Our translation of an article from guancha.cn of an article that originated in People’s Daily (renminribao,人民日报) follows below, with commentary and notes in [brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
As I read this article, it dawned upon me at some point that this whole trade war issue boils down to Neo-Colonialism, just as does the whole issue of Israeli occupation of Arab lands. I realized this when I recalled that Israel is striving to prevent Palestinians in the occupied territories from getting a higher education so that the Palestinians can’t compete against their colonial masters – who then have the gall to brag about the wonderful advances that Israel has made in sci-tech. As if there were no Palestinians in the open-air prison of Gaza, for example, who are burning to attend universities and study science and technology.
I recalled learning during my stay in Taiwan that that country had once been occupied by Japan and that it once served its colonial masters as a source of agricultural products but that the Japanese had made sure, by discouraging higher education, that the Taiwanese colony would not be allowed to develop industry. These examples from Israel and Japan embody the very essence of Neo-Colonialism.
There is an analogy here with China and its colonial relationship with the US, which was quite happy to have China manufacture low-tech products with cheap labour and later even allowed the country to assemble high-tech instruments and information technology as long as the US masters were in charge of the technology and the Chinese refrained from learning the tricks of the trade. And herein lies the ulterior motive behind the trade wars.
Now if you saw the movie “Ghandi,” you will recall that it was strictly forbidden for the Indians to make their own salt because the British expected the Indians to buy all their salt from Britain. Of course, this was silly because it is easy to make salt from sea water so why not allow the Indians to do this? But in the movie we see a scene of Indians, under Ghandi’s leadership, defying this ban in a publicized action and making their own salt. It seems absurd to us now, but the British soldiers actually attacked and inflicted bodily harm on the participants in this demonstration. For what? For making salt. Absurdly, the British thought of salt making technology as a kind of proprietary process that the Anglo-Saxons had invented and had the sole right to use and profit from. They thought, like Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer and Steve Bannon today, that a colony making high tech products was a threat and an insult to the colonial masters to whom the colonials owed their very lives and fortunes.
This kind of retaliation is exactly what the US is administering now to China, which has violated the sacred colonial rule: thou shalt not compete with thy masters in high tech.
Trump thinks of high tech in general as something that every person in the world uses only at the indulgence of the Great Exceptional USA and its allies like the Japanese, who are obedient to its wishes. He and his cronies in Congress and the Senate, like Chuck Schumer, accuse the Chinese of stealing US technology but they cannot supply evidence of this theft of inellectual property. If they had legitimate evidence, they could and would present their case to the WTO instead of blatantly illegally waging war on Chinese industry and anyone who cooperates with it or jailing one of its higher officials. I like to remind those who accuse China of stealing technology that China is the only country in the world with 5G technology. So whom did they steal it from?
The rest of the world stands by in stunned silence because no one but the colonial masters in Washington see Huawei as a criminal or a mischief maker. In fact, the proof that this whole uproar is a tempest in a teacup is that the techies in Silicon Valley – the ones who have made US technology great -- have been and still are perfectly happy to cooperate with Huawei instead of crying for “justice” and demanding its CEO be jailed. Their livelihood depends on cooperation with Huawei, which is why Trump’s trade war has just cost the tech stock market over $1 trillion. Silicon Valley’s benevolent attitude toward the Chinese is that of an American scientist who is happy to be on the same team as a scientist in Shanghai or Novosibirsk or Marseille. Or anywhere. Scientists everywhere share a brotherly bond and they respect each other’s creativity and tireless pursuit of knowledge and a better world for all. The scientific community instinctively understands the importance of international cooperation. This is why you will see inventors with names from Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Indonesian, any language at all, listed on the front page of a patent, all together. You don’t have a separate page for inventors who are Anglo-Saxons and another for inventors with Arabic or Persian names. Science know no boundaries, and if that were not the case, the technical world would stagnate and fold and we would all head back to the Dark Ages where Trump and his team of Greater Appalachians would like to take us.
It is intriguing to see an analyst from “communist” China, like the one whose work appears below, making reference to Adam Smith. And yet, there is no contradiction between Smith’s philosophy and, say, the 2,500 year old writing of Confucius or Laozi.
Trump’s trade wars remind me of these words from the Dao De Jing:
When people become overly bold,
then disaster will soon arrive.
Do not meddle with people’s livelihood;
by respecting them they will in turn respect you.
Therefore, the Master knows himself but is not arrogant.
He loves himself but also loves others.
This is how he is able to make appropriate choices.
People's Daily: The United States engages in technological hegemony, hindering development and progress, and will fail
(Original title: Engaging in high tech hegemony is hindering development and progress (Morning Bell) - refusal to compete will lead to failure)
“In general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so.”
In the context of today’s deepening economic globalization, Adam Smith’s sentence still inspires.
What is alarming to the world is that some politicians in the United States have bucked the trend of the times and unfurled the banner of hegemony in science and technology. They attempted to squeeze the space of international cooperation by arrogantly rejecting competition and suppressing the legitimate rights and interests of other countries.
For some time, the US government has abused the power of the state and has frequently opened fire on Chinese high-tech companies such as Huawei, which has been struggling to reach the forefront of the world. In the absence of any factual basis and conclusive evidence, it is an excuse to use the so-called “stealing of secrets” and threats to “national security” to prohibit the participation of Huawei in the construction of US telecommunications equipment, especially the 5G equipment network; In addition, with an administrative ban, Huawei and its subsidiaries were included in the "list of entities" for export control, and a number of US companies were forced to "discontinue" Huawei... with a presumption of guilt, using state power to deliberately suppress, and even require related business "groups" to isolate the company. Such unreasonable, overbearing behaviour!
As a technological and economic power, the United States of all countries should understand the laws governing the development of science and technology and understand the benefits of market competition. However, some American politicians [Trump in particular, though this government-owned site avoids naming him] deliberately ignore common sense and frequently interfere with normal scientific and technological cooperation and market competition. If you can't find a reason, just blame "national security." People can't help but wonder if it can threaten the "national security" of the United States if it doesn't move. If that is the case, the number one technological power is too weak. The discerning person knows at a glance that the reason why the US suppresses Chinese companies on the grounds of "national security" is nothing more than to curb the momentum of China's scientific and technological development, and to gain time and space to maintain the monopoly over the international industrial division of labour in the high-tech market, such as 5G technology. This scheme brings into focus the hegemonic mentality of the United States, which only allows itself to develop and won’t allow others to progress; this behaviour reflects the tyrannical overbearing attitude that the United States has always been "one and only big winner."
There is an old saying in China that goes: "the winner wins on his own." In the face of competition, the best practice has never been to discredit the opponent, but to improve one’s own strength. In order to maintain the lead in science and technology, the United States should make great efforts to upgrade its own commercial technology and enhance its competitiveness. Some people, such as the former White House’s chief strategic adviser [Steve] Bannon and the US Senate Minority Leader [Chuck] Schumer, have really gone off the deep end, asserting “China is the greatest threat to the survival of the United States” and “China aims to grab the US's technological dominance and has been stealing," and claims that "the 5G competition is a game that the United States must win." In fact, using sleazy means to squash competitors and artificially block mutually beneficial win-win cooperation will not only fail to boost US progress in communications technology, but will only force US companies to use backward but expensive alternative equipment and lag behind other countries in the construction of 5G networks. It is impossible to turn "fake prestige" into "true skill" by using an abnormal means to establish a temporary "protective umbrella" for the development of the country.
A philosopher once said that "noble competition" is "the source of all outstanding talent." The basic feature of a market economy is competition. A fair and benign competitive environment can continuously stimulate the vitality of market players, promote orderly flow of production factors, efficient allocation of resources, deep integration of markets, and can promote high-quality economic development. At the beginning of the 20th century, Ford and GM in the United States were in benign neck-and-neck competition, and both of them achieved their respective brands making the US automobile industry bigger and stronger.
A United States that loudly proclaims "free competition" and "market economy" cannot rationally treat competition by ignoring international trade rules, and practicing trade protectionism willy-nilly, suppressing other countries' technology companies. These are contradictory concepts, so how can America win the trust of the international community?!
The United States' refusal to compete hinders development and progress. They can’t guarantee their leading position by blocking their rivals. Unfair means is by no means the ace in the hole for putting the United States in an invincible position. Those American politicians who are keen on engaging in technological hegemony should think about why, even though some politicians in the United States have tried their best to obstruct Chinese companies from participating in global competition, the major companies in Silicon Valley in the United States are still rushing to deliver full power to Chinese companies before the ban takes effect. Why did the United States invent various pretexts and repeatedly deliberately discredit Huawei, while the countries of the world still choose to cooperate with Huawei? The reason is simply that cooperation is a win-win proposition, a cake that can benefit the interests of all parties. Rejecting competition will only impact the global supply chain and add unnecessary risks to the world economy.
A few decades ago, under the difficult conditions of the Western blockade, China managed to create "two bombs and one star" [refers to the first Chinese satellite launch and the development of the Chinese atom bomb and hydrogen bomb in 1964 and 1967, respectively]. Today, the pace of China's scientific and technological innovation development will not stop because of the noise and interference from some US politicians. I would like to advise those American politicians that trying to use power to dominate the strong momentum of China's scientific and technological progress, and to meddle with and block China’s legitimate right to develop and grow, is destined to be a waste of effort! The trend of the times is unstoppable. It is impossible for the United States to maintain its leading position with a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Source: People's Daily