An Honest Opinion: Can the West Decouple from China?

I have a feeling that even though the West is trying to decouple from China, with job loss increases during an ongoing pandemic, I don’t see how a country like the United States can bring jobs home since unemployment is going to be high still. By this, I feel that with more people are relying on the government to create jobs and whatnot, bring jobs home mean companies in the United States have to hire more and spend more to produce anything. Meanwhile, China is once again increasing the output of their manufacturing, albeit that wages are increasing in China, the living costs in China are still way cheaper than the West, and so I think their wages won’t be rising to a point that foreign companies want to shift their manufacturing bases away from China faster. After all, producing in China does save on the costs of shipping and exporting.

Producing at home means that local companies have to be able to produce things cheaper than their foreign imports. Usually, import stuff should be more expensive than locally made since there are import costs and shipping costs that would add on to the top of the costs of the goods that are being made elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s also depending on how productive a local manufacturing base is and other variables such as how cheap are the local wages and whatnot. Furthermore, we also have to worry about how is the local economy is doing. To add salt to the already infected wound, the COVID 19 pandemic is still an ongoing thing. So, I don’t see how decoupling from China is easy at all.

When we are trying to decouple from China, we should be prepared for China’s backlash such as how China would ramp up their distaste for foreign products even though most of these products are being produced in China. For an instance, China could ramp up the investigation into foreign companies that are actively opened for business in China, and by doing this China could persuade its people to trust less on foreign imports. By doing this China could also support their local economy through local made, and so in the long run China would be less exposed to foreign imports. I also see that China is producing much more stuff for foreign countries than foreign countries produce stuff for them — in a way why would China import more stuff when they could make everything at home?

As the United States tries to ramp up the pace of decoupling with China, China could see itself ramp up the pace of relying less on foreign imports. Meanwhile, China could also make it a lot harder for foreign companies to operate in China. At home, Western companies are facing the uglier local economy, and so these companies may not be able to produce higher revenues from local markets. Now, through geopolitical conflicts between China and the United States, it would make a lot harder for Western companies to make profits in China. Of course, Asia is a big place, and so Western companies should be able to ramp up their marketing elsewhere! The question is can other places replace the loss of the Chinese market?

China Amazing Growth Pushes American Companies To Go To China

Foreigners are trying to break into China’s market everyday, but not everything is easy with China.  Meanwhile Chinese most creative and big companies are trying to go global.  When modern China was young, she could not be so innovative since everything had gotten to be learned and copied.  Fortunately, China has been growing so fast that she could fast-track her learning and copying stage to innovation stage.  Right now as China tries to go global, she is also trying to become evermore innovative.  She invests in innovative talents in all sorts of fields such as industrial designs, brand building, and whatnot.  As China’s economy continues to grow bigger than ever, more foreign companies are vigorously trying to break into Chinese market to grab the ferocious growth of the world’s most populous country.  It seems American companies are also competing with other foreign companies in trying to capture the Chinese market.  Check out the video right after the break to see how American companies are trying to make their fortunes in China.

Can Financial War Foretell That A Physical War Is Near?

After I had done finished the reading of Chapter 2 for “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System” By James Rickards, I’m convinced that financial war could precede the physical war.  In fact, I think financial war might be one of the early telltale signs that may point out that the physical war is near.  After all, financial war is designed to be first strike of first strike, because it helps the attackers to damage the enemy’s economy, consequently weakening the enemy’s ability to conduct physical war in the long term basis.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that a physical war is definitely going to happen when a financial war has happened.  It’s just that I think financial war is definitely preceding a physical war, because financial war can be used to weaken an enemy’s economy.

In the digital age we’re living in, financial war can cause havoc beyond imagination, because trillions of dollar could be vanishing in digital wipe.  Perhaps, the digital wipes could come in waves such as stock market collapse, bank runs, bond market collapse, and so forth.  Systemic collapse such as the financial crisis in 2007 was experienced waves of paper wealth loss, and the same thing can be happening again either by targeted attack by designed or by another unseen consequential event which happens naturally by the design of nature (such as systemic risk).

By digital wipe I meant that our money (more like the world money) can vanish in the digital world even though paper wealth loss might be the eventual explanation.  After all, money nowadays can be zeros and ones in the digital world.  Stock market is trading in the digital age with digital technology.  The book suggested that successful cyber-attacks could amplify the financial war in general.  In fact, cyber-attack method is one of the methods a state can employ to launch a financial war.  Nonetheless, cyber-attack method isn’t the only mean for financial war, because financial war in general is a lot more complex.  Such as sanction and other means can be employed too!

Anyhow, once the financial war attack begins, I bet the chain of big events will eventually follow.  Until the point of an enemy’s economy can no longer be weakened by the means of financial war, then the physical war might follow unless one of the war participants decides to make peace and prevent the physical war.  Of course, physical war between major powers such as China, Russia and United States cannot be breaking out easily, because these are nuclear power states.  Besides financial mutual destruction capability, these states can probably annihilate each other with radioactive capability such as nuclear bombs/missiles and so forth.  They might deliver these nuclear weapons at hypersonic speed which is up to 10 times the speed of sound, consequently making it very hard for a defense apparatus to shoot down such nuclear weapons before these devastated radioactive weapons reach the intended targets.

As the book suggested, perhaps physical war might not happen as one side might back down from further conflict as the financial war might be devastating enough to dictate the winner in the conflict.  The book suggested further that major forces such as China and Russia are preparing for such possibilities by accruing gold.  The book detailed that at the height of financial war between United States and Iran, Iran was partly successfully circumvented the United States dollar sanction by accepting gold as payment for the oil export.  Until when the United States told its allies to stop trading goods with Iran using gold, it was then that Iran had to import and export goods using its allies local currencies such as Yuan, Ruble, and Rupee.

In these two early chapters, the book already suggested that United States unintentionally pushed Iran to stop using the dollar as the reserve currency.  This might suggest that other countries are looking at Iran and fearing that one day they maybe in the Iran situation, thus they might have to face U.S. dollar sanction, consequently putting their economy at risks of collapsing.  These other states may already have been diverting and diversifying their dollars into something more tangible such as gold and so forth.  In China and Russia case, these two countries are now ramping up their natural gas deals and whatever else to partly diversifying their dollar reserve holding.  So too hoarding gold is among the plans of their diversifying activity in case the dollar is in trouble.  The United States government was shutdown not too long ago, because of the debt limit ceiling bickering between the political parties — this had further added the anxiety for the states that are currently holding dollar as their reserve currency for oil trading and so forth.

Even if a physical war breaks out, the book suggested that the winner of the physical war in the end might still regain the financial war lost.  After all, the winner can dictate the terms in the end right?  Nonetheless, in my opinion nobody knows how the next great war will turn out to be since we’re living in the nuclear age.  The nuclear fallout is beyond my imagination.  Sure, I have seen movies’ depictions of the nuclear fallout, but how close to the reality the movies’ nuclear fallout depiction is remaining to be seen.  Nobody knows the future I would say!  If God forbid that the nuclear fallout might occur and be so devastated, the victor of a physical war might not be able to regain the financial war lost, because the situation got so bad that dictating terms at such time might not be even feasible or sensible for all involved parties/states.

Perhaps, the nuclear age is so scary that major powers such as United States, China, and Russia, if sensible enough, may dare only to engage in financial war — leaving physical war to be carried out by the Hollywood movies.  If this is a possible scenario, I must say that financial war is even more important than otherwise.  After all, the victor in financial war will be able to dictate terms that are favorable for a victor’s state in today globalized world in the aftermath.  Perhaps, financial war will be able to be used as a targeted weapon which isn’t involving too many states at the same time, because it’s not as destructive as a physical great war such as World War II.  Because World War III may go nuclear!

As the case of United States sanctioned Iran from the dollar payment system, it was clear that United States could orchestrate a targeted financial war against a single state.  Sure, the United States did involve its allies to stop trading dollar for Iran goods; these so called allies had their own interests to be contented with, consequently forcing them to not carry out their financial war against Iran at 100% effort.  Moreover, Iran got the oil that could be bought at cheaper price during the height of the  United States’ Iran sanctions, and the so called allies had allowed Iran to export oil for gold and so forth.  With accruing gold, Iran could then trade the gold with its allies such as China, Russia, and India for other goods and services.  Even when the United States had involved allies such as Germany and so forth to stop Iran from exporting oil for dollar and gold eventually, Iran survived the sanction and the allies were humming fine.  This demonstrated that the financial war could destroy the targeted enemy’s economy without ending humanity.

Knowing financial war can destroy an enemy’s economy without ending humanity, nuclear war might only be the last desperate attempt for a state to defend itself.  This might encourage states to use financial war more frequently to push the boundary of bargaining at world stage.  Nonetheless, since we are living in the digital age and globalized world, financial war can be very consequential.  In the United States case, if an enemy is successfully bringing down the economy of the United States through financial war, it may not destroy the United States in short term.  In the longer term though, a successful financial war against the United States can be devastated for the overall health of the United States economy.  Furthermore, if the United States gets weaker financially, United States won’t be able to maintain her military might and so forth.

Certainly, it’s in the United States’ best interests to not let a financial war attack to bring down the United States economy, because in the longer term the United States may not be able to grow normally again.  Certainly, it’s the case for other countries besides United States to make sure their economy won’t be disturbed by financial war.  After all, I think a financial war can be devastated enough to disrupt even the everyday peoples’ lives.  I think financial war should not be taken lightly and be waged so carefree.  Countries of the world should care more for the health of global finance, because we’re living in a globalized world.  A break in the chain might do more harm in the long run, because things are moving faster in a much more complex globalized and closely finance linked world.