This weekend U.S. and Asian defense officials met in Singapore to discuss Asian-Pacific military security strategy with China dominating much of the conversation. China has been increasing its military presence in the region and the U.S. has been adding Marines in Australia and Philippines while planning to send more combat ships to the area.
While Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says on one hand that a peaceful relationship between our two superpowers is in everybody’s interest, China’s growing military aggressiveness is clearly a big U.S. concern.
The question is why the Administration and Congress are worried only about a military threat? The communist Chinese government doesn’t need to destroy our country with weapons and armed forces when it can simply own us.
I’ve recently blogged (hereand here) about my concerns on this issue. The problem isn’t necessarily the amount of our government debt owned by China. Typically anyone buying U.S. Treasury notes has a vested interest in our country’s success not collapse.
But it appears that the Chinese aren’t satisfied with just making money from funding our government. It is also making significant inroads into capturing important pieces of our business economy.
And I’m not talking about privately-held Chinese businesses. That would at least be the free market in operation.
Chinese government-owned banks are now being allowed to operate in the U.S. to compete with our community banks and credit unions for commercial loans to small businesses. Chinese government-owned construction companies are winning bidding wars with American businesses for public sector projects across our country.
Small businesses already know how hard it is to compete against big businesses. Competing against a Chinese business with unlimited government subsidies is impossible.
Last week the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber decided to launch an exploration into exactly what is the extent of China’s threat—not from warships sailing into the Port of Charleston but to our state’s small businesses and economy.