Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Mao’s glorious march… to Boise/now with bonus link

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2011

A century ago, following a long agony beginning in the 19th century China was dismembered by the imperial nations of the West. It has spent the interim first being further humiliated by the West and later invaded by Japan, then another half century reconstructing from war and the tyranny established under Mao. In the process, the march toward national sovereignty changed tactics and methods, but not direction. Now they want to own us. Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman:

A Chinese national company is interested in developing a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport.

Officials of the China National Machinery Industry Corp. have broached the idea — based on a concept popular in China today — to city and state leaders.

Sinomach is not looking only at Idaho.

The company sent delegations to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania this year to talk about setting up research and development bases and industrial parks. It has an interest in electric transmission projects and alternative energy as well.

Now, seen through the eyes of American nationalism, this looks a lot like what the Japanese did in China (i.e., economic expansion and imperial control followed by invasion). Here’s a fairly tempered and plausible example of the American nationalist viewpoint (via Ritholtz):

Thanks to the trillions of dollars that the Chinese have made flooding our shores with cheap products, China is now in a position of tremendous economic power. So what is China going to do with all of that money? One thing that they have decided to do is to buy up pieces of the United States and set up “special economic zones” inside our country from which they can continue to extend their economic domination. One of these “special economic zones” would be just south of Boise, Idaho and the Idaho government is eager to give it to them. China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach for short) plans to construct a “technology zone” south of Boise Airport which would ultimately be up to 50 square miles in size. The Chinese Communist Party is the majority owner of Sinomach, so the 10,000 to 30,000 acre “self-sustaining city” that is being planned would essentially belong to the Chinese government.

I think the writer is accurate in calling these, in quotes, “special economic zones.” While The Statesman article does not talk about extraterritorial law that would prevail within this zone, it’s pretty clear that a 10,000 acre (15 square mile) facility is the size of a small town. Presumably Sinomach would use its rights and incorporate as a town, with a separate government, and since Sinomach is a government-owned entity, it would be susceptible not just to influence by the Chinese government, but to outright manipulation. [Added 7/15: I should note that it’s not clear from the Statesman article that it’s not clear that Sinomach would be the only company in the zone. The article, and probably the plans, are ambiguous.] In Idaho, with its weak state government, there wouldn’t be much interference with whatever happened in Sinomachville: the area would, in effect, be under foreign rule. If they wanted to establish a listening post to intercept satellite communications or a radar to track flights, there’s not much that could be done… unless the federal government does it.

This is the imperialism of Teddy Roosevelt come home.

And it exposes the utter folly of wrecking our national government. It was in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion, after the destruction of the Qing dynasty, that the Western powers were able to dictate terms to China. Granted, the weak, corrupt central government of the Qing–dependent on local warlord/governors and businessmen–was no bargain.

There are some real parallels to America 2011. The only real difference is that the Boxers were honorable people, while the Tea Party is not.

7 Responses to “Mao’s glorious march… to Boise/now with bonus link”

  1. jo6pac said

    Well this is geat news for the winning state or losing state depending how you look at it. I wonder what great wages they’ll pay inside the walls? The same as China? That way Amerikan corp. doing business in China can bring manufacturing back home but not have any employees because we’ll all work the chinese vendor. The bright spot is it will have sticker on it Made in Amerika. Amazing and thanks Charles, I sure glad I’m out of the work force and fell bad for all of the young of this once a great nation soon to be 3rd world.

  2. Stormcrow said

    Charles, you’re forgetting that China had, for all intents and purposes, no effective armed forces at all, by Western standards, during the Boxer Rebellion.

    This was just one incident out of 100 years’ worth of them, during the collapse of the Qing dynasty. That includes the Taiping Rebellion, two lost wars against narcotics trafficker Great Britain, and the Third Pandemic.

    By the time of the Boxer Rebellion, the bannermen who formed the core of the Chinese Army were little better than a streetmob, against Western armies armed with magazine rifles, primitive machine guns, not-so-primitive field artillery, and the experience of 1000 years of continuous no-holds-barred intra-European slaughter. That’s why the “Righteous Fists of Harmony” were able to get more than a disgusted brushoff from the Dowager Empress, in the first place.

    At this point, I have to note that the PRC still does not have a military which has demonstrated any competence whatsoever in combined-arms operational methods. Nor do they have any real way of projecting significant military power beyond their own borders.

    They may have both of these, 50 years from now.

    But in another 50 years, neither the US nor the PRC may be around in any form you or I might recognize.

    • Charles II said

      I’m not expecting the PRC to invade Idaho, if that’s what you’re thinking, Stormcrow. And I’m well aware that it was a long time between the Opium Wars and the fall of the Qing Dynasty. There was actually a link, now added back, that covered the history.

      My point is simply that the US is heading toward the condition of China toward the end of the Qing dynasty, with a weak and corrupt central government, making it possible for foreign nations to find and exploit seams in our polity. Even our military, ever more dependent on mercenaries, is not what it should be.

      I hope that the PRC is not around in any recognizable form. If the US is the world’s current poster child for the excesses of empire, China is learning fast. May we both become better.

      • Stormcrow said

        Well, you know my take on that.

        IMHO, what we’re both likely to be in another 50 years is, only about a generation or two from total extinction.

        In the biological sense. As in, “Dimetrodon is an extinct species”.

      • Charles II said

        You may be right about extinction, Stormcrow. The most wealthy have a sense of impunity, and are completely disconnected from the suffering of the less wealthy.

        That’s why it’s so urgent to transform the modes of governance, rather than just governments. The concept behind Wikileaks, of radical openness, so that everyone knows what’s really going on most of the time, could be an answer. As the NoTW scandal makes clear, power is as much based on information as on money. British leaders were afraid of Murdoch because of the information he possessed and the ways in which he used it, rather than being drawn to his wealth.

  3. mahakal said

    The source on this story is Jerome Corsi of WND, so I’ll take it with a large helping of salt.

    • Charles II said

      Mahakal, that’s not true. The basic story is published by the Idaho Statesman, and is solidly sourced. That includes the area of the intended purchase, 10,000-30,000 acres, which is extraordinarily large for an industrial site.

      I’ve plainly labeled the link which is not Corsi, but quotes Corsi alleging that there are special economic zones in the US (which is true, though not in the way that he’s suggesting; Indian reservations are one example) as an “American nationalist viewpoint.” That’s hardly an endorsement of the truth of things.

      I think that we, by which I mean you, have to be careful not to close our ears just because what we’re hearing has some sort of association or link to the right-wing. Sure, don’t swallow what they’re claiming whole. But do that with anything and anybody.

      In re-reading the articles, I find one correction, which I will add.

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