Beijing’s Air Quality and the Olympics

UPDATE: On Pajamas Media, Wretchard has a report and analysis of the farce that was Bali’s UN meeting on climate control and global warming:

Environmentalism has become the political lifeboat into which the survivors of the socialist shipwreck have crammed themselves. The need to “manage the climate” became the new foundation on which to base regulatory structures, impositions, and taxes which were formerly justified by the imperative to manage the “commanding heights of the economy.” Kyoto was the highest expression of the program to “manage the climate” and provided the same new basis for socialistic policies that Marxism once did…

…Reducing “carbon emissions” really meant reducing economic output in a world where poverty is a major problem. They were caught between the Scylla of having to maintain a commitment to environmentalism and the Charybis of recession. So the politicians and celebrities at Bali driven by the need to keep the circus going and uninhibited by the Green equivalent of a Bolshevik Party did the obvious thing: they created a shell game tricked out as an emissions control scheme. Bali would no more reduce “carbon emissions” than Kyoto did, but it would give the impression of doing so. And that would be enough, wouldn’t it?

The whole essay is done in Wretchard’s inimitable style. Besides that, you get to find out where the term “moonbat” originated.

Chinese smog

This is Beijing during rush hour.

This is China’s part in the global smog:

In 2004 the total greenhouse gas emissions from the People’s Republic of China were about 54% of the USA emissions. However, China is now building on average one coal-fired power plant every week, and plans to continue doing so for years. Various predictions see China overtaking the US in total greenhouse emissions between late 2007 and 2010, and according to many other estimates, this already occurred in 2006.

The Chinese government insists that the gas emissions level of any given country is a multiplication of its per capita emission and its population. Because China has put into place population control measures while maintaining low emissions per capita, it claims it should therefore in both of the above aspects be considered a contributor to the world’s environment. In addition, the country’s energy intensity – measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP – was lowered by 47 per cent between 1991 and 2005; from 1950 to 2002, China’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil sources accounted for only 9.33% of the global total in the same period, and in 2004, its per-capita emission of carbon dioxide from fossil sources was 3.65 tons, which is 87% of the world average and 33 per cent of that of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

In June of 2007, China unveiled a 62-page climate change plan and promised to put climate change at the heart of its energy policies but insisted that developed countries had an “unshirkable responsibility” to take the lead on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and that the “common but differentiated responsibility” principle, as agreed up in the UNFCCC should be applied.

In response to critics of the nation’s energy policy, China responded that those criticisms were unjust, while studies of carbon leakage suggest that nearly a quarter of China’s emissions result from exports for consumption by developed countries.

In other words, says China, “you can’t criticize us because we’re just making stuff for you.” How unselfish of them.

To gauge by the level of smog in Beijing, it may not have been the best place to have the Olympics.

[end of post]

16 thoughts on “Beijing’s Air Quality and the Olympics

  1. That is some awesome smog in that photo of Beijing. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s didn’t provide opportunities to enjoy that much smog. But we had our share!

    As kids in the summer, we would work in the yard raking up all the oak leaves. On hot smoggy afternoons while raking up the leaves in the backyard I recall my lungs feeling as if they would explode. I could only take the shallowest of breaths…. Only later did I learn the reason was the smog: strenuous work on a smoggy day.

    I think the Chinese are right. It is, after all, their right to build as many coal-fired plants as they want. And if you don’t like it? Hey, ask the Tibetans what the options are.

  2. One simple statistic says it all:


    In fact, China’s communist government may be largely to blame for how irresponsible the country’s polluters are. Many major industries are indirectly owned and controlled by members of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). The misdeeds of individuals are often winked at or simply bribed out of existence. Less obvious is how the instability and capricious rulings of China’s politburo breeds up insecurity in the business sector.

    This pervasive lack of consistent regulatory law and economic stability encourages business owners to make profits swiftly and by any means possible. Worker safety, concerns about contamination or tainted ingredients, dumping of potent industrial toxins and a host of other significant issues are given short shrift.

    Previous scandals have seen infants starve to death after being fed nutrient-free counterfeit baby formula. Auspicious colored eggs served on holidays have been injected with toxic industrial dyes. Less well known is how China is responsible for the world’s largest medically caused AIDS epidemic. In Henan province, plasma buyers known as “bloodheads” would congregate several dozen people of the same blood type, centrifuge out the plasma from their blood donations, then divide up the red blood corpuscles and reinject them back into the donors. If one person had AIDS, now all of them did. When Merk and Pfizer refused to drastically reduce the price of costly anti-viral drugs China went ahead and counterfeited them in abrogation of international law. The domestically produced drugs had such disastrous side effects that many patients stopped taking them.

    In typical Chinese fashion, a massive coverup was attempted and this provided time for many infected rural peasants to migrate into city centers. Government manufactured prophylactics are of very poor quality and foreign made ones are extremely expensive. Only 20% of the population is aware of safe sex practices. Couple this with the massive imbalance in gender birth ratio due to selective abortion or female infanticide and the scarcity of women points towards a likely uptick in homosexual activity among urban Chinese men. This will only serve to exacerbate the AIDS crisis. When this epidemic was first exposed, China acted in the usual communist manner and promptly arrested the doctor who revealed it.

    Another well-hidden fact is that China’s economic boom is largely a bubble economy. Estimates range as high as one TRILLION dollars worth of bad bank loans made to senior party members who bought up large corporations as they were conveniently privatized by the government. Many of the apparatchiks had little to no business experience plus the lack of automation and accurate record keeping led many of these outdated concerns into swift bankruptcy.

    Rising water behind the Three Gorges dam has destablized huge outcroppings of earth that slide into the reservoir causing destructive waves. Chinese engineers are very concerned that these may affect the dam’s physical integrity. Additionally, large cracks have already appeared on the dam face despite efforts to contain and repair them. A failure of the Three Gorges dam could kill untold millions of people down stream.

    None of this addresses the massive pollution of waterways and groundwater supplies throughout China. Hydrological resources are becoming a major issue. This has led to China building a string of hydroelectric dams on the uppermost reaches of the Mekong river. The retention of water resources allows China to threaten the very existence of downstream countries like Viet Nam and Cambodia. Massive die-offs of vital aquaculture and water-based lifeforms could result in total economic and ecological collapse for these Southeast Asian nations.

    China’s hamfisted blundering threatens to wreak havoc in multiple spheres and little is being done to rein them in. They buy off American politicians like so many cheap sluts and indirectly control huge amounts of campaign donations. America currently has an over 120 BILLION DOLLAR trade deficit with China. Wal-Mart alone represents a solid 10% of that amount. Wal-Mart, Circuit City, The Good Guys and many other major consumer electronics or toy companies all rely upon cheap Chinese labor to boost their profits. These same businesses in turn make major campaign donations, often to both parties. Given that, how likely is our government to curb China’s predatory business practices?

    Rampant corruption in China only guarantees that more of the same will follow what is currently going on. China is headed into a perfect storm of potential economic and ecological collapse. All the while, they continue to build their military and present a significant threat to global stability by exporting arms to terrorist countries and supporting rogue regimes like North Korea. A recent anti-satellite weapons test by China left thousands of pieces of dangerous debris orbiting in space. They recently dazzled one of our reconnaisance birds with a powerful ground-based laser. Europe is drooling to sell them advanced military harware and only intense diplomatic pressure has restrained them from doing so.

    China needs to be slapped down hard but there are few prospects of any politician or government having the courage to do so. Get ready for some very nasty things to happen in the Far East.

    You read it here first: Prepare to see Taiwan declare independence less than six months before the Olympics.

  3. Ehm, isn’t this a somewhat off-topic post for GoV?

    It’s not the first post lately where I thought “Interesting. But does that bear any relation to global Jihad etc.?”

  4. Zenster,

    Amen brother. I think China is one of the most ignored threats out there. I would put it right up there with Islam.

  5. Does China need to be “slapped down hard?” Better to look first before slapping because you don’t want to hit your own face in the process.

    I just came back from about a month in Shenzhen. Pollution is evident. There were times in Guangzhou when one could look at the mid afternoon sun as the moon. It was about as bright. But what is driving this ecological mess? Look around the next time you use a product, any product, and see where it is made?

    Our (the U.S.) economy is very tightly coiled within the Chinese economy. The Chinese are understanding about the quality of products they produce and do not take the well publicized rash of “harmful” products lightly. But, they will tell you that if Americans want higher quality products, they must be willing to pay higher prices. When margins from buyers are slim, cost cutting is a natural result.

    Also, one must understand the history of capitalism in China (called Socialism with Chinese Characteristics). 30 years ago there was little in the way of trade with the West. The massive influx of capital and resulting growth has taken place in a very short time. I wonder if any country or government anywhere could control what has been the recent situation in China? It is easy for us with our history of (relatively) slow economic growth as a country to look bewildered at China, but we’d be in the same situation as they are if we had their economic and political history.

    They do not have the political and institutional devices in place to deal with what has happened. I believe that it is only a matter of time before they, as a people and government, will respond. Indeed, there are signs this is happening, now.

    When I was there the substantial growth of fossil fuels and its resulting problems was no secret. In order to deal with this China recently signed an agreement with the Japanese and French to build half a dozen nuclear plants. They, too, understand that their tremendous growth cannot be sustainable on oil alone.

    Politically, the CPC is committed to rapid industrialization in order to allow its massive population a chance to transition from the peasant class to the middle class. To expect this to happen overnight, or without major problems in a short time is naive. Whether they can do this without poisoning themselves is a big question.

    The city population is now in transition. In the streets one can find diesel trucks, Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and rickshaws. The emerging middle class have PC’s, MP3 players, cell phones, but do their laundry by hand and hang it all out to dry on their balconies. The past is not so easy to overcome.

    Interestingly, everyone I met wanted to be like Americans. They are capitalists at heart. The population is mostly homogeneous, and given their general good will towards the American way of life, the Chinese should be our natural allies (I am talking people, not their government).

    The CPC appears to allow much economic freedom, but little political. Obviously it is in China’s best interest to reform or get rid of the CPC, but what realistically can be done? I do not see a USSR type of situation, but who can say? There is an idea that as the Chinese middle class emerges, and as the corrupt party administrators begin to gain a stake in the economic process that political freedoms will gradually emerge without the typical violent struggles usually associated with government changes. I cannot predict whether this will ever happen in China.

    The average Chinese I met did not seem to be too political. Perhaps it is because they know better. At the same time, the government understands that official corruption is rampant, and is at least officially attempting to curb it. Penalties for corruption are very harsh, to include death. Again, it is a big question to me what China will look like in another 30 years.

    The situation in China has the potential to be a winner for the U.S. But whatever happens, it will not happen quickly. It is easy to talk about a “smackdown.” But it is better to think deeper. In any case it is not so easy to come up with viable solutions given what we have created by making China our manufacturing base. In fine, their problem is really now our problem in a real sense.

  6. Henrik: Ehm, isn’t this a somewhat off-topic post for GoV?

    When one considers just how much China abets terrorist regimes and generally destabilizes global security it makes them a very cogent topic for GoV. In the long run, China will make Islam’s terrorists look like a bunch of well-behaved boy scouts.

    Spackle: I think China is one of the most ignored threats out there. I would put it right up there with Islam.

    As the last great bastion of communism, China remains a gigantic threat to world peace. One look at how they have purposefully used North Korea’s nuclear program as a counterweight to America’s presence in the East Asian quadrant shows just how willing China is to create the very worst sort of outcomes so long as it suits their politicial goals.

    MPresley: In any case it is not so easy to come up with viable solutions given what we have created by making China our manufacturing base. In fine, their problem is really now our problem in a real sense.

    If America has any brains it will begin to extricate itself from China’s withering embrace. Consider how our military has become increasingly dependent on network-centric warfare. Now, think about how a huge majority of the laptop computers we use come from China. One simple embedded Trojan Horse could suddenly disable a strategic component of our military’s ability to conduct war.

    China is progressively hollowing out this world’s industrial manufacturing capacity and it is incredibly damaging to those nations who allow it to happen. Our national security relies on the ability to produce a wide range of goods and materials in a time of war.

    America currently subsidizes Micron Technology, one of the biggest producers of DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) chips. Our government also supports Planar Systems as one of the sole American producers of flat panel plasma displays. Both of these vital technologies represent critical wartime assets. For the unacquainted, plasma displays are used in jet fighter cockpits where their high contrast levels and luminosity outperforms all other display technologies. LCD (Liquid Crystal Displays) and other readouts are rendered useless in the direct sunlight of high altitudes that jet fighters operate at. The ubiquitous nature of DRAM memory should make its criticality absolutely no surprise to anyone. The feature-rich nature of modern electronics makes extended memory capacity, not just desirable, but imperative. Increasingly, DRAM production is being off-shored to Korea, Taiwan and, yes, China. How many other strategic products will we allow to be relocated to nations where we have little to no control over their production? Even a simple product like textiles suddenly assumes profound importance when soldiers need winter uniforms. Ask Napoleon about that one.

    So long as China continues to be an unfair player in global trade, they will be in need of significant correction. China’s institutionalized theft of intellectual property and routine counterfeiting of copyrighted or patented American products is legendary. Major Hollywood motion pictures are issued as Chinese DVDs before they even premier in American theaters. Certain regions of China are known as “one copy” provinces, where a single software package is purchased from Western producers and then pirated throughout government and academic facilities. Just these few examples represent BILLIONS of dollars in lost revenue. It also allows China an unfair advantage in how they can price and profit from the goods that they produce, further undercutting the competitiveness of Western manufacturers. When all of this is combined with China’s blatant manipulation of their currency, it all adds up to economic treachery on a vast scale.

    Now, consider something seemingly off-topic like the SARS virus. China intentionally kept a tight lid on any publicity regarding this outbreak because they did not want to let it affect domestic tourism and regional trade. The end result was a far more severe epidemic than what was otherwise necessary. Canada’s heavy Asian tourist traffic alone dwindled so badly as to cause losses in the TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars. Multiply that with the health impacts, and other attenuated tourist revenues in many other countries and China’s uncooperative secrecy ended up costing the world BILLIONS of dollars. The same thing is happening once again with the bird flu virus and similar financial impacts can be expected.

    China is a dishonest player on the world stage. We have foolishly allowed them to sit at the table even as they continue to palm cards on a regular basis. They routinely beget one ecological catastrophe after another and allow their mess to bespatter all around them. They are a menace to freedom and need to be isolated economically until they become transparent and accountable. However painful it might be, if America were to detach itself from China’s manufacturing base, the communist regime would crumble in a few short months, if not weeks. Soviet Russia has already demonstrated what we can expect from well-progressed communism. There is no reason why we should wait around for what promises to be a catastrophic meltdown. Especially so, when China’s collapse will most likely be accompanied by a military excursion into Taiwan, Siberia or India.

    If this is not a glaring enough picture, imagine how the politburo’s Mandarins must drool in their sleep over the prospect of raping Taiwan’s economic treasure house. Tiny Formosa has one fiftieth of Mainland China’s population. Yet, as the eighteenth largest economy in the world, their GDP is ONE TENTH that of communist China. It means that each Taiwanese person is five times more productive than their Chinese counterpart. We have already seen the stultifying effect that China’s absorption of Hong Kong has had on that once-dynamic metropolis. This must not be allowed to happen again with Taiwan. China’s continued military expansion will see Japan, Taiwan and South Korea all rightfully become nuclear-armed nations. This needless buildup of atomic weapons is required only because of China’s duplicity. This is what makes China so dangerous and why action needs to be taken against them.

  7. Zenster,

    I do not see China as a threat, but as an insurance, a blessing. The ultimate guarantee that Islam won’t take over the whole world. Makes me sleep soundly at night. While recent, current and coming American Presidents give me nightmares.

    Read this article by Raymond Kraft: Weaponizing Civilization

    — Excerpts: — (my bolding)

    >>The Chinese and the Russians do not want to fight a war with America, not openly and directly; they would get hurt too badly, no matter who “won,” and they do not need to. They want a reasonably prosperous and productive America to sell stuff to, and buy stuff from, but they would be hugely pleased to see America cut down to size a bit, or a lot, an America that was a No. 3 Semi-Super Power, after China and Russia, or Russia and China, in either order, or maybe No. 4 after China, Russia, and the New Islamic Caliphate. They would like to see an America that is about as much a threat to anybody as the European Union is now, so the Chinese and Russians can run the global show as they see fit, ration the oil, and pocket the profits.

    Thus, they are perfectly happy to sell weapons to Hezbollah, calculating that the Hezbos & Friends will do the dirty work for them, will maintain a generation of savagery all over the world (except in Russia and China), and that America will exhaust itself, its politics, its will and economy, trying to “control” and contain the savagery, but lacking the will and strategic vision to root out its roots, because that would cause way too many civilian casualties, and America cannot stomach the infliction of civilian casualties, or the destruction of nations, even if they are sponsors of terror. We’re way too nice for all that. And so our “niceness” is turned and weaponized against us. We have become too civilized to defeat our enemies, perhaps too civilized to survive. The dagger of our decency stabs us in the back.


    Now, Russia and China want to be on the winning side of things in ten years when the dust settles, so they are selling weapons to the IRM, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Iran, betting that America will not wake up and smell the coffee, and will not develop the intellectual, strategic, or moral clarity to recognize that it is dying a death of a thousand cuts, until long after it’s too late to save the patient, or the victim. So far, Russia and China are betting on the right horse.

    And so as the political will of America to save itself slowly (or quickly) expires, we will see, in our lifetimes, maybe within the next few election cycles, or the next few years, a New World Order emerge, not the one American conspiracy theorists fear, but a far more deadly and malevolent one in which a new Islamic Caliphate, a new Islamic Empire, rises as a strutting puppet of the new superpowers, Russia, and China, with America relegated to geopolitical inconsequence, vying with the geopolitically inconsequential European Union for a distant fourth or fifth place in the pecking order.

    Russia and China will not be overrun by the Islamic Resistance Movement, since they do not have our qualms about collateral damages, civilian casualties, nor our obsession with being “nice.” They do not have our pathological desire to be liked by everyone. They do not fancy themselves quite so civilized, so “over-civilized,” as do we, and so their civility cannot be weaponized and turned against them. They do not want “peace” as obsessively as we do, and so their passion for “peace” cannot stab them in the back. They will have no trouble ceding a large part of the world to the Islamic sphere of influence, the Arabian subcontinent, Africa, southern Europe, western Europe, with the message to Ahmadinejad, or whoever succeeds him, that “you can do whatever you like, as long as you cooperate with us, and as long as you don’t threaten us, in which case your life expectancy will grow very short.” Russia and China are not paralyzed by our pathological aversion to the use of savagery in self-defense, or in the pursuit of their national self-interests.

    I.e., Russia and China are waiting in the wings to pick up the geopolitical spoils after the Islamic Resistance Movement deflates and defeats the will of America to defend itself and its interests, and exhausts and obliterates Israel. Russia and China will not threaten American sovereignty in North America, because they will be very happy to look to America as a source of technology exports, cheap labor, and cheap food.

    The support of Russia and China for the Islamic Resistance Movement (via Iran) will, however, evaporate, when, or IF, the United States comes to its senses and begins to systematically deconstruct the ability and will of Iran, Syria, and the Islamic Resistance Movement, to project terrorism throughout the world. Russia and China, quite logically, want to be on the winning side of things when the dust settles. And if another horse starts to run faster, they’ll change their bets.>>
    — end of excerpts —

    Are we sufficiently on-topic now?

  8. Conservative Swede: I do not see China as a threat, but as an insurance, a blessing. The ultimate guarantee that Islam won’t take over the whole world. Makes me sleep soundly at night.

    First off, I am obliged to thank you for posting such an incredibly pertinent link. Kraft’s article is nothing short of a word-for-word prescription of what America must undertake in order to survive.

    I also think that much of Kraft’s summary has been well-addressed in Wretchard’s Three Conjectures. However, Kraft’s dismal assessment of Western reluctance to properly confront Islamic predation is more than accurate. For that, I thank you.

    I can only hope that you understand how my own personal stance varies little, if at all, from Kraft’s.

    Here are what I consider to be his money quotes:

    The soft underbelly of America in particular and Western Civilization in general is that it has become so excessively nice and decent and civilized that it is now loathe to rise to its own self-defense, loathe to kill civilians when necessary, loath to cause “collateral damages,” loathe to fight and defeat other countries, even when its own survival is at stake.

    This is where America has lost sight of the lessons learned during WWII.

    we are stuck harassing their [jihadist] pawns because we lack the will to topple their knights and bishops, kings and queens

    In reply, I maintain that the West could reverse much of Islam’s onslaught by disabling the following forty Islamic players:

    1. Ayman al-Zawahiri
    2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    3. Ayatollah Kahmeini
    4. Mullah Muhammad Omar
    5. Abu Bakar Ba’asyir (Bashir)
    6. Moqtada Sadr,
    7. Abu Hamza al-Masri,
    8. Mullah Krekar (AKA: Abu Sayyid Qutb),
    9. Khaled Meshal
    10. Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
    11. Ismail Haniya
    12. Mohammed Abbas
    13. Yusuf al-Qaradawi
    14. Tariq Ramadan
    15. Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali
    16. imam Omar Bakri Muhammed Fustuq
    17. imam Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa
    18. imam Sheikh SyeSyed Mubarik Ali Gilani
    19. Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal
    20. Sheik Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi
    21. Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar
    22. Prince Sultan Ibn Abd al-Aziz
    23. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz
    24. Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz
    25. Muhammad Taqi Usmani
    26. Yasin al Qadi (Saudi terrorist financier)
    27. Imad Mugniyah, — Iranian master terrorist
    28. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jibreen — top Wahabbi cleric
    29. Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan — top Wahabbi cleric
    30. Sheikh Nasser Al-Omar — top Wahabbi cleric
    31. Sheikh Essa
    32. Abu Waleed Ansari
    33. Abu Yahya al-Libbi
    34. Maulana Ilyas Kashmiri
    35. Ahmed Abu Laban — DEAD — January 19, 2007
    36. Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi (al Qaeda CEO)
    37. Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Al al-Sheikh — Saudi Grand Mufti
    38. Ramadan Shalah — Islamic Jihad leader
    39. Ali Abdullah Saleh – Yemini President
    40. Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ghaith — head SA’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

    If we had the courage to dispense with these few dozen terrorist operatives, jihad would come close to a screeching halt.

    While America wants peace, and recoils from the projection of deliberate savagery, the Islamic Resistance Movement embraces and adopts savagery, “managed savagery,” as its primary militant tactic, calculating, correctly, so far, that America, which wants to be nice and doesn’t really want to hurt anybody, will never respond with equal or greater force, or savagery.

    Which is why I continue to call for a policy of massively disproportionate retaliation. Muslims MUST be made to feel our pain. Absent that, continued terrorist atrocities will the norm.

    In the law of agency, the Principle is liable for the acts and omissions of his Agent. The Employer (principle) is liable for the acts and omissions of his Employee (agent), at least within the course and scope of the employment, at least within the scope of the intended purposes and objectives of the agency. The Conspirator is liable for the acts of his Co-Conspirator, at least within the scope of the objectives of the conspiracy. Thus, applying this basic principle of agency and conspiracy to geopolitics, we should be holding Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, China, and North Korea, who are providing weapons to the Jihad with which to attack Israel and America and the new Iraqi democracy, and providing safe havens and money and technical assistance for the Islamic Resistance Movement, responsible for the acts and omissions of their agents, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Quaeda, et al., but we lack the intellectual and strategic clarity, and the political will, to do so.

    Which is why I call for the punishment of China. The politburo continues to drain Western coffers by propping up puppets like North Korea and other terrorist players. We must slap down such attempts to triangulate against freedom and liberty, no matter if it costs us a temporary disadvantage in terms of industrial capacity.

    Israel is doing a little better than we are, at last, and we should follow the Israeli example, as far as it goes, and then go the rest of the way. We will have to, sooner or later, unless we intend to aquiesce to the vastly diminished role in the world our enemies have planned for us. We should do so sooner, before the Jihad gets nuclear weapons, rather than later, after it has them, when the price of defeating the Jihad, in dollars and blood, ours and theirs, will go up by several orders of magnitude.

    This is the “Butcher’s Bill” I keep writing about and no further comment can make it any more clear.

    The unsettling reality that America must recognize is that, if it is to survive in anything resembling its present form, dominance, influence, and prosperity, it must decide to subordinate its “niceness,” its debilitating civility, its incapacitating decency, its sniveling obsession with being “liked” by the rest of the world, no matter how ineffectual or snobbish or opportunistic or barbaric the rest of the world may be, to the necessities of defending itself and others, its allies and friends, its Judeo-Christian civilization, and indeed the entire non-Islamic world, from the otherwise implacable advance of the Islamic Resistance Movement that intends to abolish Western Civilization as we have known it, and usher in a new world order of Islamic Empire, a thousand year reich of puritanical Islamic Nazism.

    Which is why Islam must be catastrophically disassembled and eradicated for once and all time. It serves no valid purpose on earth and can only continue to bring greater grief, misery and pain to our planet.

  9. “Does China need to be “slapped down hard?””

    Who in the Western world would have the authority to do that? They are the factory floor of the world, and if we slap them down hard, we may suddenly be out of a lot of very nice and very useful products.

    We need more than just our own perception of ‘moral justification’ to slap down China…

  10. Zenster: “So long as China continues to be an unfair player in global trade, they will be in need of significant correction. China’s institutionalized theft of intellectual property and routine counterfeiting of copyrighted or patented American products is legendary.”

    This is essentially true. But it must be seen in perspective. Also, copyright is an interesting idea, in and of itself. Historically, copyrite is a result of the idea of the ownership of ideas. This is a relatively new situation and, as one theorist explained (H.M. McLuhan in Gutenberg Galaxy), a result of the psychological process of print technology. In our post print age, and when music or videos are seen simply as a file on a server floating about a network cloud, it is no surprise that people’s ideas about ownership are changing. Whether this is a good thing is beside the point anent the actual reality of what is happening culturally and socially.

    The average Chinese cannot afford the price of a CD. So they copy. Again, this is piracy, but it is explainable economically. For example, a copy of XP (or Vista, which no one seemed to care about) is about 10 yuan on the street. That’s about a dollar a little change. I don’t know how they get around the activation, though. While I think XP might, on a good day, actually be worth about a dollar or two, and would not use a Microsoft product myself if I could help it, this situation does underscore one of the problems of American companies doing business in China.

    But the U.S. copyright system is a mess anyhow, and one can rightly wonder about the practices of, say, the music cartel. When CD first arrived on the scene, a player was $1000.00. Now you can buy one for less than $50.00. This is capitalism and the market. But look at the price of a CD. In a free market one would expect some competition, or at least a lowering of price of the product over time. Not so with CDs.

    Look at Windows. Has the price come down on this questionable product, over time? So there is much to criticize here, too.

    “China is a dishonest player on the world stage. We have foolishly allowed them to sit at the table even as they continue to palm cards on a regular basis. They routinely beget one ecological catastrophe after another and allow their mess to bespatter all around them. They are a menace to freedom and need to be isolated economically until they become transparent and accountable.”

    Again, short of pulling the plug on our economy, what you say, while true, is not going to happen. As far as strange trade practices go, it is noted that China recently increased export tariffs on corn. Why did they do this? In part because of the peculiar situation in the U.S. where corn is subsidized in order for us to gain the questionable benefits of bio-gasoline, or ethanol. As the price of corn on the world market rises in order to fuel U.S. automobiles people in 3rd world countries face the prospect of less food.

    So, global trade issues must be balanced. There is blame to go all around.

    As I said earlier, the governmental infrastructure and rule of law necessary to deal with rapid economic expansion is just not in place, in China. It will take time.

    I still think these people are our natural allies. We should think about how it is that we can encourage the “withering away” of the Chinese state–the CPC. It is said that the USSR collapsed in part due to Stinger missles and IRBM’s, along with the Soviet’s inability to create efficiency in their economy. Is this an option for us and China? They are not engaged in a war with anyone, at this time. Plus, they are our manufacturing base–something the USSR was not.

    We send massive amounts of dollars to China in return for goods. Will Americans be willing to double, or triple the price of what they consume in order to have the satisfaction of knowing it is made in America? Probably not. This is not the fault of the Chinese.

    The U.S. has a policy of devaluing the dollar. The yuan is only allowed to minimally float since they peg RMB against our dollar. What, then, are they to do with their (our) currency? Interest on treasury notes is low. So, now, they are seeking investments in equity. This is a tragic situation for the U.S. But, again, it is not the fault of the Chinese. It is our problem.

    The immediate goal of “Chinese expansion” appears to be Taiwan. But, historically, Taiwan was an integral part of China. When the Kuomintang retreated to China did this make it less a part of China?

    My only point is that we must think deeply about China. And, again, I think the Chinese should be our natural allies as, at least from my perception, they want to be like us. This potential good will should not be discounted in a world where, in many places, the thinking among the peoples are different.

  11. MPresley: I still think these people are our natural allies.

    This statement demonstrates a distinct lack of understanding with respect to China’s culture and history. The Chinese people have a collective memory that goes back SEVERAL THOUSAND YEARS. They view themselves as a Master Race in ways that makes the Nazis look like hopelessly insecure neurotics. They are most certainly NOT in search of any allies and—as can be seen from their trade dealings—any relationship with them is a one-way street.

    One need only witness the recent debacle involving tainted goods manufactured in China for some real perspective. Mattel was eventually forced to issue AN APOLOGY to China. The one person executed by China was being punished over an incident that took place YEARS AGO. China’s only regret is that they got caught. Recent discussions here about the differences between guilt driven and shame driven cultures are quite appropriate. Even more important is an understanding about the contrasts between high context Asian cultures and low context Western ones.

    You concede many of my points but seem to dismiss them as being impossible to attain. Consider what will result if we continue to pump billions of dollars into the politburo’s coffers. We are financing a massive military buildup that only promises chaos and turmoil in East Asia. China has ZERO intention of becoming a fair player. What does that presage? All through history, a huge excess in young male population has been disposed of in only one fashion, namely, WAR. There is little to indicate that it will be any different this time around. Ask the Tibetans.

    The only reason America is not disengaging from China is because the Chinese have bought off our politicians like the whores that they are. I, for one, and many other Americans wouldn’t mind paying more for goods, especially if their domestic manufacture meant more well-paying jobs here at home. Outsourcing our industrial capacity is a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. Try comparing an item made in America to its Chinese counterpart. Chinese goods are shoddy and poorly constructed, often using marginal materials and tolerances. We are total idiots to be building modern manufacturing facilities over there.

    The Chinese are able to shoot up the learning curve without even a slight fraction of the massive investment we made to understand issues of quality and precision. No better example exists than the manufacture of integrated circuits. Consider how Motorola invested some one BILLION DOLLARS into its MOS-17 fabrication facility in Tianjin, China. By 2003 Motorola finally sold off the plant to China’s SMIC in a stock trade that represented a loss of some 900 MILLION DOLLARS. Foreign financed wafer fabrication plants train up process and design engineers in some of the most advanced circuit design technology on earth. Just as quickly, the Chinese military appropriates these well-trained people to staff their military R&D labs. Taiwan, very wisely, has a policy that in order to build a 200mm (8”) wafer facility in China, a manufacturer must first construct a 300mm (12”) fab line in Taiwan. The Taiwanese call doing business with China “feeding the tiger with your own flesh”. The current cost of opening a 300mm fabrication facility involves a TEN DIGIT investment. It is nothing short of lunatic to be funneling that sort of money and expertise into China.

    Mpresley: We send massive amounts of dollars to China in return for goods. Will Americans be willing to double, or triple the price of what they consume in order to have the satisfaction of knowing it is made in America? Probably not. This is not the fault of the Chinese.

    Yet—even though you recognize how China cheats at every turn—you insist that it isn’t China’s fault that their goods are so low-priced. This ignores the fact that China manipulates its currency while routinely ignoring both sound manufacturing practices and environmental stewardship in order to undercut foreign manufacturers. This is a false economy and one that is designed to drive competition out of business. Japan used such predatory business practices to monopolize the high technology ceramics industry, now almost exclusively controlled by Kyocera. Do you really think that China will not push up prices once they have taken control of a given market? This is economic blackmail and our wealthy politicians have no problem with the average citizen being thrown out of work while being sold artificially priced goods. Shall we wait until China has complete control over the manufacturing so that they can then triple the price when we have finally shuttered all of our industrial facilities?

    Examine the cargo container scam. Chinese goods arrive in a one-way stream to America in these expensive shipping containers. There are enough of them stranded in the USA to make a cube measuring ONE MILE on each side. Where did all the money come from to finance such an enormous drain? How is China able to abandon such a huge inventory of expensive containers? Chinese goods come with many hidden price tags attached to them. America loses BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to China through theft of intellectual property and counterfeiting of brand name goods. Suddenly, all that cheap crap at Wal-Mart isn’t so cheap anymore. We need to level the playing field right away before any more jobs are lost to China’s thievery.

    How much money do we spend on maintaining troops in South Korea? How much on troops in Okinawa and elsewhere in the Far East? How much do we spend on fighting terrorists who are armed with Chinese weapons? How much is spent on fighting famine in African nations whose despotic leaders are propped up by Chinese influence? When you add in all the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS we must spend counteracting China’s mischief on the global stage the price becomes intolerable. It is only because our politicians are such whores about campaign donations that they are unwilling to do anything about China. There already exist many solid reasons to economically boycott China but nowhere is the political will to do so. China is the enemy and they will continue to be the enemy long after we have finally crushed Islam. We have spent the better part of ONE TRILLION DOLLARS fighting Islamic terrorism. How much has China spent? If anything China has profited by selling weapons to our enemies. This insanity has to end and we need to make China’s treachery very costly to these communist thugs.

  12. Zenster: “This statement demonstrates a distinct lack of understanding with respect to China’s culture and history. The Chinese people have a collective memory that goes back SEVERAL THOUSAND YEARS. They view themselves as a Master Race in ways that makes the Nazis look like hopelessly insecure neurotics. They are most certainly NOT in search of any allies and—as can be seen from their trade dealings—any relationship with them is a one-way street.”

    My impression was different. I understand that spending a month in the PRC does not make me much of an expert. But from talking to the people I came away with a different view. You should visit if you have not, already.

    Getting back to the original topic, my only concern is that the people will become so used to the crappy air that they will simply think it is “normal.”

  13. MPresley: You should visit if you have not, already.

    I spent over one month in Taiwan. It was one of the finest adventures in my entire life. The people I met were wonderful human beings and I carried away a deep respect for what democratic Taiwan has achieved in such a short time. As someone who has studied Asian culture all of my life, I’m pleased to report that my Taiwanese hosts were often amazed at my ability to understand what I saw within the local societal framework.

    None of that changes the overall cultural imperative that permeates Chinese society. While not entirely monolithic, one merely need consider how throughout history all conquering forces that came to China ended up becoming Chinese. China is a cultural amoeba that assimilates all it touches, either gently or by force, but assimilate it will.

    I invite anyone to provide an example where a Chinese alliance was not one of convenience upon their part. Nowhere have they ever sought out an enduring relationship of mutual benefit to any non-Asian culture. Their actions in North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan and elsewhere are all of the most Machiavellian nature. The incredible political cynicism demonstrated by Chinese diplomacy and internal policy can only be a sure sign that they intend to reign supreme and all others can take the hind teat.

    MPresley: … my only concern is that the people will become so used to the crappy air that they will simply think it is “normal.”

    You had better believe that this is what the politburo hopes as well. Detecting any concern of Beijing’s Mandarins for their own people would require a scanning electron microscope. The Henan AIDS epidemic is ample proof of this.

  14. Hi Zenster!

    It’s always nice to meet someone who fully understands the situation so well (“always” is if it happens very often… ha!). So the pleasure is definitely mutual. However, a more common reaction, I get, is that people call me anti-American or even stranger things (such as leftist). I have lost count of how any times I’ve been called anti-American, e.g. the regulars (commenters) at the Brussels Journal are fiercely calling me that (me and Belien are very good friends however). People live mentally in very small boxes. And of course, nothing hurts as much as the truth to people who live an illusion. I imagine that to them I’m some sort of 4-dimensional creature that they cannot understand where it’s coming from (I should make a collection of what I have been called. It has actually happened that I have been called fascist, socialist and reactionary by the very same person within five minutes).

    It’s good to be in such a complete agreement with an American whose love for his country is matched by few. Unfortunately, Americans who believe in the goodness of America as strongly as you do are a tiny minority.

    Of course I’m critical of America as a geo-political actor. But for not being imperialistic enough. America, the empire-in-denial as Niall Ferguson calls it (you should read him too btw). If you have put yourself in the imperial position of a civilization it’s irresponsible not to act imperialistic. America needs to start acting as an empire (or quit the job).

    I get the strangest reactions from people when trying to explain this. Mostly (from Americans) I get to hear how I do not understand America (normally accompanied with the ubiquitous unsolicited tourism counseling), and then get to hear a lot about how it is to live in America (and other domestically related topics). As if that had ANYTHING to do with America as a geo-political actor. But the sad fact is: people cannot think!

    The weakness of America, pointed out by Raymond Kraft, affects the whole West. However, there are good sides too. In both America and Europe the good things are found in the earlier historical layers. And we always carry our history with us. It’s just buried under layers of leftist junk. And when I say ‘leftist’ I refer to all the ideas and ideologies that have roots in the French Revolution, i.e. everything from communism to libertarianism and neoconservatism. I.e. virtually every idea expressed by any Westerner today. Nazism too has its roots in the French Revolution (just listen to a neo-Nazi criticizing Israel; hyper-leftist arguments!).

    The good and vital sides of America is found in the historical background as settlers. And when I discussed recently with Zonka the necessity of seeing this all as a revolutionary situation, I came to realize that Americans, under the surface, are better prepared for a revolutionary attitude (Second Amendment etc.). The thing making it complex is of course that it’s the very thing that constitutes national pride for modern Americans that they need to revolt against.

    We will have reason to have many discussion from now on, Zenster. Btw, why don’t you send me an email to conswede (at) It would be very nice to be connected in that way to.

    What I said about China is of course a bit of a provocation. But I actually mean it. Looking at it in the bigger picture — no not the (narrow) present-time big picture; the long historical perspective bigger picture — I actually mean it. Anytime Bush makes me tear my hair and bang my head against the wall, I think of China and I get calm again. It works for me 🙂

    As Burke said: it’s only by looking back into the past, that we can understand the future. Modern Westerners are completely disconnected from history. They talk about human right, natural rights. Burke said that no rights are given, and that it’s only when we understand that we must thank our forefathers for our constitutional rights, that we can understand that it’s *our* duty to pass them on to our children. History and future are always connected. And maybe I’m 4-dimensional after all…

  15. I just read The Late Great USA, by Jerome Corsi. It’s mainly about the coming merger of Mexico, Canada & the US, but he devotes a lot of space to detailing the new highways from Mexico through the US, that are being constructed now. It’s relevant to the topic of China, because Corsi believes, and demonstrates convincingly, that these highways and railways are for the purpose of transporting Chinese made goods more cheaply through the US. This would enable importers to avoid expensive union labor at ports. China is building ports in Mexico to receive the cargo, then it gets shipped by Mexican trucks through Texas and north, bypassing American ports. Even worse, the computerized tracking system will be developed and managed by a company that’s owned 49% by the Chinese Peoples’ Army. I’m not home to look up the name of the company, but it’s in the book. So, pretty soon, we will have shipping containers, inspected at Mexican ports by probably corrupt officials, crossing our country on rail lines that are not accessible to American officials or the American public. The Chinese and their American corporate partner will be the only parties tracking these containers. They can put anything in there they want. I think this is a bad idea. I wonder why the Bush administration is pushing this on us. (Maybe they like big business more than they like America?)

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