During a recent visit to the wonderful Quail Ridge Books (boy how we need more local bookstores), I picked up a copy of the latest Foreign Affairs magazine. I used to subscribe to Foreign Affairs as an enlisted sailor in the Navy, trying to learn more about why the military was doing the things it was doing. It’s a wonderful (if pricey) magazine. Anyhow, the latest issue has an essay that says China sees America as a bully out to block its rise.
I don’t think that’s an accurate view of America-China relations. If America really wanted to thwart China, however, here’s how it would be done:
- Keep selling Buicks to Chinese as fast as we can make them. The goal is to make China so car-dependent that its already notoriously-overcrowded streets become permanently gridlocked and the country becomes ever more dependent on oil. Chinese were once happy using bikes and scooters to get around but Buicks and Mercedes are the new hotness. It’s hard to live large on two wheels, right?
- Export movies to China reinforcing the car-centric culture. See above. It’s all about face and keeping up with the Joneses.
- Encourage China to build up an oil-dependent military, building a fleet of gas-guzzling ships and aircraft.
With the rest of the world going green by reducing car dependency and building greener military fleets, this strategy should set China back for decades.