Are we witnessing the end of United States global supremacy? It is a question that many academics and policy and foreign relations experts have asked for some time now. While the answer to the question may not be an immediate one, there are certainly enough indications that China is not only willing to challenge the United States as the world’s superpower, but they are already doing it in more ways than most Americans likely even realize. While it is true that nothing lasts forever, and that at some point all things must come to an end, it would certainly be helpful to know what your adversaries are doing and the impact their actions will have on you, but the unfortunate reality is that most Americans have the slightest idea about continued Chinese maneuvers.
The first question we must ask is what are China’s intentions? President for life, Xi Jinping, laid that out in his summer 2021 speech commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party; Xi stated the goal of China was to bring about the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.” He continued that the aim is “to realize national rejuvenation.” He went on to say China is pursuing a great struggle and project, and it appears clear that struggle and project is to surpass the United States as the world’s leading global superpower.
One aspect of Chinese strategy is the procurement of U.S. based companies and land. Yes, that is right, Chinese businesses are buying major U.S. firms and farmland—taking power away from Americans and placing it uniquely in the hands of Chinese multinational corporations.
Smithfield Foods was recently purchased by Chinese meat process firm Shuanghui Holdings. This may seem inconsequential to many, but Smithfield Foods is the largest pig and pork producer in the United States and the world, servicing roughly 8 billion people globally. The purchase is the largest Chinese purchase of a U.S. company to date.
China is not just stopping there with purchasing U.S. firms. China has continued to expand its influence on the U.S. economy by purchasing prime agricultural real estate. China’s focus on dominating U.S. farmland is so concerning that both Republicans and Democrats in the House have advanced legislation warning that, “China’s presence in the American food system poses a national security risk” according to reporting by Politico. China’s purchasing of U.S. farmland permits China to control the U.S. food supply, posing a significant threat to the United States in the long run.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Chinese owners control about 192,000 agricultural acres, amounting to about $1.9 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. land. Putting the nation’s food security in the hands of an adversarial nation certainly seems counterproductive and counterintuitive to keeping our nation safe.
China has not just stopped with U.S. farmland. China has also focused on expanding its residential real estate portfolio, owning more residential real estate than other foreign countries, impacting the real estate market and becoming a driving force behind high housing and building costs currently plaguing the country.
It is also no secret the manner in which Chinese companies have ripped off American inventors and businesses with its intellectual property theft. Many intellectual property lawyers will tell you that patents are essentially worthless today, as Chinese manufacturers will not hesitate to remake and resell the most popular American goods, often at a fraction of the price. This does not even consider the fact that so many American firms manufacture in China and are thereby reliant on China for supply chain. The COVID-19 pandemic only showed us a blip of the tragic impact of our reliance on China.
China’s influence can also be seen in some of the most significant news organizations in the country. According to website qrius, the largest shareholder of The New York Times, Carlos Slim, who controls a third of the board, has financial ties to Chinese companies that are tied to the Chinese government. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon who also owns the Washington Post, has most of its items made by cheap Chinese labor. CNN has a $50 million dollar investment deal with China, and ABC is another media outlet, telling its staff at ESPN “not to disparage the Communist regime.”
China’s pervasive and aggressive maneuvering must be observed and ultimately addressed if the United States is to have a fighting chance at global dominance. Each step China takes at owning a piece of the United States is a step towards a weaker country that will unexpectedly be usurped by China economically and eventually militarily. The future of the United States rests on our ability to combat China’s efforts by stopping them from purchasing real estate, farmland and other key American resources and assets in the private sector that gives the country considerable control over resources and markets.
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