How the Chinese Must See Us
"O would some
power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see
wrote the poet Robert Burns.
As Hu Jintao wings his way home,
America`s hectoring still ringing in his ears, he must
be thinking that maybe we Americans should stop
lecturing them and take a closer look at ourselves.
Revalue your currency, we demand of
the Chinese, stop running these trade surpluses at our
expense, start practicing free trade, and abandon these
mercantilist and protectionist policies.
But why should they? Why should
China abandon a trade policy that is working marvelously
well for them, and adopt a trade policy that is failing
dismally for us? Does that make sense?
Why should any nation emulate the
U.S. trade policy of the Bush-Clinton-Bush era that has
stripped us of a third of our manufacturing jobs and
made us dependent on China and the world for the needs
of our national life and the borrowed money to pay for
Why would China, seeking to make
herself an independent and self-sufficient nation, adopt
a policy that cost us our independence?
And what are the Chinese doing in
their ascendancy to first power on earth that we did not
do in ours?
Are our Milton Friedmanite
free-traders unaware of how it was that, in the last
third of the 19th century, we left the British in the
dust? Are they unaware we had the highest tariffs on
earth to price British products out of our market and
goad rapacious Yankees into building new factories to
produce the same goods we were then importing from Great
Lest we forget, the Americans who
turned this country into the industrial marvel of
mankind were known as
As they put America first in our
rise, the Chinese are putting China first.
Our grand strategists demand to
know why the Chinese are making these brash claims to
all the islands in the South China and East China seas.
Why are they telling us to keep our aircraft carriers
out of the Yellow Sea and out of the Taiwan Strait? Who
do they think they are?
Well, maybe they think they`re
Did not James Monroe and John
Quincy Adams brashly tell the great powers of Europe to
stay out of our hemisphere?
What are the Chinese about, other
than imposing a
Monroe Doctrine of their own? As historian Walter
McDougall writes, Otto von Bismarck was as affronted by
us as we are by the Chinese, declaring that the Monroe
"a species of
arrogance peculiarly American and inexcusable."
Hu Jintao got an earful from us on
his human rights records. Stop the repression of Uighurs
Tibetans. Stop jailing political dissidents. Allow
more freedom of the Internet and the press.
But on his way home, Hu must be
thinking to himself: Who are these Americans to lecture
Is this not the same tribe that
enslaved black people for 250 years and segregated them
for a century? Is this not the same tribe that
drove the Indians off their lands, then stuck them
all in Bantustans called reservations? Are these not the
only people in history to have dropped atomic bombs on
How would we have reacted if Hu,
instead of pretending he couldn`t hear the translation
of that question about human rights, retorted,
"We Chinese are
also concerned about what we read of human rights at
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, of renditions, torture
and something called `water-boarding.`"
This is not written in defense of
the Chinese communists who are a purposeful and ruthless
lot, but to suggest that we Americans no longer look
like the self-confident nation of Dwight Eisenhower and
JFK that was unintimidated by the brutal and bullying
Soviet Union of Nikita Khrushchev.
We were in a great struggle
then—and acted like we could win it.
But as America sinks economically
and retreats strategically, while China grows at 10
percent and bristles with confidence, we appear to be a
nation of whiners. They are eating our lunch, and we
sound like losers in a locker room.
We demand that the Chinese be more
open and tolerant of opposition and dissent. But when
they look at the gridlock of American democracy, the
pettiness of our politics and the failure of our
policies, while they are on the move at home and all
over the world, why should they want to be more like us?
Has our American capitalism in this
century performed as well as their autocratic
capitalism? Is our political performance an argument for
the superiority of our ballyhooed democracy over their
We can`t win or end our wars,
balance our budgets or control our borders. Great states
California and Illinois appear about to go belly-up.
The U.S. government is running a third straight deficit
of near 10 percent of our entire economy. We used our
stimulus money to save government jobs. They used
theirs for bullet trains.
Time to see ourselves as others see
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.