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Steve Bannon’s China Syndrome reveals America’s jealousy of a China that is ‘great again’

Steve Bannon made the controversial remarks shortly before he plans to speak in China.

During Donald Trump’s successful campaign to become President of the United States, both Trump and his then adviser Steve Bannon spoke a great deal about the following:

–Increasing exports 

–Increasing the sales of US made products domestically 

–Increasing employment 

–Increasing the wages of the domestic workforce 

–Seeing trade in economic rather than ideological terms 

Now, Steve Bannon has criticised China for effectively implementing each of the items listed above. 

In a recent interview with the New York Times, the once and future king of the US media outlet Breitbart has delivered a morose, provocative and at times absurd assessment of modern China, all the while ignoring the elephant in the room. The elephant of course is the fact that ‘making America great again’, in many ways meant ‘making America more like China’.

Since the 1978 reforms of Deng Xiaoping, China has become an economic powerhouse. While much of China’s initial post-78 growth was based on exports, China is increasingly cultivating its affluent domestic consumer base, just as the United States did in the 1920s and even more so in the economic boom which hit the American domestic markets after 1945.

China’s immense industrial capacity has seen Chinese exports dominate world markets both because of their generally competitive prices as well as because of their increased quality. Whereas in 1990, ‘Made in China’ was often derided as a moniker which meant ‘not as good as German or Japanese made goods’. Increasingly, ‘Made in China’ is the world’s latest mark of excellence.

In terms of quality alone, many American electronics and car manufacturers had lost the race to Europe and East Asia dating back to the 1970s, when Toyotas and Volkswagens started becoming known as affordable cars that were durable while Mercedes-Benz and high quality German electronic brands such as Revox, outpaced their US rivals in terms of both quality and reliability.

As China was still a mostly agrarian economic for much of the 1970s and into the 1980s, one can hardly blame China for having outpaced not only the America of the 1950s and 1960s, but also the West Germany and Japan of the 1970s and 1980s.

One might even recall a time when the pro-US entity of Chinese Taipei (commonly referred to as Taiwan) was selling more to the US than China. Those days are gone. China may have started the race last, but it is finishing first.

These simple realities of global trade however, seem to imply something different to Steve Bannon. Bannon said the following about modern China,

“A hundred years from now, this is what they’ll remember — what we [it is not clear who ‘we’ is, in this context] did to confront China on its rise to world domination.

China right now is Germany in 1930. It’s on the cusp. It could go one way or the other. The younger generation is so patriotic, almost ultranationalistic”.

Bannon’s rant continued,

“China’s model for the past 25 years, it’s based on investment and exports. Who financed that? The American working class and middle class. You can’t understand Brexit or the 2016 events unless you understand that China exported their deflation, they exported their excess capacity.

“It’s not sustainable. Bannon declared. The reordering of the economic relationship is the central issue that has to be addressed, and only the U.S. can address it”.

There are several points of speculation on Bannon’s part which defy commonly understood fact. First of all, far from not being sustainable, China is developing cheap and highly effective green energy products, including solar technology, which is set to make China increasingly energy self-sufficient. China is also looking to set a date for the elimination of all cars which run on fossil fuels from its expanding roadways.

Even before one realises that China’s green technology is among the most export friendly sustainable energy product line in modern history, by cutting energy costs, China is already ahead of the US which has generally shunned sustainable energy, something which is increasingly apparent under Donald Trump.

The old argument that green technology is a money loser has been challenged by China and in this respect, China has defied the odds and made green energy both efficient and cost effective.

Secondly, China’s One Belt–One Road seeks to build on China’s export strengths by modernising and harmonising the mechanisms of world trade across both growing and flourishing economies. China has poured investment into parts of South Asia and Africa while the Middle East and South East Asia look to similarly benefit from injections of Chinese cash.

One Belt–One Road is a project that seeks to pool the strengths of all participating economies in order for each member state to attain unique benefits based on the specific needs of individual economies.

Crucially, unlike western backed trade initiatives, One Belt–One Road does not require participating states to change their internal socio-economic traditions, nor are there any demands to alter the nature of domestic governance. One Belt–One Road therefore derives its strength from its flexibility and anti-ideological nature.

While China does depend on the US as a major export market, the expanding nature of new trading markets means that in many ways, the US relies on China more than China relies on the US. In respect of the US, entire industries in both the manufacturing and service sectors depend on a reliable influx of Chinese goods. China likewise has purchased substantial amounts of US sovereign debt. It was the US which sold this to China, no one’s hand was forced in respect of such an arrangement.

Far from being un-sustainable, the prospect of China’s further growth seems to frighten individuals like Bannon who seek the markets of South East Asia, South Asia and Africa for themselves even though at this point the US has increasingly little to offer such markets.

Thirdly, the fact that China’s workforce is becoming increasingly wealthy and patriotic frightens Bannon which is ironic as Bannon has been accused of being an ‘ultranationalist’ himself. That being said, calling Bannon and the youth of China ‘ultra-nationalist’ is equally inaccurate. Bannon is something of a patriotic American and many Chinese are patriotic about their own country. There’s nothing extraordinary nor dangerous about this fact.

In respect of the South China Sea, it is clearly not an America issue to settle. It is between the states of South East Asia and their Chinese neighbour to the north. Already Philippines has made great strides on reaching an amicable settlement with China under the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte. This has led China to hail a ‘golden period’ of good relations between Beijing and Manila.

The major obstacle towards settling lingering territorial issues in the South China Sea is Vietnam, but even Vietnam’s number one trading partner is China. Ultimately, it ought to be up to a country that has good relations with both China and Vietnam to settle lingering issues and the natural choice for such a mediator is Russia, certainly not the United States.

The truth is that Deng Xiaoping along with his successors did in fact make one of the world’s oldest civilisations ‘great again’. The task of turning a  20th century China ravaged by multiple political changes, Japanese aggression and a difficult post-war period, into the economic powerhouse it is today, was a monumental endeavour.

By contrast, ‘making American great again’, while challenging, cannot be compared to Deng’s economic revolution which has catapulted China to the forefront of 21st century economic growth.

When all is said and done, perhaps the real reason that Steve Bannon seeks to undermine China is due to jealousy and little more.

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seby
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seby

The Chinese (and Russia) now know that tRump is a ponzi scheme the American people have bought and on foreign policy he is repubelican bush the III.

Nothing bambam bannon can say that will change their minds about the “fred flintstone” with greying orange hair.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

We have Bannon and we have China. Bannon is so stupid… one would be tempted to say that it defies belief, but nothing out of the US of A defies belief. “Bannon is something of a patriotic American…”? “Something” is nothing: Bannon is a bitterly nostalgic hegemon whose strategic brain is missing so many marbles that he doesn’t even know that it was the very same American companies whose stocks are momentarily on the rise which robbed the US middle class (which is now supposed to be happy at the exuberant “confidence” the stock prices show) looking for cheap labor… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
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Rastislav Veľká Morava

Fact: China is a communist country a dictatorship. It is severely polluted and is dependent on exports, and thereby also tied to the Western Global Banking Elite. Fact: The are record outflows from China to 5 eyes countries like Canada, Australia, West coast USA where they are buying up residential real estate and Apartments in a frenzy, desperate get their money out of China. That alone is not a sign of a healthy country, and you do not see this magnitude per capita) of outflows from anywhere else. That being said , this is no guarantee that the USA will… Read more »

tiger
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tiger

Your China book is out of date, Rasti. China is no longer a “communist…dictatorship”; it’s a mixed economy, admittedly with strong govt controls. The outflows are proof of strong capitalist activity, buying relatively cheap assets abroad (though the govt is now restricting this speculation). This is mimicked in the West by various corporations and individuals. US manufacturing, except for a few industries – weapons, farm & construction equipment, etc is hopelessly outdated. The US economy has financialised, making ephemeral profits for the few, destroying the middle class and increasing poverty. Most consumer goods are imported from China, which now has… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Where I currently am in one of the so called five eyes Anglo Countries, I am practically in China, living among a 85+% Mandarin speaking majority. The establishment locals here have sold out their neighbourhoods to them, as well….Anything for a buck.

China is a one party system dictatorship with majority industries state owned, (directly or indirectly) and rampant pollution, hence the massive exodus of capital and searching for safe havens in the west.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

I think you will appreciate this analysis of Bannon’s interview on 60 Minutes

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Many thanks for the analysis. For me, its main usefulness is the video-audio repetition of what Bannon said, which makes it incumbent on the reader/viewer to pay close attention and start asking questions. I like slow food, and I like slow reading. The body-language analysis is then mostly icing on the cake: When Bannon says McConnel insisted he didn’t want to hear the “drain the swamp” stuff, Bannon dropped his eyes. The analyst says Bannon is not entirely lying here, but he is not telling the whole truth, or he is dodging. Maybe the quote on “drain the swamp” is… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

In regards to Bannon’s knowledge of ‘money’: he once worked for Goldman Sachs. “From his Wall Street roots and apocalyptic film career to his cultivation of alt-right bigots at Breitbart News” per this TeleSUR video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HelSaMSy8HY:

worldblee
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worldblee

Preach, Adam!

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

Mr. Garrie, I generally like your articles, because you leap to conclusions that are often correct. But the premise of this one is a little too cute. Believe me, making America great again cannot possibly mean to any American making our country more like China. If Washington were nuked, for example, I’d much rather be taken over by Russia than China. China is totalitarian. They have forced entire villages to move out of mountainous regions into soulless government-built cities covered with white porcelain tile. They invaded and savaged Tibet, a formerly independent country, murdering hundreds of thousands and destroying the… Read more »

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Might be a reading problem.

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

Hi GeorgeG. In case you meant a reading problem on my part, that would be fair. I’m like Eric Zuesse, who says once he reads a false sentence, he can’t read any further. Since Eric Zuesse said this in response to one of my own articles, I wrote him back saying I tend to do the same, but that it’s a bad habit, and I would try to change. I guess I haven’t changed. I stopped reading Garrie’s article after the first paragraph. Looking back over it now, I see Garrie was referring to China’s economic statistics, and not to… Read more »

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Sophistry.

K Pomeroy
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K Pomeroy

Hi Kafka. Or should I say hello … ?? My 1929 edition of Websters says sophistry means captious or fallacious reasoning. Since my comment was anecdotal (a confession, in fact) and didn’t involve any reasoning, I don’t know how to interpret your sophistry charge. Unless of course you were accusing Garrie of sophistry, in which case, well … ?!

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

fkoff

K Pomeroy
Guest
K Pomeroy

What on earth have I said to offend you? Thought I was being friendly.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

I take that back then. Sorry if I have you wrong. I have just been through a full frontal kvetching by Zionists. It set me on edge.

K Pomeroy
Guest
K Pomeroy

Understand how they can get to you. Please excuse the photo I edited in. I guess things got to me too.

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

‘Not sustainable’ has nothing to do with Green. It means exchanging dollars for real goods … forever. That is presumably not sustainable.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Another brilliant economic and strategic analysis by the uniquely talented and prescient Adam Garrie. I hope to see him on Cross Talk more frequently now that they are back from much-earned holidays and co-hosting the BRICS media conference. Comments like the one below by @KPomeroy show a typical, American cognitive dissonance and an ahistorical frame of reference which is as suspect as it is highly self-serving. Bannon and his fellow historically vacuous Americans have something they are hiding: Their enormous guilt before the Third World which Kissinger consigned to annihilation with the words: “The chief task of the USA is… Read more »

pogohere
Guest

Do you have a source for: “Kissinger consigned [the Third World] to annihilation with the words: “The chief task of the USA is now the depopulation of the Third World.” Thanks.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974, and titled
“Implications of world wide population growth for U.S. security &
overseas interests,” says:

“Dr. Henry Kissinger proposed in his memorandum to the NSC that
“depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy
towards the Third World.” He quoted reasons of national security, and
because `(t)he U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of
minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries …
Wherever a lessening of population can increase the prospects for such
stability, population policy becomes relevant to resources, supplies and
to the economic interests of U.S.

pogohere
Guest

So far I have tracked the quote you cited, and have instituted a search for, to:

National Commission on. Materials Policy, “Towards a National Materials Policy: Basic Data and Issues, An Interim Report” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, April 1972)

I have not found the quote (yet) in “National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974, and titled “Implications of world wide population growth for U.S. security & overseas interests,”

If you have a page number or other identifier in the latter document, I would appreciate it if you’d share that.

Thanks for the source(s).

DianeKNewman
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DianeKNewman

Google pays now $99 to each worker for working on computer.You can also avail this.
on sunday I got a great new Ford Mustang from having made $9388 this – 5 weeks past . it’s certainly my favourite-job Ive ever done . I actually started 6 months ago and almost immediately started bringin in more than $99 per-hour . look at here
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Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

“By contrast, ‘making American great again’, while challenging, cannot be compared to Deng’s economic revolution which has catapulted China to the forefront of 21st century economic growth.”

While in amount of work to be done you are correct. But in the ability to make the changes needed to get the job done. In that China was/is much better off. They are able to force those changes ,even if the “establishment” opposes them. In the US it appears its not possible to get “anything” positive done.And the “state” isn’t united to even try to make the changes needed.

Matt Hol
Guest
Matt Hol

Hes totally wrong on who financed it. It was internal mostly. Nothing from the US middle class. The EU is Chinas biggest trade partner, not US

Kenny Lee
Guest
Kenny Lee

Making China the bogeyman as an impediment for MAGA is a preparation for shifting blame for the oncoming failing domestic social engineering programs. Deep State, MIC and certain Globalist want concessions from China. Mutual reciprocity in trade and commerce is imbalanced favoring China, but whose fault is that? No one made any foreign manufacturer by threat of violence, to build factories and transfer technology to China. If anything it’s America’s financial elites along with the pertinent governing bodies of the American government who made all those imbalanced trade deals thereby enriching themselves at the expense of domestic American factory workers.… Read more »

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