This article appears in the May 7, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
SENATE COMPETITION ACT OF 2021
A Harbinger of War with China
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22 unanimously passed the Strategic Competition Act of 2021. The bill will now go to the full senate. Under the guise of a bill to improve the competitive power of the United States in the world market, on the pretext of stopping the “malign influence” of the Communist Party of China, the bill is essentially an attempt to impose a world empire with its ostensible center in Washington, D.C. In the context of a simultaneous move by NATO towards Russia’s borders and preparing for war over Ukraine (see accompanying article), the world’s nations and peoples must wake up to the immediate danger of global nuclear disaster.
The United States has often been characterized as an “imperial power” by opponents. But the United States, prior to the death of Franklin Roosevelt was in fact the enemy of empires, as was Franklin Roosevelt himself. With the death of Roosevelt and the growing influence of Winston Churchill over that “little man,” as Lyndon LaRouche characterized Harry S Truman, more and more members of the U.S. policy establishment flaunt “imperial pretensions,” while leading imperial spokesmen from our British “ally,” such as Niall Ferguson, demand that we take up the mantle of the 19th century British Empire. But, until recently, there were enough American patriots around to prevent that from happening. The recent Senate bill, however, wants to make that a reality—and this represents a clear and present danger to the world and to the existence of the United States as a sovereign republic.
The basic premise of the legislation is that the U.S. “sets the rules” for the world. As a corollary of that, it asserts that the People’s Republic of China, the second largest economy in the world and our largest trading partner, is to have no say in the matter. As for other countries, particularly those deemed “democracies,” well, they will have to “trim their sails” in accordance with the “winds” coming out of Washington and London, or they in turn will become “outlaw nations.”
The legislation is outrageously insulting in its assessment of China, while making no effort to prove its many lies. It states:
It is the policy of the United States, in pursuing strategic competition with the PRC, … to expose the PRC’s use of corruption, repression, coercion, and other malign behavior to attain unfair economic advantage and deference of other nations to its political and strategic objectives…. The PRC is promoting its governance model and attempting to weaken other models of governance by— (A) undermining democratic institutions; (B) subverting financial institutions; (C) coercing businesses to accommodate the policies of the PRC; and (D) using disinformation to disguise the nature of [these] actions.
Creating a Ring Around China
The primary thrust of the legislation is not only to “out-compete” China, but to prevent China from having any influence outside of its national boundaries. Incredibly, the legislation baldly calls for recruiting and paying journalists to discredit China—openly admitting that there is no longer such a thing as a “fair press.” The bill reads:
The Secretary of State, acting through the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall support and train journalists on investigative techniques necessary to ensure public accountability related to the Belt and Road Initiative, the PRC’s surveillance and digital export of technology, and other influence operations abroad directly supported by the Communist Party or the Chinese government.
Journalists who would dare to say anything positive about China would immediately be suspect or deemed under the influence of the Communist Party of China.
In our much-touted “land of liberty,” anyone conducting research in important fields like cancer or fusion energy, or space travel would be penalized if they were to have any contact with their Chinese counterparts, or, heaven forbid, receive any funding from sources based in China, where the Communist Party is said to control everything. There will be strict monitoring of institutions so that no funding would be allowed to come from China, no matter how beneficial a project might be. This sort of process has, in fact, already begun, under the direction of FBI Director Christopher Wray. (See Mike Billington’s article, “The McCarthyite Assault on China Must Be Stopped,” in the pamphlet, End the McCarthyite Assault on China and President Trump.)
The legislation would also considerably beef up the U.S. presence in the newly labeled Indo-Pacific—and not only military presence. Hundreds of operatives would be deployed to monitor Chinese activity, and to downplay and discredit any of the positive programs China has developed with other countries in infrastructure or other spheres.
The legislation calls on our “allies” throughout the world to get on board the containment bandwagon, to get involved in the “Indo-Pacific region,” and to help monitor and suppress China. The British, under the slogan “Global Britain,” have boasted that they are reviving their former (colonial) military presence in Asia.
The bill would encourage (perhaps coerce) companies to find other sources for their imports from China, and to move their operations within China to other nations. It states:
The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, is authorized to establish a program to facilitate the contracting by United States embassies for the professional services of qualified experts, on a reimbursable fee for service basis, to assist interested United States persons and business entities with supply chain management issues related to the PRC, including— (1) exiting from the PRC market or relocating certain production facilities to locations outside the PRC; (2) diversifying sources of inputs, and other efforts to diversify supply chains to locations outside of the PRC; (3) navigating legal, regulatory, or other challenges in the course of the activities described in paragraphs (1) and (2); and (4) identifying alternative markets for production or sourcing outside of the PRC, including through providing market intelligence, facilitating contact with reliable local partners as appropriate, and other services.
The legislation also delves into the extremely sensitive Taiwan issue, calling on allies to help build a “cordon” around the island to discourage any possible Chinese military actions. Such a provocation explicitly breeches the One China policy which has been the bedrock of U.S.-China relations since the establishment of relations in 1978.
The bill calls for the U.S. to maintain “a system of forward-deployed bases in the Indo-Pacific region … as platforms to ensure United States operational readiness and advance interoperability with allies and partners… and pursuing maximum access for United States mobile and relocatable launchers for long-range cruise, ballistic, and hypersonic weapons throughout the Indo-Pacific region.” Under this bill, the U.S. will provide its “allies” with “long-range, precision-strike networks,” including “ground-launched cruise missiles, undersea and naval capabilities, and integrated air and missile defense in the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain.”
Would China, or any nation, perceive these actions as “defensive?” They are clearly pre-war preparations and would require an appropriate response as such.
The Quad grouping of the U.S. India, Japan, and Australia, would be expanded under the plan, attempting to bring other countries on board, serving as the basis for a NATO-like operation in Asia. Through the Foreign Military Financing facility, participating countries in the region would also be given the capabilities to contribute to this “ring around China.” Naval vessels which are out-of-date for U.S. naval use operations would simply be transferred to these imagined “surrogate warriors” for purposes of deployment against China.
The legislation intends to create a massive apparatus of surveillance and control to prevent China from having its members in leading international institutions, including the United Nations, where the legislation tasks U.S. officials to be specifically deployed to keep the Chinese influence out. The bill requires “monitoring and developing and implementing plans to counter undue influence, especially by authoritarian nations, within the United Nations system.” Franklin Roosevelt, the intellectual creator of the UN, would be turning over in his grave at this point.
In all international institutions, U.S. “standards” would be the rule and U.S. predominance will be maintained in standard-setting bodies, the bill asserts.
The legislation then surveys the entire world, region by region, indicating that this imperial dictate will be implemented in the four corners of the globe. Countries in Africa and Latin America which have taken loans from China for infrastructure projects would be encouraged to revamp or “restructure” these loans under Western supervision. Countries in Latin America would also be targeted by a new flurry of “journalists” and NGOs who would monitor their commitment to “the democratic way” and expose “corruption” (implying that any business deals with China are corrupt) wherever they may find it.
This piece of legislation is not only insane, but also totally ludicrous, given that few countries outside the Anglophile “Five Eyes” are really interested in joining such a blatantly imperial project. The world’s aversion to “America First-ism” is far from over. And the frantic fantasies of this Capitol Hill mob have very little relationship to the world as it now exists. But ideas like these are enough to set off wars.
Who Will Pay the Costs of Empire?
The bill aims to discredit China’s recent international programs, which have been in fact of great benefit to the world, including the Belt and Road Initiative, the poverty alleviation programs, and the Health Silk Road which has provided COVID vaccines worldwide (while the U.S. and Europe have offered none). The Senate bill calls for setting up similar programs under U.S. purview. But can anyone in his right mind think that the United States will start building railroads in Southeast Asia and Africa as China has done, while Amtrak is still having breakdowns getting from Washington to New York at a fraction of the speed of Chinese trains? The U.S. still does not have a single mile of high-speed rail within its own borders.
The former British Foreign Secretary Willian Hague recently spelled out quite directly, no doubt with a stiff upper lip, that the U.S. and European nations will henceforth not be building anything at all in the developing nations—in fact, they will be shutting development down, with all necessary means. Hague wrote on April 13, in the journal, Environmental Affairs:
It will become increasingly difficult for the UK Government to pursue a foreign policy that is not centered around the twin threats of climate change and China. … In the past the UK has been willing to use all of our firepower, both military and diplomatic, to secure and extract fossil fuels. But in the future, the UK will need to use all of its diplomatic capacity to ensure that these resources are not used and that natural environments are protected.
China, of course, through the Belt and Road and other programs, is still helping developing nations to develop their fossil fuels for the urgent development of their nations. Does the good Secretary Hague intend that the UK will wage war to stop the Belt and Road?
The Senate legislation also pressures the regional ASEAN countries to get on board the anti-China train. Does one really believe that they will bite the hand that feeds them? Even many European countries will have difficulty in accepting the “digital dictatorship” envisioned by the Senate bill, let alone any threat to rapidly expanding China-EU trade over the multiple Silk Road rail connections now serving the Eurasian continent.
The Senate should wake up from its fantasies and start to face reality. They would do much better to appropriate some of the funds proposed to be spent on spreading “fake news” about China, on U.S. infrastructure instead. The Senate should listen to the wise advice provided some years ago by economist and statesman, Lyndon LaRouche, on reviving the U.S. economy, in his “Emergency Action by the Senate” on April 13, 2005, written three years before the crash of 2008:
It must also be recognized, that under the rapid programs of deregulation launched toward the close of the 1970s, increasingly large areas of the U.S.A. were left as economically fallow, to rot, while industry and population were concentrated in a shrinking portion of our national territory, and while the essential features of competition and diversity in sources of product were shrunk. This has occurred to the effect that there has been a presently catastrophic, decades-long collapse of the physical standard of living and physical output of the lower eighty percentile of our population’s households. The corresponding task today, is to broaden the development and use of areas of our nation, to the effect of increasing net physical output per capita and per square kilometer through the nation’s counties.
Had the Senate listened then, the world today would be much different today.
This Senate bill, masking as a Senate resolution, must be categorically rejected by the U.S. Congress and by the American people. The signal it sends to the People’s Republic of China, our largest trading nation and America’s most important bilateral relationship, is “we will bury you!” It can only be seen as a threat to China’s existence as a major power—and in that sense brings it up to the level of a casus belli. It is a pre-war piece of legislation and can only be implemented by a country out to destroy China. That is NOT the message the U.S. should want to convey, since if a war does start, it will by no means be clear who will survive—if anyone.