War with China is on the international agenda. First the trade war – The Washingtom Post reports:

Powerful members of Congress yesterday announced plans to
introduce bills aimed at punishing China for some of its trade
practices, making it likely that passage of such legislation will be
necessary to secure approval of the controversial Central American Free
Trade Agreement.

Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), chairman of the
House Ways and Means Committee, threw his weight behind legislation
that would allow US companies to seek duties on goods found to be
subsidised by the Chinese government. Thomas acknowledged that he had
resisted previous versions of the bill, but was coming around in part
because a few lawmakers – notably fellow Republican Phil English (Pa.)
– were insisting on it as the price of their support for CAFTA.

Then there’s the possible nuclear war – with a Chinese general being chastised by John Howard in Washington. The Oz reports:
“John Howard has criticised a Chinese general’s threat of a nuclear
attack on US cities after being caught in the middle of tensions
between Beijing and Washington over Taiwanese independence and economic
expansion.”

Full-on trade integration with China was always
going to make life very difficult for the manufacturing sector in the
West. Still, as Alexander Downer argued recently, it’s vital to welcome
China, and other emerging economic powerhouses, into the global trading
and political system. Japan was excluded, and this was a material
reason for its attack on the US during WWII.

Read more here.

Peter Fray

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