An Oxonian Veteran’s Take on U.S. and China’s Relations

Captain Joe Skinner
Captain Joe Skinner

Captain Joe Skinner served 38 years in the Dept. of Defense, 31 years as a Naval Officer. He spent the last 13 years of his defense career working on China/Taiwan related issues. He is considered a Taiwan military expert and a China hand. He is now retired and calls Oxford his home. This is his take on U.S. and China’s international relations

America’s ability to compete fairly in the international market is threatened by illegal practices sanctioned by the Communist leadership in China. This threat was highlighted by three recent events.

First: on October 6, 2014 James Comey, the Director of the FBI, stated on 60 minutes: “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese and there are those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.”

Second: on November 20, 2014, Keith B. Alexander, the National Security Agency Chief, while testifying before a congressional panel, stated that China could launch cyber attacks against U.S. infrastructure, including power, water and aviation systems.

Third: on November 11, 2014 the White House Fact sheet reported on one of the achievements during President Obama’s trip to China. “Building on strong progress during the first six years of the Administration, today President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030.”

The implications of the first two events are staggering (and will be discussed in later articles), however the third event has catastrophic implications. The Obama administration has allowed the environmentalists to highjack the U.S.-China Policy. The White House is bragging that additional restrictions will be placed on U.S. businesses to reduce their emissions -and increase the price of all manufactured products in the U.S.- while China will do nothing to reduce their emissions, which may peak around 2030. The administration is intentionally providing China opportunities to surpass the U.S. economy.

Another environmental restriction that has helped China is that the production costs of mining rare earth elements has eliminated this industry in the U.S. From the Congressional Research Service report dated December 16, 2013: “Some of the major end uses for rare earth elements include use in automotive catalytic converters, fluid cracking catalysts in petroleum refining, phosphors in color television and flat panel displays (cell phones, portable DVDs, and laptops), permanent magnets and rechargeable batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles, generators for wind turbines, and numerous medical devices. There are important defense applications, such as jet fighter engines, missile guidance systems, antimissile defense, space-based satellites and communication systems.”

Today China produces 95% of rare earth elements globally (Congressional Research Service report dated December 16, 2013) and has the ability to hold hostage all U.S. industries that use these elements, including the U.S. defense industry.

As environmentalist blindly, ignoring national security issues, influence U.S. policy we continue to transfer U.S. market share of the world economy to China. Additionally, these practices could potentially threaten our ability to produce future military weapon systems, since we will need China’s permission to purchase the raw materials and components required to produce military equipment.

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