2007 February 02 Friday
China Swings Toward Economic Nationalism

A recurring ParaPundit theme: Do not trust what your elites tell you. They are wrong and/or deceitful with depressing regularity. Remember when we were told that World Trade Organization (WTO) membership for China would open up a huge market for our products and would be a boon for our companies?

Since the mid-1990s, China has aggressively courted foreign investment, crediting capital from abroad with helping it become a world economic power. In recent months, however, the Chinese government, saying it needs to protect homegrown companies from unfair competition, has thrown a multitude of new regulations at foreign firms seeking to do business in China.

While some believe the new restrictions -- which affect several sectors, including real estate, retailing, shipbuilding, banking and insurance -- may be only temporary measures to control growth, others worry that there's a larger political issue: that economic nationalism or even protectionism is rising.

First off, we found we could sell little to China as compared to what the Chinese would sell to us and they manipulated currency exchange rates to assure this. Now they aren't even going to let US companies benefit from Chinese economic growth.

American companies are pulling back on their China plans because legal changes block them.

Last month, eBay said it would close its Web site in China, saying it was facing difficulties because Chinese regulations limit the types of financial transactions foreign companies can conduct. In November, Warner Bros. International Cinemas, part of Time Warner, which had been planning a massive expansion in China, abruptly announced plans to close operations in the country. It cited a recent policy change that no longer allowed foreign companies to control domestic theaters except in a handful of large cities.

The full article lists an assortment of new regulations restricting foreign investments. The Chinese are nationalistic. They are becoming more anti-foreigner. They also have over a billion people, a rapidly growing economy, and values that are quite different from our own. The West has peaked demographically. As a percentage of the world's population white people peaked about 100 years ago and then went into a continuous decline ever since. The world of the future is going to be less supportive of free societies - unless the way people around the world use offspring genetic engineering turns the tide back toward cognitive qualities that make people more individualistic.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 February 02 05:44 PM  China


Comments
Kenelm Dighy said at February 3, 2007 6:12 AM:

Randall,
I love your comment at the end that 'White people peaked demographically 100 years ago'.
Basically, the White race (to those pedants out there I mean 'European descended') has had it, it simply does not have a future,even if by some miracle the stranglehold of the present forces that govern the White world can be loosened.
The process has just gone too far and is too well entrenched.Sorry to be so bleak, but I hate using the word 'irrevocable' and I hate even more to say 'inevitable' (as the wise man said, only 'death and taxes are ineviatable'), but in this case, I am sadly resigned.

Mensarefugee said at February 3, 2007 11:36 AM:

People have a curious tendency to hedge their conclusions in there here and now. A pundit, however defined, will say "Soon, we will go beyond the point of no return" and mean it and believe it. But another pundit, just as honest, would have said the same thing a decade ago.[1]

So, yes, in many ways the west has passed the point of no return. Thats being brutally honest.

Frankly, I place a substantial portion of the blame on femi-nazism.
Funny thing about feminism is their strong support of the welfare state. This, I suppose, was somewhat predictable for it allows some to live off of others for free, and women are less likely to work or have a steady career, coupled with the fact that pregnancy makes a woman insecure and reliant on others.

However a side effect is dysgenesis. Poor lower Iq people have copious amounts of kids anyway, but even more when they are subsidized by the state.

But add to that that, as the welfare state provides a net, higher iq types are less likely to have kids than normal.

Think about it - even if you were an engineer or doctor - someone earning a lot- you could meet an accident tomorrow and become disabled and lose all your income. Kids provide that safeguard from the unknown randomness of life. If you get into deep trouble, your kids will take care of you.[2]

Providing a social safety net negates this need to have children - so higher iq/more successful types have less kids. Also theres the unquantifiable element of camaraderie that forms within a family when they need each other, when its them against the world -but this too is destroyed by a social system that makes people need each other less and less and rather makes them subservient and beholden to a nanny-state.

Feminism, I believe, is one of the prime factors behind the behemoth that is the modern cradle to the grave state (regardless of whether something is behind feminism in turn or not). It has a lot to answer for

Notes:
[1] Kinda like people wanting to be a millionaire through the years, even though the value of being a millionaire has dropped by half in the last few decades ;)

[2] This is a concern for people in countries without a cradle-to-grave system. I lived in one for my first 20 years. And I believe, coupled with western economy, can give a culture substantial breathing room.

Dragon Horse said at February 3, 2007 12:46 PM:

"The world of the future is going to be less supportive of free societies - unless the way people around the world use offspring genetic engineering turns the tide back toward cognitive qualities that make people more individualistic."

Why do they need to do that. Japan has been a stable democracy since after WWII, and they have not really become more individualistic. They are still very group oriented, so is South Korea. Individualism, in the Western sense, is not key to democracy or "freedom". Japanese people, like Koreans are "free" to do what they want, however, the limits on their behavior are tied very much to group orientation. This group orientation is also likely the cause of the lower crime rates, stronger families bonds, etc. I'm not sure why this would be considered negative in and of itself, just because it is not standard in Western Europe. I mean, do you consider the current climate of liberal hedonism in Western Europe to be the apex of human morality and social organization??

Also if Taiwan and Hong Kong can be used as an example, and Singapore to a loser extent, I would say that China has fairly good hopes for eventually establishing a type of democracy similar to what we see in Taiwan. It will take time, the Chinese are in no hurry and are more concerned about social stability (due to their confucianist heritage) and economic stability. Democracy and freedoms as we understand them are a luxury, and to be honest this is pragmatic. Despite their relatively high IQ, the average Chinese person is still quite poor, rural, and ignorant. The CCP has been paying attention to its neighbors for a long time, particularly to Taiwan and Singapore (they like Singapore's government model much more than Taiwan), and what they know is without a stable middle class the chances of a stable democracy are low. China has not reached this point yet outside of the urban coastal areas...but it is moving there. Unlike Westerns, they think in terms of decades and centuries, not quarters and bi-annually. They are not in a hurry.

As far as economic nationalism/protectionism. That is not shocking. The Chinese do not have many world class companies, even less than poorer India. They want a similar version to the Korean and Japanese model. To develop world class companies they will need to develop a certain amount of protectionism to nurture local industries to the point where they can be competitive. This is the same thing that all Asian countries have done, namely Japan. Unlike Japan, China has a continent size country (more similar to the United States) in which they can also develop a huge economy from internal as well as exports. Basically China will be less internationalized in the future compared to smaller nations in Asia, that are heavily dependent on export led economic growth. I would also say that China is concerned with the stability of its banking/financial system and are trying to stop a run on their banks as foreign banks move in. Chinese nationals know their own banks have a very very high amount of non-performing loans. If a lot of foreign banks open up and there is a run on them, this could cause an economic collapse, something China has been working hard to prevent for years.

I find none of this shocking at all. Although most Asian nations are somewhat xenophobic, I would not describe the Chinese as becoming more “anti-foreign”. That’s a bit of a stretch. If they really violate any trade laws, they will be sued quick at the WTO…it is not like Europe and America are not watching them closely.

Your Image Here said at February 4, 2007 5:28 AM:

I already know what China thinks of us: http://americanfreedoms.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_americanfreedoms_archive.html#116943825414275350
I've seen the video: http://www.atomfilms.com/film/haha_america.jsp
The Chinese are laughing at us. And I don't blame them...

Dragon Horse said at February 4, 2007 7:31 AM:

http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=5938

The New China Scare Vs the Old Japanese Scare. The "yellow menance reborn"...LOL


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