137.8%: The One Number You Need to Know About China

China’s increasing trade dependence on the United States gives Washington enormous leverage over Beijing, especially because some large portion of the Chinese surplus with our country is attributable to violations of World Trade Organization obligations.  China has an increasingly turbulent economy, heavily dependent on exports.  And its exporters, despite all the talk about their “diversification,” are increasingly dependent on the American market.

Beijing is engaging in all sorts of irresponsible geopolitical behavior in recent years.  It has, for instance, supplied small arms to the insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, transferred materials and equipment to Iran for its nuclear weapons program, helped North Korea deliver missiles to Pakistan and Iran, supplied arms for use in Darfur, lasered American satellites to blind them, supported the biggest nuclear black market ring in history, conducted a global campaign of industrial espionage, launched innumerable cyberattacks against the Pentagon and American civilian targets, and harassed unarmed Navy vessels in international waters.  Last year, Chinese flag officers and senior colonels talked in public about waging war against us.

Isn’t it time we recognize the leverage our market gives us and use it to get the Chinese to stop their predatory trade practices and grossly irresponsible conduct?

And if some pundit tells you there is nothing we can do about China, just say “137.8%.”

via Gordon Chang


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