Lob und Kritik an Trumps Chinapolitik-AEI: „We need to untie the American economy from China“

von Ralf Ostner

Interessante Diskussionen in der US-Elite über Trumps Chinapolitik. Derek Scissors und Dan Blumenthal vom Neocon Thinktank American Enterprise Institue (AEI) loben in der New York Times  Trump dafür, dass er China als gefährlichen Rivalen der USA sieht („good instinct“), aber kritisieren dann die Maßnahmen. Die Kündigung des TPP, die Zölle, Handelkriege zugleich mit Verbündeten seien nicht zielführend und in ihrer Summe kontraproduktiv. Die USA müssten ihre Handelsbeziehungen und Importlieferketten mit China auflösen und durch andere Lieferanten substituieren. Exporte nach China seien vor allem unter dem301-Handelsgesetz mit Blick auf den Diebstahl intellektuellen Eigentums und der nationalen Sicherheit zu sehen, da der Technologietransfer China wirtschaftlich und militärisch stäke.Die Exporte der USA seien nicht bedeutend, die Importe aus China schon. Die USA sollten hier die Verbündeten in eine gemeinsame antichinesische Front einbeziehen, vor allem wegen des Technologiediebstahls, alternative Importlieferanten suchen und substituierende Lieferketten gezielt aufbauen und technologiesensible Exporte nach China unterbinden.. Die neoliberale Politik, wonach die Märkte es schon regeln würden, habe zur US-amerikanischen Mallaise geführt und hier müsse der Staat, die US-Politik intervenierend und kräftig eingreifen und in Allianz mit Veründeten den Welthandel von China weg umgruppieren. Es sei Zeit die engen Beziehungen mit China aufzulösen („untie“). In diesem Zusammenhang ist auch interessant, dass der deutsche BDI unlängst dazu aufrief, die einseitige Abhängigkeit Deutschlands und der EU von China zu verringern.

Dan Blumenthal, @DAlexBlumenthal

Derek Scissors

January 15, 2019 | The New York Times

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China is a dangerous rival, and America should treat it like one

Enough with the endless talks and handshakes. We need to untie the American economy from China.

The Trump administration has been clear about its view of China. A 2017 national security strategy document called China a “revisionist” power attempting to reorder international politics to suit its interests. It’s difficult to think otherwise given Beijing’s military buildup, its attempts to undermine American influence and power, its retaliations against American allies such as Canada, and its economic actions.

How to respond is more controversial. After years of unsuccessful talks and handshake deals with Beijing, the United States should change course and begin cutting some of its economic ties with China. Such a separation would stop intellectual property theft, cut off an important source of support to the People’s Liberation Army and hold companies that are involved in Chinese human rights abuses accountable.

This will be no easy task. Some industries will have problems finding new suppliers or buyers, and there are entrenched constituencies that support doing business with China. They argue that any pullback could threaten economic growth. But even if American exports to China fell by half, it would be the equivalent of less than one-half of 1 percent of gross domestic product. The cost of reducing Chinese imports is harder to assess, but there are multiple countries that can substitute for China-based production, none of them strategic rivals and trade predators.

The United States economy and its national security have been harmed by China’s rampant theft of intellectual property and the requirement that American companies that want to do business in the country hand over their technology. These actions threaten America’s comparative advantage in innovation and its military edge.

Even uncoerced foreign investment in technology can strengthen the Chinese military-industrial complex, especially since the Communist Party has moved, since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, to a defense industrial policy that translates in English to “civil-military fusion.” In practice, many Chinese and foreign “civilian” companies serve as de facto suppliers for the Chinese Army and its technological-industrial base. Residents and visitors are subject to constant visual surveillance, and a nascent “social credit program” in which disobedience to party dictates is reflected in credit scores, which could affect everything from home purchases to job opportunities. These forms of social control often use technology developed by Western companies.

The United States should make major adjustments to its economic relationship with China. Comprehensive tariffs, which harm American consumers and workers unnecessarily, are not the right reaction. But neither are admonishments to “just let the market work.”

The scale of China’s industrial-policy distortions, technology thievery and efforts to modernize its army are too significant for such superficial responses. The American government must intervene in the market when it comes to China, although that intervention should be limited to areas that are genuinely vital to national security, prosperity and democratic values.

For example, the United States government should impose sanctions on the Chinese beneficiaries of intellectual property theft and coercion, in cooperation with our allies. This was the legitimate target of the United States trade representative’s original inquiry in August 2017 under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, but the policy steps chosen — tariffs — focus on the trade deficit instead of loss of intellectual property.

Rather than across-the-board tariffs, Chinese companies receiving stolen or coerced intellectual property should not be allowed to do business with firms in America or, with our allies’ cooperation, in Europe and Japan. The United States should also intervene to halt foreign investment in any technology that assists the Chinese Army or contributes to internal repression and limit the access to global markets of any Chinese company that is tied to human rights abuses and army modernization.

Taking these actions would require an enormous amount of intelligence collection by American security agencies as well as crucial information from American companies. The latter is difficult to obtain: Out of fear of Chinese retribution, the foreign business community will cooperate only if there is a clear, bipartisan and long-term commitment by the American government.

While the United States must act unilaterally if necessary, the cooperation of allies such as Japan, Germany and Britain would make these steps more effective. Such countries have their own interests in China. Imposing sanctions in the name of national security on the European Union and China, as the Trump administration has threatened, would unwisely give them common cause.

Previous efforts to assert America’s influence against China, such as the discarded Trans-Pacific Partnership, did not push back effectively on Chinese economic aggression. Working with allies to directly address China’s malfeasance would.

All this means putting China at the top of American international economic priorities and keeping it there for years, without overstating or overreacting to trade disputes with our allies.

The administration has demonstrated some good instincts on China, but it must not be distracted by the next round of Beijing’s false economic promises. Protecting innovation from Chinese attack makes the United States stronger. Hindering the Chinese security apparatus makes external aggression and internal repression more costly for Beijing.

China is our only major trade partner that is also a strategic rival, and we should treat it differently from friendly countries with whom we have disputes. If Washington wants the global free market to work, it must intervene to blunt Beijing’s belligerence.

http://www.aei.org/publication/china-is-a-dangerous-rival-and-america-should-treat-it-like-one/

Die Frage wird aber sein, inwieweit man US- und andere ausländische Firmen dazu bewegen kann, ihre Milliardeninvestitionen, die sie schon in China getätigt haben oder noch tätigen wollen, aufzugeben, zu unterbinden und umzulenken. Zumal sich auch fragt, inwieweit Trump geopolitische und nicht eher geoökonomische und merkantilistische Motive treiben. Ebenso ob es für solch eine Politik Unterstützung seitens der Republikaner und der Demokraten sowie der US-Wirtschaft geben würde.

China inzwischen beschäftigt sich auch schon mit dem Gedanken, ob etwa Indien China als die Weltfabrik ablösen könnte. Die meisten Experten haben jedoch Zweifel, da die indische Wirtschaftspolitik, vor allem der Regionalregierungen trotz Modis wirtschaftlicher „Make in India“-Politik nicht gerade investorenfreundlich ist, zumal auch die Wirtschaftspolitik der Zentralregierung nicht überall durchgesetzt wird, Indiens wesentlicher Vorteil die niedrigen Löhne seien (indischer Arbeiter 200 Yuan/Monat, chinesischer 2000 Yuan Lohn/Monat) , es einige Zeit brauche bis genug Kapital ins Land komme, um Indiens verarbeitenden Sektor zu chinesischen Dimensionen expandieren zu lassen:

„Data released by the World Bank showed that in 2017, the manufacturing sector accounted for about 15 percent of India’s GDP in terms of added value. In contrast, China’s manufacturing sector accounted for nearly 30 percent in the country’s GDP.“

Zumal sich die Frage stelle, ob Indien sich wirklich auf die niedrigwertige Billigproduktion einlassen wolle, die China gerade hinter sich lassen wolle. Zudem stehen neben Indien auch noch andere Billiglohnländer zur Verfügung, wie Myanmar, Bangladesch, Vietnam oder Afrika.

 

India’s industrial upgrade is moving fast, but can it replace China as ‘factory of the world’?

By Xie Jun (Global Times)    08:31, January 23, 2019

As Chinese manufacturers struggle to „walk out“ as their domestic business environment becomes more competitive, India is becoming increasingly attractive for many of them.

Hu Tu, a native of East China’s Anhui Province, has been living in Bangalore, one of India’s most progressive and developed cities, for about four years. Starting from the second half of last year, he set out to establish a small-scale factory in Bangalore to produce and process silkworm cocoon.

But in the process of opening the factory, he has encountered many difficulties. „It has been about half a year since I started to set up the plant. It’s a much longer process than I had anticipated for such a small-scale factory,“ he told the Global Times on Sunday.

Despite the frustrations, for various reasons, he was quite sure that the factory, once getting into routine production and exporting the goods, would be able to make money.

„The current hardships are just a period of tribulation that I, or anyone who wants to make money out of investment in India, has to walk through,“ he said.

In Hu’s observation, more and more Chinese manufacturers are experiencing the same issues. Pressed by increasing labor costs, tougher environment protection standards and an increasingly saturated domestic market, they are turning to nearby markets to set up manufacturing plants. More of them are doing this in the Indian market.

„Chinese manufacturing plants in India are mostly in sectors like energy, mobile phones, electric appliances, voltage equipment and so forth,“ Hu said.

The position of India as a rising manufacturing power is also attracting other overseas manufacturing companies. According to a Reuters report, Samsung Electronics opened a new factory in India in July, which it claimed to be the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing plant, in order to grab opportunities in a country where mobile phone usage has been growing at a stunning rate.

The report also stressed that President Modi’s flagship „Make in India“ campaign has had some success with the phased manufacturing of mobile devices and components, as there are more than 120 local factories currently assembling mobile phones and accessories like chargers, batteries, powerbanks and earphones in India.

A Straits Times report also pointed out on January 1 that Apple will start assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Taiwan-based Foxconn, which is located in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Sumeet Chander, country head of global professional services provider Evalueserve who is also an Indian native, said that he knew „quite a few“ overseas companies that set up plants in India in recent years or are in the process of setting up those plants.

The rising appeal of India to overseas manufacturing companies has also stirred some discussions as to whether India is about to overtake China as the world’s factory, as China’s manufacturing industry is currently shrouded by uncertainties as a result of China’s economic slowdown as well as an unfriendly global business environment.

Painful experience?

According to Hu, investing in India can be a painful experience, particularly in the initial stages.

A big problem is the country’s inadequate supply chain, which means that an overseas investor often finds it difficult to source components in the local market.

Hu, for example, „imports“ a lot of manufacturing products from China ranging from electric welders to water pumps etc. in order to complete the assembly line in his Indian plant.

„In China, you can easily buy equipment from a website and there’s usually sufficient stock. In India, similar products are not only very expensive but it is also hard to find sufficient supply,“ he disclosed.

For example, when Hu tried to buy a boiler for his company in India, he found that a 0.6 cubic-meter boiler costs about 60,000 yuan ($8,832) in India, and he had to wait about one month for the boiler to be manufactured and then another one week for the boiler to be delivered to his address.

In comparison, a similar 0.8 cubic-meter boiler in China cost only about 30,000 yuan, and the boiler could be delivered immediately, Hu said.

Similar problems have perplexed Chinese investors. A boiler material manufacturer in Jingjiang, East China’s Jiangsu Province had told the Global Times that in India, often 7-8 out of 10 components can’t be obtained from the Indian market, which makes it rather inconvenient for investors.

Incomplete infrastructure network like inadequate electricity, water and transportation is also causing headaches for manufacturers in India. „It takes a very long time, sometimes even one year, for a plant to apply for commercial power. Further, because commercial power is not a stable supply, sometimes companies have to pay extra money for voltage stabilizers,“ Hu said.

He also complained about the deceleration strips (speed humps) on many Indian roads, which makes driving very difficult.

Apart from those problems, minor cultural differences are also troubling investors like Hu. For example, Indians prefer cash transactions to bank transfers, which makes doing business very inconvenient. He is also concerned by the fact that many Indians would square up later, which significantly increases the business risks.

Hu said he only exports cocoons to Chinese customers to avoid those risks.

A promising market?

But despite difficult business conditions, Hu said the Indian market will pay off eventually.

„Once you get familiar with India’s business environment, it’s not very difficult to make money in this country,“ he said.

According to Hu, the price of raw materials are quite cheap in India compared with other countries. The price of cocoons in India, for example, is approximately half the price of cocoons in China. This price gap has led to opportunities for profit, Hu said.

Cheaper labor cost is the biggest advantage that India offers. Zhou Rong, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday that on average, a Chinese manufacturing worker earns at least 2,000 yuan each month, while an Indian worker earns less than 200 yuan each month.

„Other things like India’s gigantic market potential as a result of its huge population, particularly its large English-speaking population, are of great appeal to manufacturers, especially international manufacturers,“ Zhou said.

According to experts, the Indian government is making policies to support manufacturing and thus boost the local economy. In 2014, the Modi government launched the „Make in India“ initiative covering 25 sectors of the economy to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India as well as increase their investment.

„As far as I know, the environment of doing business in India has improved over the last few years, both for Indian companies as well as foreign companies,“ Chander said.

Zhou said that there have been improvements in the Indian government’s policies toward manufacturing and overseas investments in the past few years. „But I think those policies have not been implemented very well. It would be better if India’s local governments could stay in step with the central government in terms of policy stimulation,“ Zhou commented.

In early January, some 150 million employees in India across a number of sectors went on strike. The strike was called by 10 trade unions in the country, protesting against the Modi government’s policies, which they believed to be anti-labor, according to a report of the Quartz India on January 7.

Overtake China?

But many experts have all stressed that generally speaking, the standard of India’s manufacturing industry is still underdeveloped compared to China.

„China now has the ability to produce different types of products – from high-quality to low-quality. The Indian market is now filled with low-quality made-in-China products or high-quality western goods, while made-in-India products don’t have much presence in the markets,“ Hu disclosed.

Data released by the World Bank showed that in 2017, the manufacturing sector accounted for about 15 percent of India’s GDP in terms of added value. In contrast, China’s manufacturing sector accounted for nearly 30 percent in the country’s GDP.

Sun Shihai, an expert at the South Asia Research Center under Sichuan University, told the Global Times on Monday that overseas manufacturing businesses moving into India is a good sign, in that it would not only introduce high-standard overseas manufacturing into India, but would push local Indian companies to get a sense of competition and upgrade their business.

„But India overtaking China in manufacturing is still too much of an exaggeration,“ Sun commented. „It might take many more years for that to happen even though China’s manufacturing industry is currently undergoing a difficult time.“

Chander said that China’s industrial upgrading would provide some opportunities for countries like India.

„I am not sure if China is interested in being the factory of the world anymore. I see China evolving to become one of the technology leaders of the world along with the US. As China evolves, there will be a vacuum in the world’s factory slot which may be filled by not just India but other countries as well, such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, possibly Myanmar and certain African countries,“ he noted.

But he said that although India would have a large role to play as a manufacturing location, the Indian government will also be wary of inheriting low value-added manufacturing in India.

http://en.people.cn/n3/2019/0123/c90000-9540493.html

Hinzu kommt, dass die Trumpadministration den Begriff „nationale Sicherheit“auch sehr weit auslegt, sei es bezüglich europäischer Stahl- und Autoexporte in die USA, sei es nun die Huaweiaffäre, bei der China unterstellt wird, die Firma und deren Technologie für Spionagezwecke einzusetzen samt Inhaftierung der chinesischen Huaweifinanzbeauftragten Frau Meng in Kanda oder nun neuerdings im Falle Israels, wobei die USA Israel davor warnten, dass China als Teil seiner neuen Seidenstrasse einen  Hafen erstehen wolle, um diesen zu Spionagezwecken gegen Israel und die USA zu nutzen, was aber nicht auf israelische Gegenliebe stiess und als „Witz“aufgefasst wird–worüber die People´s Daily/Volkszeitung genüsslich berichtet:

„Israeli official says U.S. security warnings on China „a joke“

(Xinhua)    13:21, January 22, 2019

BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — China on Wednesday quoted an Israeli official on the need to reject U.S. security warnings about Chinese investment in Israel.

According to reports, U.S. officials have raised concerns about the Chinese investment in Israel, particularly in Haifa Port, out of espionage fears and cybersecurity.

However, an Israeli government source who spoke on condition of anonymity discounted the concerns, saying „the security warnings about the Chinese are a joke.“

The official also said: „If China wants to gather intelligence, they can simply rent an apartment in Haifa instead of investing in ownership of a port.“

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a news briefing: „Even an ally of the U.S. feels the concern is a joke, are China’s comments still needed?

„The U.S. side has repeatedly abused the notion of ’national security‘ to slander or strike the normal business behaviors of Chinese enterprises, completely ignoring the facts.“

http://en.people.cn/n3/2019/0122/c90000-9540260.html

Dan Blumenthal vom AEI, Mitautor des Artikels hatte hatte schon zuvor Israel wegen der doch sehr engen Beziehungen zu China in seinem Beitrag des neokonservativen American Enterprise Institutes „Israel’s embrace of China is sorely misguided“ kritisiert:

„Washington is in the nascent stages of garnering international support to stop China from gaining an unfair advantage in this field through its global web of industrial policies. Israel, which is not part of this effort, could end up aiding China’s mercantilist tactics in the race for technological supremacy.

In another scenario, the CCP might exert its economic leverage to pressure Israel to act against U.S. interests by allowing the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) to make port calls in Israel and eventually create there a logistical hub in the eastern Mediterranean. Already China and Russia are conducting joint naval exercises in the surrounding waters; in the nearby Gulf of Aden, PLAN ships are already preparing to be homeported in the region.

In sum, Israel is finding itself on the wrong side of a shift in geopolitics, and is allowing itself to become too cozy with a viciously repressive regime (one sign, incidentally, of the profound dissimilarity between Jewish and Chinese civilization). Yet this does not mean that Israel has to go out of its way to antagonize China. Washington is not asking any friend to do that—and Washington, for its part, has a role to play in its outreach to Jerusalem, much as it is attempting to do with others throughout Europe and Asia.

Taking a cue from that playbook, Israel might adopt an approach more in tune with of Australia, Japan, or the smaller European nations—by, for instance, more actively aligning itself with U.S. policy on high-tech, on the One Belt One Road initiative, and on China’s attempts to build basing stations throughout the world.

In doing so, Israel’s vaunted diplomatic and national-security agencies would also be wise to engage in a major effort to understand Washington’s new approach to its chief geostrategic rival. Israel has been famously adept at protecting its national-security interests in its region; it has often fallen short in assessing and responding to major geopolitical changes. As China makes dangerous inroads into Israel and the region, time is running short for Jerusalem to mend this weakness.“

http://www.aei.org/publication/israels-embrace-of-china-is-sorely-misguided/

Doch ganz so aussichtslos sind die Vorstellungen der Neocons auch nicht. Gleichzeitig forcieren die USA ein Rüstungsautarkieprogramm, das die USA für einen längeren Großmachtkonflikt mit China und Rußland kriegsbereit- und fähig machen soll. Mittels der Pentagonstudie „“Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States” soll eine schnelle Transformation auf eine von ausländischen Importen weitgehendst unabhängige Kriegsökonomie sichergestellt werden–ähnlich dem Infrastrukturprogramm für Europa, das die schnelle Verlegung von NATO-Truppen nach Osten und Logistik für einen möglichen Krieg mit Rußland sicherstellen soll.Nachzulesen unter:

https://media.defense.gov/2018/Oct/05/2002048904/-1/-1/1/ASSESSING-AND-STRENGTHENING-THE-MANUFACTURING-AND%20DEFENSE-INDUSTRIAL-BASE-AND-SUPPLY-CHAIN-RESILIENCY.PDF

Ebenso gibt es nun ein parteiübergreifendes Papier von US-Republikanern und US-Demokraten, das ebenso eine Vorbereitung für einen Großmachtskonflikt, wenn nicht gar Weltkrieg mit China und Rußland darstellt, vielleicht aber auch als Warnung zu begreifen ist.

Nicht nur das AEI und die neue National Security Strategy der Trumpregierung warnen vor China. Nun auf dem World Economic Forum sieht George Soros China als die grösste Gefahr für die Demokratie und appeliert an Trump, den solche Fragen gar nicht interessieren, China vor allem ins Visier zu nehmen und nicht Verbündete mit Handelskriegsdrohungen zu überziehen. Er wirft Trump auch vor gegenüber China zu sanft aufzutreten und sei es bei der Frage der Neuen Seidenstrasse, des 5G-Netzes und des Falls ZTE und Huawei:

„Der berühmte Hedgefondsmanager und Philanthrop George Soros hat vor den Auswirkungen fortgeschrittener Technologien in den Händen autoritärer Staaten gewarnt. Offene Gesellschaften seien einer „tödlichen Gefahr“ ausgesetzt, wenn maschinelles Lernen und Künstliche Intelligenz als Kontrollinstrumente genutzt würden, sagte der ungarisch-stämmige 88-jährige am Rande der Jahrestagung des Weltwirtschaftsforums in Davos.

Vor allem mit dem chinesischen Vorhaben eines sozialen Kreditpunktesystems ging der Milliardär hart ins Gericht. Menschen würden darin von Algorithmen danach bewertet, ob sie eine Gefahr für den Staat seien. „Das wird das Schicksal des Einzelnen in einem historisch nicht gekannten Ausmaß den Interessen des Ein-Parteien-Staates unterwerfen“, sagte Soros.

China sei nicht das einzige autoritäre Regime in der Welt. Aber es sei das wohlhabendste und technologisch am weitesten fortgeschrittene. Das mache Chinas Staatspräsident Xi Jinping zum gefährlichsten Gegner offener Gesellschaften.

Zudem nahm Soros Peking für sein Machtstreben beim Projekt „Neue Seidenstraße“ ins Visier. China versucht, sich dadurch mit Infrastrukturinvestitionen in Nachbarstaaten und Schwellenländern wirtschaftlichen und politischen Einfluss zu sichern.

Dagegen müssten die westlichen Länder und zumal die Vereinigten Staaten etwas unternehmen. „Anstatt einen Handelskrieg mit praktisch der ganzen Welt anzuzetteln, sollte Präsident Trump sich auf China konzentrieren“, befand Soros.

Die chinesischen Tech-Konzerne ZTE und Huawei lasse Trump jedoch zu einfach davonkommen. Wenn diese Firmen den Markt für den künftigen schnellen Mobilfunkstandard 5G dominieren sollten, würden sie nach Ansicht Soros‘ ein unakzeptables Sicherheitsrisiko für den Rest der Welt darstellen.

Der Auftritt des Investors in Davos hat Tradition. Er hält in den Schweizer Berger jedes Jahr eine politisch-gesellschaftlich motivierte Rede. Im vergangenen Jahr kritisierte er Facebook und Google.“

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/weltwirtschaftsforum/soros-kritisiert-chinas-xi-als-gegner-der-demokratie-16007214.html

 

 

 



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