It’s Not About the Soybeans: Security and power are at issue between China and America.

Myron Magnet does what few op ed writers do — he explains the complicated China trade issue — it’s not about the soybeans. From the article:

To enter its market, China for years has required high-tech companies to transfer proprietary technology to local partners, so that U.S. corporate bosses, with their focus on quarterly results rather than long-term viability, promiscuously allowed Chinese firms to filch a storehouse of laboriously acquired Western knowledge that could vault so industrious a people to domination of the highest-value industries in short order. What’s more, these were technologies key to the projection of power, both domestically, in Orwellian systems of social control, and globally, through cyberwarfare, spying, and sophisticated weaponry. Add to that Xi Jinping’s hegemonic ambitions, already well advanced with his “Belt and Road” initiative meant to vassalize developing nations and establish embryo naval ports there, along with his illegal militarization of the South China Sea, and Lenin’s contemptuous quip that the capitalists will sell you the rope to hang them with rings more ominously true than ever.

Trump has grasped that China presents a national security problem even bigger than its commercial challenge, and he responded with a tariff regime that, given America’s vastly superior economic staying-power, might force a reluctant China to change its ways. But Xi’s best counterstrategy would be to do everything he can to stir up economic, strategic, and propaganda trouble to make Trump a one-term president. Then he could deal with a Democrat inclined to think that a centrally-planned and -controlled economy might be as good as—or even better than—a free one. He might have a freer hand with an orthodox Democratic foreign policy establishment holding the surprisingly Marxoid belief that, as culture is mere superstructure on an economic base, lots of “free” trade with China will inexorably liberalize their government and society—as those who admitted China into the World Trade Organization believed, and as Trump jeeringly does not.

Read more: City Journal

Image credit: Epoch Times.