China: Menace, Accomplice or Boogeyman?

by James Corbett

With the confrontation between Japan, Taiwan and China over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea showing no signs of abating, all eyes in the Asia-Pacific region are once again on China’s increasing naval might and military assertiveness. Seen as one piece in a larger puzzle, a picture begins to emerge that portrays China as a rising economic and military might, a potential future superpower competitor with the world’s dominant power, the US.

The pieces of this puzzle are many and varied, including China’s growing expenditures on military, aviation, and naval technology, its development of cyberwar capabilities, its expanding territorial claims in the South China Sea and their attendant territorial disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam, and this latest squabble with Japan, which has given Beijing an opportunity to announce their intention of deploying drones in the region by 2015.

Seen in this light, China is a menace, and the growing US military presence in the region that we have been documenting on the Eyeopener in previous weeks is a necessary, perhaps even welcome counterbalance in the region.

This is a narrative that is being popularized in the mainstream press at the moment, but like all narratives, it leaves out certain key facts that give the story an altogether different inflection. Rather than China as a growing menace, the pieces of this puzzle reveal a China that is being set up to be the new boogeyman in a 21st century Cold War environment, or even a Chinese leadership that is a willing accomplice with leaders around the globe in the creation of a new, global system of governance that will rise from the ashes of future conflict.

Although Nixon’s 1972 trip to China is generally seen as the beginning of the normalization of relations between the US and the communist Chinese, he was in fact preceded there in 1971 by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a protege of David Rockefeller. In 1973, Rockefeller himself was to visit China as Chairman of Chase Manhattan to establish the first US correspondent bank to the Bank of China. Rockefeller has remained on the speed dial of the Chinese communist leadership, and on a trip to China in the wake of 9/11, then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin praised him for his personal contributions to Sino-US relations.

Over the course of the 1990s, the process of outsourcing America’s manufacturing capacity began in earnest and, helped along by businesses like Wal-Mart which source products extensively from China, China surpassed the US as the largest manufacturer in the world last year. More and more companies have set up manufacturing capabilities in the country or relocated altogether, including Hakes MarineGE HealthcareBayer HealthCare, and Honda, all of which have relocated partially or entirely to China in the past year. This movement has led billionaire George Soros to declare China on multiple occasions to be the engine of the New World Order.

In the 1990s, even as the international trade agreements that would help to see the rise to dominance of China were being hammered out, the Clinton administration helped a Chinese-owned shipping company in its bid to lease the old naval base in Long Beach, California, a deal which Congress nixed. Clinton also personally approved the transfer of radiation-hardened chipsets to China in 1996, advanced technology that could be used in nuclear warfare.

In recent years the US Department of Commerce’s own Bureau of Industry and Security has released studies detailing how US technology transfers have been essential in the rise of China as an economic and military power.

These facts are all easily documentable, but not often raised in discussion of the rise of China because it presents a puzzling paradox: why are key elements of the American government, business and armament establishment actively aiding the Chinese government if the US and China are involved in military tensions, resource wars, currency disputes and economic competition? As we shall see, there are possible answers to this question, but first it is important to note that this phenomenon of a superpower funding its erstwhile enemy is not without precedent. In fact, as I highlighted in a recent episode of The Corbett Report podcast, Hoover Institute research fellow Antony Sutton spent decades of his life documenting the voluminous evidence that the US did precisely this with its two great enemies of the 20th century: the Nazis and the Bolsheviks.

Again, the question may be raised as to why this type of cooperation would take place at all between superpowers and their supposed enemies. What purpose could it serve? Looking at some of the reasons for US support of the Nazis and the Bolsheviks might provide us with a clue.

In the 1930s, a group of wealthy industrialists attempted to recruit celebrated Marine Corps hero Major General Smedley Butler to lead an overthrow of the US government in order to set up a fascist system in line with what Mussolini and Hitler had done in Europe. Butler blew the whistle on the scheme, testifying to Congress about how he had been approached to take the lead role in the plot, and the subsequent investigation led to some of the most well-known names in America, from the owners of the Heinz, Goodtea, Maxwell House and Birds Eye brands, to Prescott Bush, who would later go on to serve as director of the Union Banking Corporation, which was shut down in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act for its role in clearing assets for “Hitler’s Angel” Fritz Thyssen. In this case, the transfer of money and technology to the Third Reich may have represented a genuine desire among certain American industrial magnates for Hitler to succeed and for a fascist dictatorship to be set up in the US.

In the Bolshevik example, two Congressional commissions in the 1950s, the Cox Commission and the Reece Commission, discovered that the tax-exempt foundations had for decades been plowing the vast fortunes of their 19th century robber baron benefactors like Rockefeller and Carnegie into a systematic undermining of the American education system with an aim of bringing about a political, social and economic transformation of American society. This transformation was to create an amalgamation of the American free enterprise and the Soviet bolshevistik models that would result in a one-world collectivist government. The report and its findings sent shock waves through Washington, and within hours of its release moves were made to block any further investigation of the activities of these organizations or their boards. The opposition ultimately succeeded and further investigation was quashed.

So is there a case to be made that any of these strategies might be at play with China? Certainly the idea of a merging of the capitalist and communist systems in a Chinese-style state-run market economy would have as much appeal to would-be monopolists and crony capitalists of today as it did for the same groups in the last century. If the goal of these monopoly capitalists is to create a system of state control to enforce their monopolies, they would be hard-pressed to find a better example of such a system than the modern Chinese economy. Such was his awe of the system brought into place during Mao’s cultural revolution that David Rockefeller saw fit to write a gushing eulogy for the man and his ideas upon his death in the New York Times:

“Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”

But if this is the case, then why not simply ally themselves with China and declare their intentions to work with the Chinese system, gradually blending, harmonizing and merging the economies until such time as they are indistinguishable? Could there be other forces at play?

Throughout the 1960s, moves were made by powerful military figures like Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to undermine moves toward detente in Cold War tensions. In May of 1960, the Four Power Paris Summit was undermined by the Gary Powers U2 shootdown. Pentagon insider Fletcher Prouty has alleged that elements within the American military establishment arranged the downing in order to derail any possible steps toward peace with the Soviets. President Kennedy was to find similar problems with key members of the military throughout his tenure, repeatedly butting heads with powerful figures like four star general Curtis LeMay over the proper response to the Cuban Missile Crisis and other incidents. In this scenario, the tensions are deliberately stoked and maintained as part of a strategy by certain insiders to keep the conflict going, for a combination of economic and political reasons on the part of those connected to the military-industrial complex.

Another possibility altogether rests in the idea that the Chinese leadership itself is complicit—along with Russia and its other Shanghai Cooperation Organization allies—in a plan to divide the world into competing factions once again, to bring to fruition the dream of a “United Nations” system of global governance that was expressly aimed at by the elite of the 20th century after both World War I and World War II. This dream of world peace through world government has been openly quested after by various thinkers throughout the 20th century, and with the creation of so-called international dispute resolution organizations like the Security Council and the WTO, ever-expanding security organziations like NATO and the SCO, and worldwide financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, the world has been inching toward this form of “final solution” for decades now. To think that there are members of the ruling elite in countries like Russia and China who share this goal and are willing to engineer conflict in order for the birth of the next stage of this global government does not seem outside of the realm of possibility. Regardless of the intention of this current military build-up, just such “solutions” are already being proposed by groups of well-connected insiders like The International Crisis Group who are proposing that international bodies like APEC be strengthened in order to deal with dispute resolution in the region.

What we are left with is a bewildering array of possibilities. The Chinese may be unwitting dupes in a process of armament and provocation that is designed to lead their country to play the role of the 21st century Cold War enemy. They may be witting accomplices in a scheme to bring the world to the brink of armed confrontation from which a new world order can emerge. They may be genuinely competing for economic and military advantage over the current Anglo-American establishment.

The tensions between these ideas can perhaps be shown to be a false tension when we stop thinking of the wealthy, connected insiders who are directing economic and military affairs from behind the scenes as swearing allegiance to any particular nation-state. The Rockefellers of the United States undoubtedly have more in common with the Rothschilds or Warburgs in Europe, the Saudi royals in the middle east, or the equivalent monopolists in any given region than they do with their fellow countrymen. In this case, who is to say that what the US government does is necessarily in line with what its richest and most powerful citizens are doing. Conversely, who is to say that there are elements in Chinese society who are willing to work with those in other countries behind their government’s back to increase their own wealth and position in society?

In this case, we can see that the possibilities for China’s role in this world system are in fact not mutually exclusive. There may be elements within society that are playing the role of the dupes, others that are the accomplices, others that are the genuine menace. For the time being, there is one thing of which we can be certain: the conflict that is being generated is very real, and average citizens are becoming engulfed in the passions that are being ignited over these territorial disputes and military tensions.

And as we saw all too often in the 20th century, when the populations are pushed into hating boogeymen and demonizing supposed enemies, war is the inevitable result. The prospect of war in the Asia-Pacific is still some distance off on the horizon, but it is there and it is becoming larger all the time. And until the public starts to question the motives and tactics of their supposed “leaders” and the wealthy elite behind them in engineering this system of conflict, we are unlikely to escape that prospect of war any time soon.