Defense Issues

Military and general security

Archive for July 2nd, 2018

David Archibald – The China Trade

Posted by archibaldperth on July 2, 2018

The No 1 panda-hugger/lapdog of the Chinese communist dictatorship is Henry Kissinger, who was born in Germany and arrived on these shores in 1938. In his declining years Mr Kissinger has decided to trade on his reputation as a former Secretary of State and sell his services to an enemy of the Republic that gave him refuge 80 years ago. There is a thing called the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States within another institute that takes exception to US exceptionalism, the Wilson Center, named after the first do-gooder president. The way that Chinese political corruption around the world works is that a Chinese businessman connected with a state-owned company pays out funds so there is no direct connection with the Chinese Government, all coordinated by their United Front Work Department. Now it is possible, but highly unlikely, that Mr Kissinger’s efforts in deepening understanding with China are completely altruistic and he is funding his pro-China institute from his own pocket.

Another thing that happened in 1938 was the passage of the Foreign Agents Registration Act that requires agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” to disclose their relationship with the foreign government. If he already hasn’t done so and he is receiving funds originating in the Middle Kingdom, Mr Kissinger should be as honourable as he can be and register as required under that act. There is a good chance that he hasn’t as he is quoted as having said “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” His philosophy recently reached full flower in the FBI.

The problem for China is that Kissinger’s utterances are so blatantly pro-China that nobody gives them any credence. Whether or not they are getting their money’s worth with Kissinger, there are other intellects who are attracted by the notion of centralised decision-making and sing China’s praises, seemingly without need for payment, in the same way that Nazi Germany had many ardent admirers.

Thus the erudite Spengler has an output of columns praising Chinese accomplishments, the latest of which argues that China should continue to have unfettered access to the US market. To back up his argument Spengler provides three graphs, the first of which is Chinese exports to the US:

His graphs are useful but not as he intended – they show how little we have to lose by ceasing trade with China. In the first graph, the biggest Chinese import category is cell phones which are assembled in China and include high-value parts made in the arc of countries to the east of it – Taiwan, Korea and Japan. They could just as easily be assembled somewhere else – Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines. As China is going to attack Vietnam, shifting such assembly work to Vietnam from China should be done as quickly as possible. The best thing that Apple could do for world peace is to shift its operations from China to Vietnam. This is the cheapest foreign aid we can give an ally in the coming war with China.

The next biggest category is computers. We definitely do not want those things imported from China. As soon as they are plugged in they will be doing an ET and phoning home. Perhaps not always, but why find out after the event? From then on it is just Ikea/Walmart-type stuff that could be made in Mexico – screws and glues and plywood. As soon as the 200% tariffs come on the factories will move elsewhere in the blink of an eye.

Let’s turn our attention to Spengler’s second graph – US exports to China:

Aircraft is a big one but not permanent. Boeing has built a plant in China which will make one hundred 737s a year. Airbus has built a plant which will make six A320s a month. The jobs are going to China as a condition no doubt of maintaining access to the Chinese market. Japan attempted to enter the passenger aircraft market back in the 1970s and failed. In the end China is likely to do a Maersk on Boeing and Airbus and refuse to renew visas on the Americans and Europeans running their plants, effectively nationalising them without having to pay for them. Anyway, there are only a couple of years left of selling American-made aircraft to China.

Then comes the No 2 export to China, which is soybeans. China is not going to import any fewer soybeans because they now provide 20% of their protein intake. The Chinese public will become upset if pork disappeared from their diet. The only place China can get soybeans in that quantity is Brazil. We will sell to the countries currently taking soybeans from South America. Brazilian soybean production has topped out over the last three years at about 117 million tonnes per annum so there will be less competition from here as per this USDA article. This graph shows how the market has evolved:

Next comes cars which are $10 billion a year. That is 0.05% of the $20 trillion US economy. That is not enough to be worth providing comfort and succour to the enemy. As with the aircraft, cars as an export to China are at the whim of the regime. Next are semiconductors and industrial machines at $6 billion and $5 billion respectively, which combined is less than the cost of the Gerald Ford at $13 billion. If we didn’t have to fight a war with China, then we wouldn’t have to build such expensive aircraft carriers.

Semiconductors have China in a bind. If they stopped buying US semiconductors then they would have to buy more from Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Korea is the only one of those three that China may not be going to war with. Spengler’s article tells us that China imports $220 billion a year of semiconductors of which the US provides less than 3%. That is another market which could disappear overnight.

From then on the list of top 20 US exports to China gets scrappy at about $2 to $3 billion per annum for each item. The 20th largest Chinese export to the US is $5 billion a year of camping goods. Our 20th largest export to China is $2 billion worth of cell phones and miscellaneous.

From Spengler’s charts of exports and imports, if the US were completely closed out of access to the Chinese market, the effect would be a rounding error on the US economy. If China were completely closed out of the US market, the effect would be at least a 4% shrinkage of the Chinese economy. Just as importantly, that industrial activity would be transferred to countries that are aligned with the US or at least not setting out to kill us. That is a win-win outcome.

Another effect that China-worshippers like Kissinger and Spengler neglect is that the Chinese economy is being recentralised under President Xi. Just as President Erdogan of Turkey said that democracy is like a tram you get off when you get to the stop you want, China’s brief experience of capitalism is being abandoned now that their economy is about as large as it can be. But workers in state-run factories have only one third the productivity of workers in private industry so this will hobble Chinese competitiveness. The most recent example of this effect in the US was the launch of the Falcon Heavy at one tenth of the cost of NASA’s efforts in getting large objects into space. The landing of the Falcon Heavy boosters, like a scene from a 1950s science fiction movie, was dispiriting to China’s Han supremacists. Democracies such as the US may be too messy for the likes of Kissinger and Spengler but they are far more creative and productive.

The biggest benefit of Trump’s opening to North Korea is that he can no longer be painted as a warmonger and that has given him considerable freedom of action on China. Bring on the 200% tariffs. Chuck China out of the World Trade Organisation. Make China the pariah state it needs to be seen as. That won’t stop China from going to war with the civilised world but there will be fewer deaths, destruction, maiming and disfigurement on our side.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

Advertisements

Posted in politics | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

How Islam led to world wars

Posted by Picard578 on July 2, 2018

Islam has, maybe not directly caused, but definitely set into motion events which ultimately led to the World Wars. In short, Islamic expansion cut off trade routes to the East and forced Europe to (eventually) turn to Atlantic. This led to discovery of the New World, which was then settled, giving rise to great colonial empires (and also heavy-duty slavery, started by islamic merchants selling slaves to Europeans – not that it was anything new at the time, slavery existed even in Merovingian Empire). Colonialism and colonial competition (not directly nationalism, as is often said) then caused global conflicts: Seven Years War, Napoleonic Wars, World War I and World War II. Specifically, Seven Years War led to Napoleonic Wars. Napoleonic Wars eventually helped cause national unification of Germany, which became industrial power, leading it to conflict with West over the colonies, which led to World War I. World War I was never properly wrapped up, and so caused World War II.

Islam has appeared in 7-th century, after a man by name of Muhammad decided he is not rich enough and decided to dupe a bunch of people with God to pillage for him. He was supremely successful, and Islam spread rapidly. Within decades, whole of Middle East and North Africa were conquered. Eventually, in 15th century, Ottoman Emirate captured Constantinople. Islam also invaded Central Asia, cutting off the overland route to the East. Afterwards, islamic armies continued their advance westward until finally being stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683., specifically on September 11, 1683. Old overland route for trade with East now went through islamic territory. But in 1492., Spanish finally liberated the pennisula from islamic occupation, and Cristopher Columbus went sailling West to find the new passage East. This led to discovery of Americas.

Europe itself (in geopolitical terms) is product of Islam. Up until the expansion of Islam, there was no “European” civilization, but Mediterranean one, primarily centered around Eastern Mediterranean and tightly connected to the Fertile Crescent and through it to India and China. Greek civilization is a product of Egyptian one, Greek philosophers and artists had been to Egypt (as is obvious when comparing art: kuros, and other early Greek art, shows clear Egyptian influences). There was in fact an entire civilizational system along the Silk Road: Rome/Greece – Persia – India – China – Korea – Japan.

Islam destroyed all of it. It conquered Arabia, Near East (Middle East for Americans), Northern Africa, Persia and parts of India. It conquered as far as Soviet -stans. This last act in particular severed the Silk Road, and forced Europe to look West. First came expansion northwards: into British islands, Germany, Scandinavia and Russia (Byzantines), turning former Mediterranean civilization into European one, and giving birth to modern Europe. Then, after the route through Central Asia was severed, came the western expansion: Americas, and later Australia, Africa and Asia. Balance of power and trade shifted from Mediterranean to Atlantic, and this led to global expansion and first wave of globalization. It is not incorrect to say that European colonialism is a product of Islam.

This colonialism in turn led to a series of wars. First came the Seven Years War. This war was what made Britain into great power, but it was initiated by a conflict over colonies between Britain and France. Conflict started in 1754. when British attacked French positions in North America, and – much like World War II – it quickly spread to encompass most of Europe and much of the world into what became the first world war. The war ended in expansion of British Empire and destabilization of France, which ultimately led to the French Revolution and the next global conflict – Napoleonic Wars.

Napoleonic Wars are a continuation of French Revolution, itself caused by the Seven Years War. French Revolution did not last long, and as revolutions are prone to doing, it soon turned into a dictatorship by Napoleon Bonaparte. French expansion, even though it started from wars of self-defense, destabilized the continent and threatened other powers. This destruction of balance of power precluded peaceful settlement, and ensured that wars started in the Revolution would continue, both in Europe and in French colonies. After 10 years of Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon was defeated, borders redrawn, and both Europe and the world were free from major conflicts for next hundred years.

First and Second World Wars follow a nearly identical pattern. First World War was started by a conflict over colonies – rising Germany wanted resources and slaves to exploit, and established Britain and France did not want to give up their own resources and slaves. This led to formation of various alliances, which after some shuffling settled into well-known Triple Entente and Central Powers. The entire continent was a powder bag, and was easily set off by a single spark provided by Serb imperialist activists. The war led to dissolution of German, Austrian, Ottoman and Russian Empires, but solved little – colonies and colonial powers remained, and heavy-handed peace terms forced on Germany bred resentment.

World War II was little more than delayed epilogue of World War I. Germany, humiliated by the peace treaty – very different from light handling France received post-Napoleon – vied for a revenge. This in turn destabilized and illegitimized the Wiemar Republic, and everything was worsened by the Great Depression. Nazism was little but expression of uncertainty and insecurity caused by this, even if expressed in extreme terms (and even then, it was much less extreme back in 1930s than it seems today). In Asia, Japan itself embarked onto colonialist route, placing it at collision course with established colonial powers. Overall, Nazism, militarism etc. that are typically listed as causes of World War II were largely incidental – true cause of war was, again, colonialism.

Overall, Islam caused European colonialism, and European colonialism caused world wars. Normally stated causes of world wars such as nationalism are at best minor, if not irrelevant. Likewise, it is doubtful that United Nations, EU and other such institutions prevented World War III. It is unclear whether World War III had even been prevented in the first place – between 1814. and 1914. there were 100 years, whereas World War II happened “only” 73 years ago. However, if it had been prevented, it was not due to European Union. What prevented next European conflict was decolonization and transfer of balance of power from Europe to North America and, now, Pacific-Indian ring. Post-World War II Europe and its powers are simply not important enough to warrant a continent-wide conflict, and even if such a conflict had happened, they would not have had the power or influence to drag the rest of the world into war with them. If there is next world war – a prospect more likely than many think, thanks to globalized economy – it will begin in the Pacific.

Posted in history | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »