GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
This Column has focused on US obsession with the rise of China. That China is rising is indisputable – it features in media coverage of China + in the speeches + statements by Western leaders including Japan + Australia. And as China rises, so the West seeks to frighten the rest of the world at the prospect of China becoming the #1 world economic power.
Today’s media – with echoes of the 1950’s Reds Under The Beds slogan – highlights the call by US + UK intelligence chiefs that China uses industrial spies to steal western technology. In a joint appearance in London, FBI Director Christopher Wray + MI5 Intelligence Chief Ken Macullum warned that China’s industrial espionage poses a growing threat to western groups, including through special purpose acquisition of companies. Wray said Beijing was using “every tool” at its disposal to steal western technology in an effort to eventually undercut non-Chinese businesses + dominate their markets.
The Chinese embassy in Washington rejected the allegations from Wray + McCallum. “Some US politicians have been tarnishing China’s image and painting China as a threat with false accusations,” said an embassy spokesperson. “We resolutely oppose their comments.”
Two Points; First, the West remains befuddled by China’s rise. It was not meant to happen. Economic progress belongs to the Capitalist West and not the Communist East. It has only taken place, the FBI/MI5 say, because China – with deceit + guile – has smiled at the West whilst stealing its blueprints. Second, the West needs to resist the temptation of the China market and drawback from business with China. “De-Couple” is the rallying call.
Washington and London are at odds with much of the rest of the world. 130 countries have created Belt+Road links with China providing for investment in highways, ports, airports and infrastructure. Big challenges lie ahead as the West opts for Confrontation over Co-operation.
Between 2005 and 2014 I can testify that American business men flocked to China, blueprints in hand to sell their technologies to Chinese companies. Why? Because they could not raise development capital in the USA. China did not need to steal or use guile, western businesses rushed to hand over there secrets in return for cash. I was acting on behalf of the inward investment bureau of one of China’s provinces at the time and I can assure you that there was a waiting list of American and European companies eager to sell their secrets in return for investment.