David Goldman: ‘Tariffs Aren’t Going to Be Enough to Stop the Chinese Government’

BEIJING, Oct. 25, 2017 -- Xi Jinping (C), Li Keqiang (3rd R), Li Zhanshu (3rd L), Wang Yang (2nd R), Wang Huning (2nd L), Zhao Leji (1st R) and Han Zheng (1st L) attend the first plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the …
Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images

David P. Goldman, Asia Times columnist and senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, told Breitbart News “tariffs aren’t going to be enough to stop the Chinese juggernaut,” offering his remarks on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

“My concern is that tariffs aren’t going to be enough to stop the Chinese juggernaut,” said Goldman. “I applaud President Trump, but I don’t think that he’s necessarily using the best tools in this case.”


China’s progressive displacement of American technological dominance is an existential threat to America’s geopolitical status, warned Goldman.

“The basic problem is we’re losing our high-tech industry,” assessed Goldman. “We’ve lost almost all of it. We’re about to lose the last vestiges of the American semiconductor industry. All these things we invented — from computer chips to lasers to sensors, and so forth — are now being produced almost exclusively in Asia, and I don’t believe we can be a great power [or] military power unless we have a dominant position in a few of those industries. That’s a separate issue [from the tariff issue].”

Chinese political leaders view Western ascendance as a temporary anomaly to be corrected, said Goldman.

“China was — until the beginning of the 18th century — the dominant industrial power in the world for hundreds of years,” remarked Goldman. China looks at the entire rise of the West as a temporary aberration in which the middle kingdom — the true center of civilization — was for a short period of time, like a couple of centuries, leapfrogged by the impudent barbarians. They intend to take their world back, the way they look at.”

Goldman continued, “That means dominating all the key events, the technologies, it means turning two billion people in the global south into the equivalent of Chinese tenant farmers — that’s what’s meant by this Belt and Road initiative. It means dominating the world economy; militarily, economically, and geopolitically.”

Goldman went on, “I don’t believe that any kind of pressure on the human rights issue is going to impress the Chinese leadership. China’s got a tough place that has exterminated what they call barbarians at their borders for thousands of years. They look at the Uyghurs as another bunch of barbarians that need to be neutralized in one way or the other. But it it the only place in the world where millions of people are being herded into so-called re-education camps, and it’s quite shocking to Western sensibilities.”

America and the broader West must preserve their technological edge over China, declared Goldman.

“The only thing that scares the Chinese is Western technological superiority, and if they feel that they’re in a position to leapfrog us technologically, they will fear absolutely nothing from us. The only letter we have is our ability to innovate, because then we can do to them what we did to the Russians, which is pull the rug out from under them economically.”

Goldman added, “If China becomes the dominant power in the world, there’s going to be a name for somebody who works for a Chinese, and that’s going to be ’employed.’ We’re going to be beholden to the Chinese economically. We’ll be unable to deal with our own security. Remember, the Chinese are now rolling out a whole new set of high-tech weapons, including hyper-velocity missiles which go several times faster than existing ballistic missiles, against which we have no defense, and neither do our aircraft carriers have a defense against such weapons.”

Goldman warned, “The Chinese would become the dominant military power. We’d be less secure. We’d be poor, and we’d be beholden to them, and our quality of life and security would be vastly diminished. That’s a long-term proposition for which we may have to make some sacrifices.”

Reversing the trend of China’s ascendance relative to America and the broader West will require broad-based national efforts, assessed Goldman. He advised the implementation of a brain drain strategy to attract China’s most talented scientists and innovators to America.

“The Chinese are a massive country” began Goldman. “They’re smart and hardworking people. They produce four times as many bachelor’s degrees as we do in STEM, and twice as many doctorates. But the United States is much better at innovating than the Chinese. If we made an effort, we can pick off most of their smartest scientists and entrepreneurs, because the really smart and innovative people don’t like living with a communist party breathing down their necks. I have no doubt that the creative resources in the United States are still there, and that with a concerted effort, we could leapfrog the Chinese the same way we did the Russians in the Cold War.”

The Cold War provides lessons for the current power struggle between America and China, determined Goldman. “When I was a kid in the late 1970s, Henry Kissinger and every smart guy in the world was predicting Russia would win the Cold War. That was conventional wisdom, and along came Ronald Reagan, and turned them inside out.”

“We can do it, but it’s not going to be easy or cheap, and we’ll need a concerted national effort to do that,” concluded Goldman.

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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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