[Marxism] China Irks U.S. as It Uses Trade To Embellish Newfound Clout (WSJ)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Mon Oct 3 08:47:21 MDT 2005

Walter wrote:

In fact, China's international role indicates clearly
that Washington isn't interested in capitalism, as advocates of the
so-called "free enterprise" system teach its doctrines in colleges
and in newspaper columns.


The widespread claim that capitalism can provide a better standard
of living for people is belied by the fear Washington expresses
toward China for its practice of capitalist trade principles all
over the world. Some on the political left argue that capitalism
has been restored in China. Despite all the interpenetration of
the economies of the US and China, Washington isn't happy with
China and would prefer China turn its entire economy over to the
vagaries of international capitalism. This Wall Street Journal
report makes it clear that the Chinese have hardly given away
the store, and it doesn't look like they're likely to do so
anytime in the foreeable future. No wonder as Washington finds
itself bogged down more and more deeply in Iraq and elewhere
the search for a scapegoat on whom to blame US failures will
escalate. Protectionist anti-China sentiment is being stoked
for exactly that reason. They can't blame the "godless inter-
national Communist conspiracy" for their own failures today.

Today's WSJ article, reproduced earlier by Walter, reflects growing American
anxiety about China's rapid ascendency in the global economy. It's the same
kind of alarm registered by Britain at the turn of the last century when the
US was the rising economic power. As in Britain's earlier case, the US now
finds itself shifting from free trade to protection to compensate for its
increasing competitive disadvantage, and, as Britain warily did earlier in
relation to the US, the American ruling class is now engaged in measuring
whether its interests, on balance, point mainly to alliance or confrontation
with its new rival.

But the article hardly provides evidence, as Walter suggests, that
capitalism has not been restored in China, nor that the US fears it for
reasons other than it fears encroachment by Japan, Europe, and other
competitors in the East Asian and other markets it has traditionally
dominated. Everyone knows that currency, investment, and other controls are
not inconsistent with capitalist economies, especially those in the earlier
stages of development, nor are continuing efforts by older powers such as
the US to weaken such controls in order to gain greater access to these
markets. It's not the case that these controls are evidence the Chinese are
not succumbing to global capitalism, and are resisting "giving away the
store", as Walter puts it. The Chinese leadership, of course, has been
enthusiastically committed for the past two decades, and especially since
the China's admittance to the WTO, to making its economy more attractive to
foreign investors, and has made notable recent moves in this direction in
relation to the currency, intellectual property rights, and foreign
ownership of the banking sector. This is not a sign of Chinese weakness, but
of the leadership's growing confidence in its ability to restructure the
Chinese economy along capitalist lines and to successfully integrate it into
the world capitalist economy.

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