Opinion | How China Lost America

When future historians look back, they will have a lot to choose from when asking the question of what was the most important year: Brexit, Chexit, Ruxit, or Trumpit?

Our capacity to peacefully and lawfully transition authority is diminishing, which is Trumpit – the nearly complete infiltration of the G.O.P. With Donald Trump’s False Claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Global energy and food markets are in chaos, causing Ruxit – the deranged endeavor by Vladimir Putin to obliterate Ukraine, which has separated Russia from the Western nations. Britain, the sixth-largest economy in the world, driven partly by its irresponsible 2020 departure from the European Union, underwent a severe breakdown.

“Anywhere But China” refers to the popularized abbreviation, symbolized by the end of an era, that describes the steady integration of China’s economy with the Western multinationals, as observed by my colleague Keith Bradsher in Beijing. This phenomenon, known as Chexit, is attributed to President Xi Jinping’s leadership.

Chexit receives my vote. However, my vote is in favor of Chexit. Additionally, simply compiling them all collectively reveals the magnitude of significance that 2022 has acquired in the course of history. It is a challenging decision to make.

Working to prevent and suppress inflation helped raise hundreds of millions of Chinese out of extreme poverty. It also led to new export opportunities for some Americans and reduced unemployment for others in the industry. Over the past four decades of economic integration between China and the U.S., American consumers have greatly benefited.

We will miss that era when our world will be less stable geopolitically and less integrated, resulting in a less prosperous world.


Credit…Jade Gao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

However, it is now gone.

According to the Pew Research Center, currently over 80 percent of Americans hold a negative perception of China. This is a significant increase from 2012 when 40 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of China, as highlighted by Evan Osnos, The New Yorker’s expert on China, in October.

If China possessed a democratic administration, someone in that country currently would undoubtedly be questioning, “How did we relinquish America?”.

America is not blameless in the erosion of this relationship, especially considering the rising challenge of Beijing, with China never having been comfortable with sacrificing its savings and working hard, i.E., Through homework and strong emphasis on science and education, in order to achieve national greatness without being propelled by oil. We have never had a geopolitical rival that was both a near-peer militarily and economically since World War II.

And still you messed up? — And it didn’t cost you a cent — most influential interest group in Washington — you had the largest, how is it that you — this inquiry to Beijing: To understand the extent of China’s failure in winning over America, you could begin with But a substantial portion of this is attributed to China.

I am referring to the United States-China Business and the China-U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China also did the same. These powerful business groups, representing America’s biggest multinational companies, have energetically lobbied for more trade with China and investment from China, for almost four decades, creating a win-win situation.

Nowadays, these lobbies have become mostly silent.

What occurred? It was the culmination of four developments.

In 2003, the initial phase commenced shortly after China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (gratitude to America), with the resignation of Prime Minister Zhu Rongji – a prominent proponent of market reforms in China. Zhu held the belief that Chinese enterprises needed to successfully compete domestically in order to effectively compete globally, hence he desired the presence of American companies in China.

Zhu opposed the dominance of state-owned Chinese industries in China’s inland provinces, which had no interest or ability, and as a result, China’s coastal provinces could potentially compete on a global scale. Consequently, these coastal provinces experienced a rise in influence.

When China joined the WTO, it promised to sign an agreement with the W.T.O. To limit its ability to discriminate against foreign suppliers when making huge government purchases. Instead, China has kept its power in steering its state-owned industries by subsidizing them and never signing the agreement. This has limited China’s ability to procure government procurements that would have reduced-tariff or tariff-free access to Western markets, and it has also reduced the immense access to reduced-tariff or tariff-free markets that China won when it joined the W.T.O.

Many Chinese industries used the subsidies provided by Beijing to compete against the very same Western companies that were competing against them. They protected their domestic market by gaining scale and using the factories built by those Western companies in China. Additionally, numerous Chinese industries resorted to stealing or copying the intellectual property of these Western companies.

As I explained in a column in 2018, even when the U.S. Protested at the W.T.O. About China unfairly keeping U.S. Credit-card companies out of the market, China still slow-walked, making promises to open up but not following through. Then, Chinese companies like UnionPay dominated China’s credit-card market, just like Visa companies were left with only crumbs to export to the E.U. Today, who are slightly larger than China.


Credit…Florence Lo/Reuters

Why are many European and U.S. Companies looking for other ways to complain to China’s government, rather than directly asking or complaining to Beijing, as they fear retaliation? India and Vietnam are now relying more on diversifying their production, and Apple is now looking to expand its supply chains anywhere but China.

Jim McGregor, a business consultant who lived in China for 30 years and based his three written books on his experience there, told me that while he loved the business community in China, the partnership and opportunities used to make sense, but there were always tensions — China took a sour turn on the business community in the U.S.

Wonder No, I remarked to me that Trump, the American president, had started his trade war with Beijing. He was the president of America, but he deserved someone from our side to call the game. He had worked in China for a long time, as an executive of a U.S. Business.

“… In contrast to the Western model, China is positioning itself as a countermodel, drawing on ideas from other countries. This demonstrates China’s pragmatism and emphasis on markets over ideology and Marxism. In an unprecedented third term election, Xi’s platform focuses on opening up the Chinese economy. In an interview with Joerg Wuttke, the president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, Xi has highlighted these priorities.”

The trend of dating back to the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident is the second most popular. When the Chinese Communist Party leadership sought to dampen the democratic aspirations of China’s youth with a fire hose of hyper-nationalism. I have long been considered the creator of Chinese nationalism, Xiaodong Wang. I have never told them that this is crazy, but I have never told them that I created it. I have been called the godfather of nationalism. However, Xiaodong Wang told The New York Times that the Chinese nationalism movement, spurred on by other social media influencers, has gone too far under Xi’s leadership. “China’s march forward is unstoppable,” said Xiaodong Wang, who is considered the long-time standard-bearer of Chinese nationalism, in a recent political interview with my colleague, Vivian Wang, in Beijing.

Is it too late for us Americans to be pushed around anymore? Shouldn’t we have done this a decade ago, when I first realized that there is a kind of arrogance that arises when trouble in countries is responded to? “You sounded like this when you raised pushback against China’s unfair trade practices,” I said, referring to the figures I encountered while talking with the Chinese government and business in 2018.

India, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan, the important neighboring countries of China, are growing increasingly concerned about China’s assertive foreign policy in the South China Sea, which is aimed at establishing supremacy. This situation gives rise to a third significant development.


Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Credit…Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

However, the recent trend may be the most off-putting. Instead of relying on Western-made vaccines to keep the pandemic at bay, China uses a zero-Covid policy that relies on whole cities’ lockdowns as well as new tools of surveillance, such as ubiquitous recognition, facial drones, closed-circuit television cameras, cellphone tracking, and even QR code scanning and recording for tracking restaurant patrons.

It seems like a Xi tactic to prevent the spread of both Covid and the freedom to flourish.

Xi has wasted over the past ten years the significant partnerships built on trust and collaboration that are essential for complex global supply chains. Because the country lacks the necessary sophisticated components for advanced technologies like mRNA vaccines and semiconductors, which are increasingly crucial in the 21st century, Xi fails to comprehend the significance of these chains.

China’s basketball team, under the belief of Xi, can at best be like the world’s all-star basketball team in terms of defeating them alone.

I am skeptical.

I must confess that I am also worried about the use of the term “China” to refer to one-sixth of humanity who speak Chinese. It still bothers me that, in today’s world, when one-sixth of humanity is suffering and in pain, the U.S. Treasury still holds almost $1 trillion of debt owed to China. It is wrong on so many levels, considering how connected and interdependent our world is. However, despite the wrongs and the challenges we face in dealing with this, I want to see the Chinese people thrive and succeed.