Bad Romance: Chinese hacking
Growing discontent among the American populous could reach a tipping point in the wake of the Mandiant report detailing the hacking activities of the Chinese military/government. If the Chinese government, the International Community, and US policymakers wish to spark a new age of improved economic relations instead of a worldwide trade war, they must understand and constructively respond to the grievances of the American and Chinese Peoples.
Imagine the disappointment, resentment, and hurt-driven anger a young man in the following situation might feel: a pretty, albeit crazy, girl with a bad reputation decides to, essentially, stalk him when he fails to give her the proper attention she feels she deserves. She follows him around for months telling him she’s not like that and convincing him she’s the perfect girl for him. (Say he ignores her flirtatious advances because he’s too focused on his school as it is his only means of improving his lot in life while he has no money or car, so he really can’t pursue the relationship she expects.) When he finally falls in love with her, which she claims she understands his plight, he quickly discovers she’s been telling her friends that he creeps her out, among other things, and she’s only nice to him because she knows he’s in love with her. To boot, she’s on her second boyfriend since she started her game. They’ve become friends, and still loves her, so he tries to confront her to, at least, learn the truth, but she doesn’t wants to deal with negative feelings and continues to lead him on. Eventually, she does something, which turns out to be quite innocent, but he reacts very angrily and she uses the incident to attack him further and call attention to herself as a victim; disavowing him, calling him a freak, and accusing him of stalking her in an ironic twist of events.
When US policymakers began pushing “free trade” policies, there was great resistance to the very notion of creating a globalized economy. Increased competition between American workers and workers in underdeveloped countries assuredly meant fewer jobs in the US while cheaper goods certainly did not make up for significantly lower wages, weaker regulations, and a smaller tax base. After some success with free trade agreements, economists, business interests, and others lined up to push greater expansion of the policy, including the effort to make Communist China a preferred trading partner. As Americans continue to watch their fears of an economically weaker United States, where the vast majority of wealth goes to the top few, come true, Americans increasingly resent China, i.e. the nation with the largest number of low wage workers and greatest ability to distort the global market in its favor. Having clear proof the Chinese government is actually stealing from American businesses to further undermine the US economy while China buys massive amounts of American debt with money earned from a trade deficit that was supposedly going to be a massive surplus only fuels the fire. (At the same time, Chinese workers are likely feeling overly exploited as the source of cheap labor while they have an even great lack of leverage in global economy than Americans now have.) Consequently, the Chinese government needs to stop denying its bad behavior and start working with the US government to rebalance trade policies, so the American and Chinese Peoples can truly maximize the benefits of quasi-free trade policies. Failing to do so is sure to, eventually, force democratic action in America against free trade, i.e. a massive, messy trade war, while ongoing economic injustices against the Chinese People will foment democratic upheavals within China. In other words, this looming crisis needs to be turned into an opportunity.
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