Two American business executives, Ray and Andrew, talk about the China threat.
Ray – Much too much is made of China taking advantage of what we produce, then working with it to improve it.
Andrew – They do a good job at it.
Ray – They do. The way to deal with it is keep improving our products. Making them better and better. Sure, if a particular technology is highly specialized and critical for our security, we should consider not letting them have it. But only for a little while. We should see China as a challenge for us to keep getting better and better. We’re in the making and selling of stuff, anything, and constantly improving it.
To do that we need markets. China is a great market.
Andrew – Does the Chinese state subsidizing private businesses gives them an advantage?
Ray – Of course. So, for critical industries, we should get our government to subsidize us too.
Andrew – We can’t change China. Might as well join them.
Ray – In some things.
Andrew – Do you have any doubt that they have the ambition to become the dominant power in the world?
Ray – No doubt at all. We just won’t let them. Period. If we need to go to war, then that’s what we’ll have to do.
Andrew – Nuclear war?
Ray – We don’t need to go there. More sophisticated conventional weapons should do. In Ukraine, the mobile launchers they now have are making a difference. And if they get the F-16’s they were promised, it will turn things around.
We just have to compete better with China. They are stealing from us because we have more than they do. In some areas, where they’re making a lot of progress, we need to invest more here in the states.
But China ought to be seen as a great stimulus to us, so we can become more efficient.
Andrew – We need to keep track of what they produce so we won’t become dependent on them.
Ray – Right. We shouldn’t become dependent on any one country. Just in case there’s conflict and the supply lines get gummed up. Like with Covid and in Ukraine. That was amazing how Europe got so trusting of Russia to provide their energy needs.
Andrew – So you’re not afraid of China getting stronger?
Ray – I’m not. But we need to keep getting stronger than them. As I said, let’s look at them as a stimulus to do better. Not just economically but politically.
Andrew – Do you think immigration gives us an advantage?
Ray – I do. There’s two things that give us a huge advantage. One is immigration – people all over the world want to come here, not to China. And the other is Freedom. They don’t know what that is in China. But they dream of it in secret.
I’m a believer that as they continue to get richer, one day they’ll want to have their freedom, too.
That will upset a lot of people in the communist party.
Andrew – Any challenges that you see we’re having trouble with?
Ray – Yes. We need to give our people more opportunity for advancement. So they can get a better education and earn more. If that means raising taxes on the wealthier, so be it.
The more educated our work force the better.
But keep immigration open. And our freedom.
Andrew – You heard about Liz Cheney announcing she’s interested in a presidential bid?
Ray – I did. She needs to change her stand on abortion to have a shot. Just say, ‘I changed my mind. This is too important to women. I’m now pro choice.’ And women would run to vote for her, just to see her in the primary debates go up against Trump and say to him, ‘Hey, didn’t you just try to overthrow our government? What are you doing here?’
Andrew – You think Biden will run again?
Ray – I do. And if Ukrainians manage to push back Russians he’ll win handily. That’s how important that war is.
Andrew – What do you think of Musk?
Ray – I think they’ll force him to buy Twitter and he’ll say to himself, ‘I should watch my mouth.’
Andrew – Thank you, Ray. We’ll meet again.
Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts.