The Threat from Sino-America:

In a new article on Tech Central Station, Mike Krause and I examine the growing threat of Chinese influence in Latin America, and elsewhere. We suggest an expansion of free trade--with Latin America and with Taiwan--as part of the American response.

c.f.w. (mail):
I like the idea of upgrading relations with Latin and Central America. A first good step would be to abolish or drastically curtail the US subsidies for agriculture. A second good step would be to decriminalize and tax drugs like cocaine and marijuana. A third good step would be to open borders to immigration, like we do for Puerto Rico (with some controls for those who cannot support themselves or are criminals or terrorists). We should be aiming for an EU of North, South and Central America.
7.17.2007 1:30pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Call me crazy, but I don't like the idea of forming any sort of "union" with Venezuela.
7.17.2007 1:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"A third good step would be to open borders to immigration, like we do for Puerto Rico…"

Are you suggesting that we make all of Latin America a territory of the US like Puerto Rico granting citizenship to all? Even if you mean that anyone can enter the US from Latin American and be granted something like a "green card," I suggest you think through the implications of such a move. Do you think the US would be better off if it became more like Mexico or Brazil? Are you prepared to provide benefits for the many millions that would pour across the border? Of course with effectively no border, the US would cease to become a sovereign entity.

How about the increased energy usage, congestion, housing? Where are all these resources going come from?

What be the net benefit of such an action to the US?
7.17.2007 1:58pm
jimbino (mail):
Let's start by killing off our stupid ethanol from corn program and begin to import Brazilian sugar cane. Then let's offer every Amerikan the opportunity to trade green-cards with a Latin. I will be the first to sign up.

There are so many ways Amerika would be better if it were more like Brazil. Zarkov has most likely never been to either Brazil or Mexico!
7.17.2007 2:28pm
advisory opinion:
In the five thousand years of Chinese history, there are only 17 years, in the late 19th century, when a government with actual sovereignty over the mainland even claimed to possess sovereignty over the entire island of Taiwan. If historical sovereignty is the test, Japan has a much better claim to Taiwan than does China, since Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945 . . .

David, can you explain why 200 years of Qing rule over Taiwan until its cessation to the Japanese in the Treaty of Shimonoseki is conveniently ignored in your article?

[DK: As the article states, the Chinese government did rule "part of Taiwan." They never exercised actual sovereignty over the eastern, mountainous side of the island. Even their nominal claim to sovereignty over the eastern side was only for 17 years. Details here:]
7.17.2007 2:49pm
advisory opinion:
"secession" rather.
7.17.2007 2:53pm
Colin (mail):
It's amazing how much credibility a man can fritter away by writing "Amerika."
7.17.2007 3:07pm
Colin (mail):
Advisory Opinion, I think it's "cession."
7.17.2007 3:11pm
Randy R. (mail):
We've screwed up our policy in the rest of the Americas, and now China comes to their aid. And we are surprised?

Score another defeat for Bush-Cheney diplomacy.

When China becomes the next world power, bigger than the US, Bush will no doubt say, "We never saw it coming."
7.17.2007 3:14pm
advisory opinion:
Funny, David complains that China is supplying arms to the enemies of America but does not himself advocate a stop to supplying arms to Taiwan. This is despite the United States' nominal commitment to a one-China policy.

Indeed, he makes spurious claims to Japanese sovereignty over Taiwan harking to the Treaty of Shimonoseki - itself imposed after a colonialist war of aggression begun by Japan. Apparently that Japan ceded all claims to Taiwan and affirmed the nullification of all previous treaties between herself and China in the Treaty of Taipei is of no moment to him.

What a poorly written article with an incompetent grasp of history. Not to mention hypocritical in its mischievous attempt to foist sovereignty on a Japan which has already repudiated it through treaty.

You want a stop to Chinese arms deals to unsavoury countries? Sure - quid pro quo: cease arms sales to Taiwan first. Otherwise, your whingeing is just so much rank hypocrisy buttressed by an even dodgier grasp of history . . .
7.17.2007 3:15pm
Kieran (mail) (www):
It's about time we had another Red Menace.
7.17.2007 3:32pm
That's an interesting idea--tradable entry permits. I'd give up my spot to some Brazilian who wanted to live here for a while, if it meant I could live in Brazil.
7.17.2007 3:39pm
Buckland (mail):
Actually I think this is an outstanding development. China's motives in this region are purely capitalistic. Though nominally communist, the Chinese aren't burdened with nasty ideas like the Saudis (militant Islam) or Russians (national pride). I'm not seeing the downside of having another capitalistic superpower in the neighborhood.

Like it or not, China will be a player in the next century. They have a huge population that wants to move into the capitalistic world that we inhabit. That doesn't leave lots of room for idealogical constraints. Since idealogy is the root of lots of the turmoil in the world, it looks like a superpower free of that would inspire less handwringing.
7.17.2007 3:39pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):

We've created our own problems with Venezuela. Chavez is a clown, but he is a very popular clown down there, and he has gained that popularity by wrenching oil revenue from the upper class and multinational oil companies and using it to fund projects for the poor.

The truth is, our foreign policy is way too concerned with the financial interests of American elites and their friends in the elite of other countries, and myopic about the issue of whether privatization schemes that don't ensure sufficient funding to alleviate poverty are sustainable, or whether they will result in a Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales taking over, canceling the contracts, and nationalizing everything.

If we would get past that issue, we could probably have a very good relationship with Venezuela.
7.17.2007 3:49pm
Perseus (mail):
It's about time we had another Red Menace.

We already have one: academia.
7.17.2007 4:25pm
Hattio (mail):
Does that imply that capitalism is not an idealogy? Don't get me wrong. I think the only good thing about capitlism is it's a better system than anything else that's been tried. But it is an ideology, just as communism, militant islam etc., is. And it can be just as destructive when the ideology is twisted for personal gain.
7.17.2007 4:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"There are so many ways Amerika would be better if it were more like Brazil. Zarkov has most likely never been to either Brazil or Mexico!"

First I have been to Mexico, but not Brazil. Second you are assuming that one can pick the good things without the bad things. Do you really want the US to become more like Mexico and less like the traditional US? Why do you think so many Mexicans want to come to the US? The Mexicans I know (who are honest) told me they were lived in fear of the Mexican police. Do you like the rampant corruption and terrible inequality of income and wealth? Why should the US import millions of poor and uneducated who will consume large amounts of social welfare? How about crime? Twenty seven percent of the inmates in federal prisons are criminal aliens. And they are not in prison for immigration violations, that's 10% of the inmate population. Victimization surveys also show non-white Hispanics have three times the violent crime rate of white Americans.

There are many other ways do deal with the growing might of China then remaking the US.
7.17.2007 7:25pm
advisory opinion:
"Cession" it is.
7.17.2007 8:20pm
Though nominally communist, the Chinese aren't burdened with nasty ideas like the Saudis (militant Islam) or Russians (national pride).

If you think the Chinese don't have national pride, you're even more deluded than when you say they are "nominally" communist.
7.17.2007 10:01pm
c.f.w. (mail):
Forming an agreed US union with Central and South America has huge potential benefits - the benefits of greater globalization - and manageable costs. China recognizes that and the US and EU will too.

Those who oppose US growth through immigration need to consider the alternatives - no US growth is a recipe for US economic stagnation. Growth through increasing the US birth rate is far more costly than immigration into the US - huge numbers in the US school systems, prisons, hospitals, etc. are non-immigrants, after all. Growth has benefits as well as costs. There is no such thing as a in US population free lunch, if the US is to grow. Managed immigration is a US growth strategy that compares well to increasing US birth rates among natives (assuming US natives [Zarkov?] would even be willing to go from 2 kids per family to say 4 kids per family).
7.18.2007 1:27pm