Fatal delusions of western man
"We got China wrong. Now what?" ran the headline over the column in The Washington Post.
"Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?" asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence.
America's elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People's Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.
We deluded ourselves. It did not happen.
Xi Jinping just changed China's constitution to allow him to be dictator for life. He continues to thieve intellectual property from U.S. companies and to occupy and fortify islets in the South China Sea, which Beijing now claims as entirely its own.
Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea as Chinese warplanes and warships circumnavigate Taiwan threatening its independence.
Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette
We today confront a Chinese Communist dictatorship and superpower that seeks to displace America as first power on earth, and to drive the U.S. military back across the Pacific.
Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?
The elites of both parties. Bush Republicans from the 1990s granted China most-favored-nation status and threw open America's market.
Result: China has run up $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States. Her $375 billion trade surplus with us in 2017 far exceeded the entire Chinese defense budget.