In addition to the U.S. being challenged by the COVID-19 virus, China is confronting the U.S. and the entire globe with its assertive behavior. The more powerful China becomes, the more emboldened it becomes, as evidenced by the national security regulations adopted by the National People’s Congress on Hong Kong, military activity in the South China Sea, the rhetoric used against Taiwan, and many other areas of confrontational measures. Tensions are escalating. China has continued to extend its influence with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and other countries.
My first visit to the People’s Republic of China was in 1994, when I led a People to People International business delegation. China’s infrastructure was that of a Third World country in nearly every area of the economy. In the ‘90s, from my perspective, I was dealing with a China that appeared to be first and foremost excited about doing business with the U.S. in a free market society. Since the late ‘90s, I saw China gradually become interested in its opportunity of being a powerful force.
Two years earlier, in 1992, I first visited Russia as a member of People to People International’s energy delegation. There was the introduction of the free market economy and other reforms taking place in Russia. The U.S., along with the world, was encouraged about the opportunities. I saw firsthand the economic and environmental challenges that were facing Russia. Fast forward to 2014, the lead story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in May of that year is summed up with a picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin toasting, with the caption “Leaders of China and Russia Drink to Momentous Gas Deal.” Russia has an abundance of oil and natural gas reserves; China needs those reserves.
My column in the fall of 2014 entitled “It’s Time to Act!” addressed the WSJ article. “Russia was flexing its muscles. It appeared that it was working toward world dominance in energy. However, it should not be ignored as to where the final deal between Russia and China was signed. It was signed in Shanghai, China. Through this deal, China was sending a message to the West that it is the real power in its view.” As I stated then, “It is extremely important that the U.S. be in a strong position of securing energy reserves within its own boundaries. The U.S. must build stronger relationships with its neighbors and its allies as well. Russia and China definitely have plans in action. The U.S. needs energy security. America needs America’s Energy! It’s time to act!”
We must focus our attention on research, innovation and technology, including the areas of 5G, space, cyber security, digital transformation, and broadband, to mention a few.
The U.S. and China have been embattled in a trade war. Next, both countries could be involved in a Cold War or beyond. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Initiative in 1930 proved to be detrimental under the Hoover Administration and contributed to failings during the Depression. It is yet to be proven whether the current tariffs will lead to good results.
We must have a strong energy industry. America needs America’s energy!
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