Is China a Threat to the United States?

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019


The UN is an entity that seemingly serves no purpose other than propping up abhorrent regimes as legitimate. There has been a history of members with appalling Human Rights records being granted seats on the Human Rights Council only to then condemn decent nations.

Americans have historically been at odds with the UN and in 2008 the approval rating of the UN by Americans was at the lowest point in history. In early 2018, a Gallup poll estimated that 60% of Americans believe that the UN does a poor job. Although most Americans aren’t pleased with the UN, its voting power does play a role in geopolitics and China is acting on it.

China has been able to purchase themselves a rather large voting bloc in Eastern Africa. An estimated $60 billion has been invested in the region. A video by Wendover Productions, an educational channel on YouTube, explains the shift in the sub-Saharan UN voting record since massive amounts of Chinese investment has taken place: “If an African country recognizes Taiwan as a country, they receive on average 2.7 fewer Chinese infrastructure projects within their borders each year. Conversely, if an African country votes overwhelmingly along with China in the United Nations General Assembly, they receive 1.8 more infrastructure projects each year.”

Much of that money has gone into energy and transportation investments. The thinking is that it will help modernize the infrastructure to enable the workforce of these African countries to move into the 21st century. These investments are mostly loans, however, and these countries lack the ability to pay them off.

The money pouring into Africa isn’t limited to public funding of works projects. Private investors have recognized the economic potential of the region as well. As wages in China increase, Chinese manufacturing companies are opening up shop in Africa to take advantage of low-income individuals.

It’s estimated that there are over 100,000 Chinese companies currently running in the continent. The reason for this is simple; wages are increasing massively in China and employing African workers lowers costs. An analysis by McKinsey, a global quantitative analysis firm, showed that it’s five times more expensive to employ a Chinese worker than hiring a local for a position. These workers can be easily trained to work low-skill jobs for pennies on the dollar.

Is there any way that the US can curb the power and investment of the world’s new emerging superpower?

First, it’s important to have more American companies invest in the region. Americans can incentivize companies to invest in Africa by working to expand the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, an act that eliminates the entry costs for products coming from African countries to more products and by giving said companies tax breaks.

Second, the US needs to engage in more humanitarian and infrastructure projects. In 2016, $49 billion was allocated into foreign aid. Dedicating a larger portion of the money that is already going to be spent is an easy and common sense way for the US to purchase influence in the region.

The world is entering a new Cold War. China is quickly becoming a foe to be feared, and their ability to flex soft power in the Sub-Saharan region should be a warning to Americans that our time at the top of the world power may be coming to a close if we do not work diligently to combat the Chinese threat.

 

Joseph Chalfant is a student at Austin Community College. He is a governmental libertarian and a social conservative. He would like to pursue a career in law in order to protect constitutional rights.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Joseph Chalfant

Austin Community College

Joseph Chalfant is a student at Austin Community College. He is a governmental libertarian and a social conservative. He would like to pursue a career in law in order to protect constitutional rights.

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