Sunday, February 9, 2020

More imaginary threats from the Peoples Republic of China in the world According to Trumpists


We all should have many concerns about the policies and practices of the Trump Republicans in the Administration and in Congress.

Most certainly the Trump Administration has successfully initiated a process to systematically end all federal regulatory efforts to minimize the impacts of American economic habits on the environment. This is being done to maximize the profits of traditional American companies such as coal and oil companies. This will have, indeed already has had, a long term negative impact on Climate Change.

But sometimes it is difficult to understand what the long-term goal is as reflected in statements made by Trump Administration officials. One of those puzzles is the constantly repeated statements expressing threats, mostly imaginary, America faces from China.

This past week Attorney General William P. Barr repeated the warning that allowing China to establish dominance of 5G telecommunications networks was a “monumental danger” as Beijing could use the technology for monitoring and surveillance. However, according to Barr the threat is much worse than that.

“Our economic future is at stake,”  Barr said in a speech delivered during a conference in Washington on threats that China poses to the United States. “The risk of losing the 5G struggle with China should vastly outweigh other considerations.”

Well, it is true that China's dominance of 5G is a temporary risk. After all, China’s science and technology ministry announced in November that it has formed two teams to oversee the research and study of 6G, marking the official start of a state-backed effort to accelerate the development of the technology. One team consists of government departments who will be in charge of pushing through the execution of 6G technology, while the other consists of 37 experts from universities, science institutions and corporations, who will provide technical advice for the government’s major decisions on 6G.

Not Barr nor any other Trump Administration Official has proposed chunking up a few billion dollars for a similar 6G program in the U.S. even though no U.S. firm manufactures 5G equipment.

But perhaps the most amusing anti-Chinese publicity, because of the sheer stupidity it reflects, is that this past week 35 Republican senators and representatives wrote to Barr demanding that the China Daily newspaper be investigated and labelled a foreign agent. They called on the Department of Justice to “clamp down on Chinese propaganda”, investigate the media organisation’s “important role in China’s foreign disinformation campaign” and address its “repeated violations” of a US law requiring that foreign lobbyists register and provide detailed reports on their financial activities.

From Wikipedia: "China Daily is an English-language daily newspaper owned by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China and published in the People's Republic of China." Of course, it's as source of Chinese Communist Party propaganda. Who would see it any other way?  Oh well, Congress has nothing important to do....

It appears that the basic fear of China is that their economic power is growing compared to the U.S. But that's not reflective of the truth. As explained here last April:

Then there is the idea that we're in a competition with China to remain the world's economic leader. China and the U.S. already share the status of having the world's largest economy....

Apparently this makes some American competitive-Type-A personalities nervous. It shouldn't. Let's just say for argument's sake that that the U.S. and China were to have the same size economy - GDP measured in money. China has four times the population as the United States. So in our hypothetical situation of same size economies, China's economy on a per-capita basis is one-fourth that of the U.S. China has a long ways to go to be competitive with the United States, unless of course we make our own economy collapse...which is possible.

It's difficult to understand why Barr, who is a grandfather, sees China and 5G as the important subject. While Barr is worth around $40 million he is not a billionaire. How he envisions the lives of his grandchildren in a 2070 world amid the climate crisis he did nothing to prevent is hard to imagine.

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