China on U.S. Buying Spree
October 09, 2012 AFP
• Chinese firms cashing in on America’s financial woes
• Buying up ports, toll ways, real estate, energy companies
By Victor Thorn
On September 28 Barack Obama, citing national security concerns, signed an executive order that blocked the Chinese company Sany Group from acquiring four “wind farms” near a United States Navy training facility in Oregon. To many, this recent controversy surrounding the attempted acquisition focused a spotlight on China’s push to purchase significant amounts of U.S. infrastructure, natural resources and commerce.
During a September 28 interview, AMERICAN FREE PRESS asked Frederick Els, editor of the web-based Mining magazine, about China’s buying spree in America.
“China consumes 60% of the world’s iron ore and 40% of the copper,” said Els. “They’re buying up the people who are supplying them.”
According to financial analyst David Sterman in an August 2 article, the Chinese invested a record $3.6B in U.S. properties and businesses over the first six months of 2012. Among their purchases were prime real estate in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Four of the most populous and productive states—California, Virginia, Texas and New York—have been their primary focus. Of these investments, Chinese companies did 73% while the remaining 27% was done directly by the government.
Particularly disturbing is the targeting of America’s infrastructure. In addition to already owning vital ports in Long Beach, Calif. and Boston, Mass., the China Ocean Shipping Company is eyeing major ports on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. China also owns access to ports at the entry and exit points of the Panama Canal.
And due to fiscal woes plaguing many American cities and states, U.S. legislators have been actively seeking out Chinese investors. In one of the worst cases, Baton Rouge, La., Mayor Kip Holden offered the Chinese government ownership and operating rights to a new toll way system if the Chinese would provide the funding to build it. There are also multimillion-dollar highway and bridge projects in California, New York and Alaska being awarded to Chinese firms.
The breadth of Chinese acquisitions is astounding. In Milan, Mich., for example, a Chinese corporation purchased 200 acres to erect what is being called a “China City” for Chinese immigrants.
China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group, recently closed a deal to buy a one-third stake in five exploratory oil projects in the U.S. from Oklahoma City’s Devon Energy Corp., a Fortune 500 company included in the S&P 500 Index. The Chinese have also bought up battery makers for electric cars, a movie theater chain, mineral resources, oil and gas deposits, banks, factories, luxury apartments, power plants and swanky restaurants.
But what is most concerning is the fact that the Chinese alter their acquisitions to match their culture. Woody Jenkins, a former Louisiana state representative who now owns several newspapers in his home state, describes the impact this has on American workers and how it sets back a century of advances in labor rights: “[The Chinese] convert the operation of their new facilities into the China labor model, which means low wages and inhumane working conditions.”
The impact of these inroads into America is obvious. Jenkins wrote on May 10: “The Chinese use the infrastructure they acquire as a base of intelligence operations and to secure deep roots in the countries where they operate.”
As Chinese lobbying firms increase their expertise in greasing the palms of U.S. lawmakers, Americans should remember the following crucial statistics from a May 23 article by Michael Snyder of “The Economic Collapse” news website.
“The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month, and more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities have been shut down since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001,” wrote Snyder.
Chinese Immigration Explodes
By Victor Thorn
The face of American immigration has taken a dramatic turn. On June 19, Associated Press reporter Hope Yen reported, “For the first time, the influx of Asians moving to the U.S. has surpassed that of Hispanics, reflecting a slowdown in illegal immigration while American employers increase their demand for high-skilled workers.”
Everyone has heard of the increase in H-1B visas being handed out in the U.S. to lure in Chinese immigrants who have advanced degrees in engineering and computers and are willing to work for far less money than their American counterparts. But today major U.S. universities are seeing an influx of Asian students as well. Some 45% of all engineering doctorates, as well as 38% of math and computer science doctorates, now go to Asians. With this distinct advantage—not to mention American citizens being mired in a lingering recession with overwhelming debt—the Chinese are increasingly filling the role of this nation’s new entrepreneur class.
Chinese illegal immigration is on the rise as well. Chinese human smugglers, known as “snakeheads,” are annually generating approximately $3.5B in proceeds from human trafficking. If their “human snakes” can’t afford to pay the multi-thousand-dollar fees, they’re sold as commodities into human slavery and prostitution. Family members can even be kidnapped and held as collateral until debts are paid.
In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department revealed that Indians residing on a Mohawk reservation earned $170M helping to illegally smuggle Chinese nationals in from Canada. Upon arrival, the immigrants vanish into Chinatowns in major cities, where they “live like pigs and eat like dogs.” South of the border, members of the Chinese mafia, who provide chemicals for the methamphetamine trade, have joined forces with Mexico’s drug gangs. Former DEA supervisor Phil Jordan told Congress in June, “Chinese [mobsters] will team with anybody.”
China’s single-child policy is also playing a bigger role. Moderately wealthy pregnant Chinese women pay upwards of $15K to be flown into America prior to giving birth so they can have their babies in special houses set up for them. Their children then become U.S. “anchor baby” citizens.
Chinese immigrants have taken to smuggling money out of their homeland, only to launder it through American-based Chinese banks for U.S. dollars.
Chinese Workers Riot at Factories; Suicide a Problem
By Victor Thorn
With Chinese investors buying up assets across the United States, some people are beginning to wonder if the Chinese business model, where people work like slaves in difficult and dangerous conditions, will soon wipe out all the advances the American labor movement has secured for U.S. workers over the course of the past 100 years.
Take the recent case of Foxconn Technology Group, which makes electronic components for Apple, Dell, Sony, Hewlett Packard and other global technology firms. On September 22, nearly 2,000 employees at a Foxconn manufacturing facility in northern China rioted after guards attacked them. Workers smashed windows, overturned police cars and set fires, causing 5,000 riot police in paramilitary vehicles to swoop down on the factory.
The conditions at this 79K-man factory would boggle most American’s minds. Not only do these low-paid indentured servants toil away for 10-12 hours a day, but most of them also live and eat at the labor camps. During the week, these people never leave their place of employment.
In addition to being consumed inside this never-ending machine, the peasants are forced to endure militant managers, sadistic guards and cramped dormitory-style living quarters. In 2009, this unbearable scenario devolved into a rash of suicides among the slaves. Incredibly, Foxconn managers installed nets beneath windows to catch jumpers.
One man who could take it no longer, Wang Zhiqian, told Western reporters, “Guards often abuse their power over the workers.” As a result, he said, many of his coworkers experienced problems of “spiritual emptiness.”
Pushing them past the breaking point, Apple’s release of their latest iPhone model created an overwhelming demand, causing workers to be imported to the Foxconn factory from other areas of China. Cultural clashes, overly strict housing rules and the burden of never-ending overtime led to brawls that lit a fuse for the September 22 pandemonium.
China Threatens Invasion of Japan
By Victor Thorn
As Chinese businessmen continue to gobble up assets around the world, the communist government is facing an existential threat at home with middle-class Chinese increasingly protesting slave wages and harsh living conditions. This could explain why Chinese leaders have been ramping up nationalist sentiments by threatening an invasion of Japan.
On September 11, the Japanese government purchased three uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands from private Japanese owners. The Chinese, however, claim that these uninhabited islets belong to them.
Gen. Xu Caihon, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, dispatched six navy surveillance ships into the area, vowing that they were ready for war.
The Chinese government is so incensed, officials are considering ceasing all exports to Japan.
Chinese protesters attacked the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on September 15, pelting it with glass bottles and torching a Japanese flag.
As tensions increased, Chinese agitators hoisted placards reading “Kill All Japanese,” “Fight to the Death,” and “Nuke Japan.” Not content with mere words, rabble-rousers also vandalized and upended Japanese automobiles.
Chinese hackers unleashed cyber-attacks against Japanese universities and banks. Chinese officials threatened to wage economic warfare on Japan. As Japan’s largest creditor, China could dump billions of dollars worth of Japanese bonds onto the market and bring Tokyo’s government to its knees. A further tactic could involve barring all Japanese imports at Chinese docks.
Powerhouses such as Panasonic, Honda and Nissan, which rely on Chinese money, would face serious hardships.
Any of these would quickly throw Japan into a deep fiscal crisis, considering the country has been mired in a decades-long era of stagnation.