Loading...
BYH, Donna and kids. I appreciate the gesture, but I really don't like breakfast in bed. It makes me feel like I'm in...

U.S. must eventually keep China in check

China New Silk Road Hurdles-3

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center in Beijing in 2017. China's plan to expand trade across Asia and Europe with a modern Silk Road of railways and other infrastructure is hitting political and financial hurdles.

Loading…

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

China’s economic and military rise is now generally seen as hostile to the interests of the United States. The problem is complicated, however, by China’s clever exploitation of rising nationalist and anti-globalist sentiment in the United States.

While the Trump administration has worked to reverse former President Obama’s internationalist institutional commitments, China has presented itself to nervous Western elites as the new guarantor of global commercial and environmental projects. The United States needs to oppose this powerful thrust.

Fortunately, the cornerstone of China’s bid to replace the United States as globalism’s indispensable nation is so big and risky that America’s challenging task is not insurmountable.

China’s wager is on its so-called Belt and Road Initiative — the largest international economic undertaking since the Marshall Plan. It will stretch networks (or tentacles) of trade and infrastructure out from China well beyond the Eurasian landmass and across oceans and seas.

And it will cost a pretty penny. Between now and 2050, if all goes to plan, some $8 trillion, for 7,000 projects in over 60 countries, is on the line. Then there are the environmental costs. Hundreds of endangered species and dozens of vulnerable ecological areas would be affected. The risks strongly suggest that, rather than “soft power” or “smart power” seeing China through the colossal expansion, much harder political power will have to do.

But that’s where China faces the stiffest opposition. Even the most Trump-resistant are already bristling at the way Beijing is throwing its strategic weight around.

“I have no objections to the fact that China wants to trade,” Germany’s Angela Merkel recently warned at a press conference. “We are committed to free trade.” But, she added, “economic relations being linked with political questions” would “not be in the spirit of free trade.” France’s Emmanuel Macron has objected that interest in Chinese investment is “sometimes at the expense of a European interest.”

These concerns will only strengthen as China’s influence sharpens and extends deeper into the West. Of course, free trade has always intersected with political matters. But Western political norms are being replaced with belated recognition of the nature of China’s bid for global power — not just economic power, but pronounced cultural, political and military influence. Westerners are right to worry that international commerce and financial activity might be pried away from free trade and turned into something more like an older form of a patronage network.

It’s not yet clear, however, who is best suited to lead the pushback. The Trump administration is not likely to mount a strong bid to reclaim the internationalist mantle. But relative to Europe, the United States is powerful and influential enough to hang back a bit longer. Nevertheless, U.S. nationalism should not get in the way of ceding global dominance to China. European efforts to check Beijing’s reach should be supported, and partnerships in Asia, especially with India and Japan, should work toward the same end.

Orange County Register

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

October 15, 2018

Nearly three dozen administration officials have left or been forced out of key posts since President Donald Trump was sworn in last year. Few, if any, will be missed as much as Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation as United Nations ambassador on Tuesday.

For a former South Carolina…

Trump Haley-2

October 14, 2018

It’s the kind of anniversary no one wants to remember. A year ago this past Friday, four inmates at Pasquotank Correctional Institution beat to death four correctional employees in a failed escape attempt.

The brutal murders on Oct. 12, 2017, coming on the heels of the vicious murder of a…

October 13, 2018

It’s sorely tempting to criticize Harnett Central High School Principal Cindy Gordon after she reportedly kicked a student out of a football game for wearing a Donald Trump shirt. But examining this blunder in isolation misses the bigger picture.

The Oct. 5 incident didn’t happen in a…

October 12, 2018

Global progressives are having an anxiety attack over the near-triumph Sunday of Brazil’s conservative presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

After years of corruption and recession, apparently millions of Brazilians think an outsider is exactly what the country needs. Maybe they know more…

Braizl Protest-6

October 11, 2018

Mercury is a noxious byproduct of burning coal. It contaminates fish and, in turn, people, leading to brain damage in infants and small children, as well as serious cardiovascular and central nervous system problems in adults. Restrictions on U.S. power plants have substantially reduced their…

ENERGY-POLICY

October 10, 2018

If anything, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a habit of understatement. The U.N. group issues reports so thoroughly scrubbed that they seem cautious in the moment and downright timid in retrospect. That gives their latest and most dire warning added force.

The new IPCC report…

United Nations Climate-15

October 09, 2018

Trying to protect an open internet state by state, rather than by federal law, is a daunting and unwieldy goal.

Unfortunately, it’s also entirely necessary, given that the Trump administration and Congress are more than happy to let internet providers restrict what we — the American…

Net Neutrality

October 08, 2018

Jim Allison lost his mother, a brother, two uncles and a cousin to cancer, but he says he never set out to find a cure for the disease. Like many great scientists, he was driven by “the selfish desire to be the first person on the planet to know something,” as he explained to Houston…

Nobel Medicine

October 07, 2018

“I built what I built myself.”

This boast has long been at the core of the mythology of Donald Trump, Self-Made Billionaire. As the oft-told story goes, young Trump accepted a modest $1 million loan from his father, Fred, a moderately successful real estate developer from Queens, and…

Trump Inheritance Taxes

October 05, 2018

A decade ago, a plan to widen Interstate 95 in North Carolina, and pay for the work with tolls, stoked an angry response that led to the plan’s demise. The image of toll booths turned radioactive. The political pressure was intense, lawmakers sprinted away from it and state transportation…

Tropical Weather North Carolina-26
100 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 10
        Next Page»   Last Page»