate of about $18bn each month and passed the landmark on Monday.

China's huge foreign exchange reserves have sparked concern among economists and policy-makers, who worry that the global imbalances could upset the world economy. BBC

Prominent Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan, author of a new book on the Nixon China visit, suggests the Americans gave too much away to Beijing, only achieved mixed results and sowed the seeds for China's formidable economic rise. That would come to no surprise to anyone that takes a walk through Wal-Mart. It is obvious in Latin America, energy and commodity traders.

There is a massive adjustment taking place throughout The World in military, political and economic terms between China and The US. It has changed American manufacturing and affected enough political races to have major consequences to US politics. Evidently, according to MacMillan this was the result of a subject on which neither Nixon or Kissinger had much interest.
"In truth, the Chinese desperately needed help to escape what China's State Information Minister Cai Wu calls the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

"Nixon's visit opened a door at that time for China to the rest of the world," he said during a recent visit to Ottawa.

Almost hidden among the fanfare, banquets and media frenzy was the joint commitment to boost academic contacts as well as trade -- topics which did not interest Kissinger or Nixon.

"The maximum amount of bilateral trade possible between us, even if we make great efforts, is infinitesimal in terms of our total economy," Kissinger told deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua.

In reality, the academic visits quickly helped China build up vital knowledge and skills. And the promise of greater access to U.S. markets was crucial.

After Mao died in 1976, his successors launched economic reforms that turned China into the powerhouse that is now, running a $200 billion trade surplus with the United States. China helps keep its rival afloat by buying vast amounts of U.S. debt."
The meeting changed the strategy of the Cold War and the US rivalry with The Soviet Union as the US could see cracks in the wall of the East-West Divide. It has affected the adjustment and re-adjustment of rivalries between Japan and China, China and India, Russia and China and provides great opportunities and dangers between The US and China.

The change was inevitable, because change is inevitable. It was never a natural state of affairs that China would remain a small economic power. Entrepreneurial by nature, patient and determined to make a better life for themselves, it would have been fruitless and dangerous for the US to stand in their way. The question is, was it smart to give away so much intellectual capital and get so little back in the short run? US manufacturers and manufacturing workers have paid a big price for the adjustment. A richer more powerful China, competing with the US on a global scale on all fronts will test US mettle. It is and will continue to Change US politics and culture. It could be a bountiful achievement, unmatched in human history, or a predictable consequence of American decline. It will certainly be a change. Nixon visit paved way for China rise


  1. If I got another run through, this time I would put effort, investment and then our trade dollars into Mexico-South America, instead.
    Maybe goods wouldn't be as super cheap, but they would not be basket cases on our border and we wouldn't have to worry right away about the Chicoms taking over the World's resources.
    ...not to mention giving them the crown jewels in Subs, Nukes, and Missiles.

  2. On C-Span:
    "We could easily lose two wars at the same time, I can assure you"

  3. Weekly Standard:

    "Mark this on your calendar: Spring of 2007 will be a bloodbath in Afghanistan for NATO forces. Our British, Canadian, Australian, Dutch, and other allies will be slaughtered in Afghanistan if they dare step off base in the southern provinces, and nobody is screaming at the tops of their media-lungs about the impending disaster.

    I would not be surprised to see a NATO base overrun in Afghanistan in 2007 with all the soldiers killed or captured.
    And when it happens, how many will claim they had no idea it was so bad and blame the media for failing to raise the alarm?
    Here it is:
    WARNING! Troops in Afghanistan are facing slaughter in 2007!

  4. "Maybe after this Tuesday we will get our America back, the "shining city on a hill" that shuns torture and is therefore actually morally better than brutal third-world regimes scattered around the globe."

    "Typical westerner, you think money is the source of all happiness and you hypothesize that even a happy rich westerner can be bought for a few snips."
    Ms T, you are one twisted Sister!

    Being the opposite of Wretchard's lesson learned from his grandmother.

  5. catherine said...
    "It's the lofty Principle that others should die for one's principles, as long as they're not immediate family."
    Terrorita's level of brain function.

  6. Too bad Terrorita likes Bush:
    She could marry Ash ley and be happy ever after.

  7. Mr Ortega WINS!!

    Another stellar success for Mr Bush, Ms Rice and the USA!

    Turning back the hands of time to those Jimmy Carter years. Oh the Compassion of our President's State Department.

    All hail US Foreign Policy!

    Chalk this one up for Hugo, fellows.

  8. WARNING! Troops in Afghanistan are facing slaughter in 2007!

    Too bad we'll be shoring up our forces to keep from losing the side-show in Iraq, otherwise we'd be able to keep from losing the main event in Afghanistan.