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  • Morning Bell: Getting Our China Priorities Straight

    Last week, the establishment media played up reports that China surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Contrary to the amount of attention it received, the development is not as important as it was made to sound. First of all, if the PRC reported its economic data accurately, China probably passed Japan several years ago. Second, after adjusting for different prices within economies —known as purchasing power parity— China actually passed Japan way back in 1995. In other words, this is old news. Lost in these GDP measures, however, is any measure of personal income or wealth. And by that measure the average Japanese citizen is roughly in 40th place in the world, behind the average citizen of Mississippi. China’s GDP per capita, by comparison, is still only about 15 percent of the U.S. level, about the same as El Salvador.

    This is not to say the United States should be turning a blind eye to China’s rise. In another development from last week, this one virtually ignored by the establishment media, the Department of Defense released its annual Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China. According to the report, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) official budget, which has enjoyed double-digit annual increases for two decades, grew again by nearly 8 percent. This is compared to the reductions in defense spending called for in President Barack Obama’s budget, which reduced defense spending from 4.9% of GDP today to 3.01% by 2019. So while the Obama administration is cutting our missile defenses and giving the Navy the cold shoulder, the PLA is developing anti-ship ballistic missiles, building up its military industrial complex and achieving an anti-access, area-denial capacity that will further limit American commanders’ options in Asia.

    More troubling, however, was what the report did not focus enough on: the threat to Taiwan. There is little discussion of the Taiwan military structure or its equipment. Indeed, it is striking how the 2010 report avoids making any overall assessment of how the security situation in the Taiwan Straits is developing. If anything, while this year’s report is perhaps the most extensive official discussion of the PLA and China’s security situation available to the public, it arguably underplays the threat posed to Taiwan.

    Meanwhile, while the Obama Defense Department is ignoring the threat to Taiwan, the Obama State Department has gotten off to a poor start defending human rights in China. During her first trip to Asia as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton told reporters that pressing the human rights issue in China should not interfere with the Obama administration’s efforts to engage China on “the global climate change crisis.” That’s right: the Obama administration believes global warming is more important than human rights. And even when they do discuss human rights, the Obama administration’s priorities are highly suspect. After the May 2010 U.S.–China Human Rights Dialogue, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner told reporters that the U.S. side brought up the Arizona immigration law, presumably to put the Chinese at ease, even though the Chinese expressed no concerns about the law.

    Every year for 34 years, the U.S. Department of State has undertaken to prepare the “the most comprehensive record available of the condition of human rights around the world.” Despite promises that economic gains would improve China’s human rights record, since 1989, none of these reports has characterized China’s record as improving. In fact, the most recent two, the 2008 and 2009 reports, indicate a worsening situation.

    There is a disconnect between the marginal role that human rights currently plays in America’s China policy and the State Department’s exhaustive annual report that catalogs China’s human rights abuses. The Obama Administration should make defense of universal liberties, not global warming or berating Arizona, a central part of U.S. public and private diplomacy with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Morning Bell: Getting Our China Priorities Straight

    1. James A - Longdrycre says:

      Barry aka BHO's Administration is filled with academics who hypothesises about how the world works is not the same as having knowledge of how the world really works. China is an example.

      Chasing the envioronmental issues over human rights is par for the course, given the fact that an most American university and college campuses student rights [for example, free speech] are infringed upon by a code book that was created by Marxists and communists in the system in the name of fairness or other forms of academic nonsense.

    2. Rob says:

      Hi Conn,

      Thanks for the update. Conspicuously absent in your editorial were some contextual facts, such as that the U.S. DoD budget has effectively doubled since 2001 (averaging around 7-8% increases per year). Military pay has gone up something like 73.6 percent in that time, too. This goes along with the fact that the U.S. spends more on defense then any other nation on earth combined. Finally, benefits spending for personnel in the military has ballooned to something around 10 million participants (veterans, reservists, spouses, codependents, etc.). Keep up the good work but let's not completely sell the story of the DoD hanging outside of grocery stores with their hats in hand, okay?

    3. Mary.... WI says:

      As usual Obama's priorities are wrong. China has no real interest in "going green" and will surpass the USA in production of products and utilities. The USA will just wither away. 2012 can't come soon enough.

    4. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      The NEW FDA Egg-Safety Rule

      was Set aside by Bush,


      Obama Started it.

      Again Bush did Bad

      Obama Did GOOD.

      Thank YOU, Mr. Prez.


    5. joel, long beach, ca says:

      Why would anyone think the Obama administration could do anything right. Can't defend its ally Israel against world condemnation, yet ignores human rights violations in China. Ignores implications for Taiwan.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      China's on its way to passing us as the world's largest economy in 10-17 years. Take

      your pick on those dates. China, unlike us, isn't deep in the hole to other countries.

      But does China really do accurate reporting of its economic data? If you look at their

      manipulation of their currency, the Yuan, (formerly the Chinese Yen), the answer is no. So let's consider the source when it comes to the PRC. Their record of truth, transparency, and accuracy, is far FROM being as we used to say when we were little, and less politically correct, "honest Injun."

    7. Cguck Merrill, Solon says:

      I really don't care about the security of Taiwan or human rights in China. We have more important issues to resolve, e.g., illegal immigration, fiscal responsibility, uncontrolled government growth and intrusion, and a Congress and Administration detached from the American people.

    8. Response To Greenwal says:


      Glenn Greenwald got a hold for your blogging heads interview and it didn't go well you.

      Specifically, your [assertions] that what Wikileaks did was criminal and that they've committed "murder."

      Would enjoy reading your attempt to get yourself out of the hole you dug.

      How about it?

    9. EON59 says:

      The Chinese economy is a paper tiger. It is based on the creativity of the U.S. and European enterprises. It is a giant assembly plant that can easily be based anywhere in the world. In fact with the pending military threat of China towards the U.S. and its allies, it would seem logical for the U.S. based companies to begin bringing back their manufacturing and assembly to North America. It would help to counter the governments reckless legislation and bolster our economy rather than trying to build a communist governments middle class.

    10. Dennis Georgia says:

      This all reminds me of the 1930's. The military was in a shambles, very weak and underfunded. We were hit by Pearl Harbor [how many remember what this was?}, then had to play catch-up. The American people came together and the fight was own. As much as I hate to say it, that will not happen today, the American people do not care about their country. America has been taken over by a bunch of liberals that believe in giving up all to please a few. The dems and obama will cut defense spending, increase the entitlements for every one and give up the keys to the White House. What obama does not give away will be owed to China, they will call the bill due, we will not be able to pay, because we have become a socialist country with everyone living at the expense of the "guvment". America will be taken over without one shot being fired.

      Hitlary and the dems along with the human rights bunch are more worried with "human rights, and global warming" than the security of this country. Security begans with being responsible stewards of the public trust they have been given, they do not care about trust or responsibility to the country. They all believe we do not pocess the knowledge to make our own decisions, after all all of us were not educated by the up-scale liberal colleges they were, so we are dumb stupid people.

      AMERICA looses in the end. We must vote in November and change this country.

    11. Mike Brosch says:

      It's interesting that every discussion of China will eventually focus on one or all of the following; Human Rights, Taiwan and Nepal. I honestly want to pull out my hair when I read an otherwise informed and intelligent author revert to this hash. Mr. Carroll, Please! go to China and see for yourself what is happening there. It is so tiring to read the same drivel over and over.

    12. John Shook, Lithia S says:

      If Clinton tried to upbraid China on Human Rights it would have been the heighth of hypocrisy. As we have already murdered over 52 million unborn humans and counting.

    13. Pete, Ashburn VA says:

      Sorry, Conn – Glenn Greenwald has the far upper hand in the debate. There is a debate on his web site which you are welcome to join, and some readers there have already shown how your two links don't exonerate you. Or better yet, have a debate with Glenn – and I'm sure he'd clean your clock.

    14. Drew Page, IL says:

      Just when it looks like we are finally starting to get out of Iraq, you sound the alarm bells about poor Taiwan and the chinese threat, and start fretting about what to do about China and their human rights violations.

      I couldn't care less about Taiwan or China, or what they do with or to each other. Can't we mind our own g.d. business for a change and keep our nose (and money) out of other peoples business?

    15. toledofan says:

      OK, so, what's the beef, Hillary is on the case and we're not going to ruffle any feathers because someday we want to have some good old fashioned dialogue with the Chinese. I mean who cares if the Chinese government is Communist, or that the standard of living is so low, their products, most of them, are still junk, so, what if we said no thanks and stopped buying their products. I guess in the scheme of things; it just shows that the world is still a dangerous place filled with a lot of bad people who want to cause us harm. Until there is some leadership in Washington, someone willing to do whatever it takes to insure American promenence, then, no articles will help, because Washington just isn't paying attention.

    16. Pingback: ADF Alliance Alert » Getting our China priorities straight

    17. PippN, Severna Park says:

      Why worry about defending freedom when you can play footsie with communists?

    18. M. Btok says:

      And the big argument about the Mosque is Elitely planted, to cause bulkinization! Learn these Globalist tactics – we are at war with them!

      Ground Zero Mosque Imam Is Globalist Stooge

      Friday, August 20th, 2010

      CFR member receives financial backing from who’s who of global corporate elite

      Steve Watson

      GCN Live.com

      Friday, Aug 20th, 2010

      The Imam of the now infamous “ground zero mosque” is a member of the ultra elitist Council On Foreign Relations and receives financial backing from powerful globalist sources including the Rockefellers, the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation.

      This information provides a compelling backdrop to the theory that the move to establish the mosque is a deliberate attempt to further stoke religious tensions and divert attention away from the real enemy of free humanity, the corporate globalist elite who continue to profit from global war and division.

      The proposed mosque, to be known as Cordoba House is the project of the Cordoba Initiative, an organisation founded by ‘Imam’ Feisal Abdul Rauf (pictured above), who, in addition to being a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100, is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Religious Advisory Committee.

      The Cordoba Initiative’s website cites “Christian support for the Cordoba House” in the form of Christian publication, “Sojourners”, which is owned by evangelical Christian writer and political activist Jim Wallis, also coincidentally a sitting member of the CFR’s Religious Advisory Committee.

      The CFR, as regular readers know, is populated exclusively by major players with the biggest corporations, banks and defence contractors in the world – all of whom are making vast profits and securing more power from continued global conflict. The CFR also exerts far reaching influence over the U.S. government.

      Tony Cartalucci at landdestroyer blog breaks down the fact that every single leading player in both the neocon infested Bush administration and the “change” gang under Barrack Obama is a CFR luminary. Cartalucci also provides further stunning research relating to Cordoba House and its CFR Imam, which breaks down as follows.

      Feisal Abdul Rauf also heads up the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) which enjoys a partnership with the Cordoba Initiative and provided $100 million to secure the site close to ground zero for the mosque to be built.

      That $100 million came directly from the back pockets of ASMA’s financial backers.

      According to ASMA’s website they include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers, Rockefeller Philanthropy, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund – essentially the tip of the pyramid of the international globalist elite.

      This story is a perfect microcosm of the new world order agenda.

      The mainstream media continues to push the mosque story hour after hour, day after day, from the perspective of both the left and the right, manufacturing a controversy that plays on a now indentured fear of Islam that has been cooked up over the last nine years via endless phony “muslim” terror plots and concocted “al qaeda” threats.

      Real muslims are witnesses to a vicious backlash, stirred up and served from this corporate media cauldron, creating the impression they are under attack by non-muslims and forcing them to have to defend their religion, and the whole thing snowballs onwards.

      The connections to 9/11 are clear, and also serve to enforce the mythical notion that 19 radical muslims controlled by some guys in a cave in Afghanistan were able to direct military precision attacks on America with devastating consequences.

      Meanwhile behind all of this are the global elite, rubbing their hands in glee as a manufactured “clash of civilizations” unfolds and the whole of humanity lunges at each other’s throats.


      Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and regular contributor to Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

      « Those Advice Guys Join the GCN Radio NetworkTwo Films That Blew Bilderberg Wide Open »

    19. Neal Palmquist OH says:

      While Obama is working with China to stop global warming, why don't they figure out the carbon footprint represented by the percentage of GDP required for America to service and pay back the national debt?

      Who am I kidding? I'm sure the discussions don't get past the point where we give China carbon credits in exchange for every abortion they perform in their country.

    20. Kenny, Phoenix, Ariz says:

      Ten States currently don't require proof of citizenship to obtain a drivers permit.

      New Mexico being the latest. To vote all they have to show is their drivers permit.

      Isn't this what the libs want. 2010 is your chance to change things..

    21. Thor H. Asgardson (C says:

      Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

      Resident Obama committed the ultimate kowtow before the Red Chinese by apologizing for the alleged "racism" of a country which elected a black president.

      Now he goes before the phony storefront of the international bankers–the United Nations–to file a "human rights complaint" against the citizens of our country, for attempting to turn back the Brown Tide of the Second Mexican War.

      It is not enough that this usurper and Great Imposter; the Muslim interloper Barack Hussein Obama continually humiliates this country on the world stage; he feels he must also cede this country's sovereignty over to vassalage under the international body.

      Obama is NO American president, but a fifth column in the national house. He is nothing more than an illegal alien squatter and enabler of the Mexican invasion of America. He is a quisling who will deliver America to defeat at the hands of Mexico and for this he must be regarded as an enemy combatant within the gates and halls of government.

      Resident Obama is the greatest national security threat this country has ever faced. It is time to depose him by United States military coup, so that that government of, by and for the people, may be returned to the American people.

      It is past time for the United States military to topple from power the Manchukuo puppet emperor of the CFR, lest our nation fall to communist revolution.

      Our real president, the great Patrick J. Buchanan has outlined an intelligent China policy in Chapter Five of his book, Where the Right Went Wrong, which will serve the national interest without compromising the national security and preeminence of the United States of America on the world stage.

    22. Thor H. Asgardson (C says:

      Regarding The Apology Tour

      "There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."

      George Washington, Annual Message, December 1793


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