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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

America Makes Aircraft Carriers, China Makes Money – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/05/fred-reed/a-dolorous-imbalance/

By Fred Reed

The Unz Review

First, America increasingly relies on strong-arm tactics instead of competence. For example, in the de facto 5G competition, Washington cannot offer Europe a better product at a better price, so it forbids European countries to buy from China. The US cannot compete with China in manufacturing, so it resorts to a trade war. The US cannot make the crucial EUV lithography equipment to make advanced semiconductors, as neither can China, but it can forbid ASML, the Dutch company, from selling to China. Similarly, the US cannot compete with Russia in the price of natural gas to Europe, so by means of sanctions it seeks to keep Europe from buying from Russia. This is not reassuring.

Second, the Chinese are a commercial people, agile, fast to market, cutthroat, known for this throughout Asia. America is a bureaucratized military empire, torpid by comparison. America has legacy control over a few important technologies, most notably the crucial semiconductor field and the international financial system. Washington is using these to try to cripple China’s advance.

A consequence has been a realization by the Chinese that America is not a competitor but an enemy, and a subsequent explosion of investment and R&D aimed at reducing dependence on American technology. There is the well-known 1.4 trillion-dollar five-year plan to this end. One now encounters a flood of stories about advances in tech “to which China has intellectual-property rights” or similar wording.

They seem deadly serious about this. Given that Biden couldn’t tell a transistor from an ox cart, I wonder whether he realizes that every time the US pushes China to become independent in x, American firms lose the Chinese market for X, and later get to compete with Chinese X in the international market. Anyway, give Trump his due. He lit this fuse.

A few snippets


Prototype of China’s 385 mph maglev train

The above beast, developed entirely in China, is the first to use high-temperature superconducting magnets to keep the train floating just above the rails. HTSC magnets are a Big Deal because they can achieve superconductivity using liquid nitrogen as coolant instead of liquid helium for classic superconductivity, this costing, say the Chinese, a fiftieth of the price of using helium. The use of HTSC is very, very slick. The train will extensively use carbon-fiber materials to keep weight down, suggesting that the Chinese cannot distinguish between a train and an airplane.

Asia Times “China’s Hydrogen Dream is taking Shape in Shandong”

“A detailed pilot plan being worked out to transform Shandong, a regional industrial powerhouse, into a “hydrogen society” holds out much hope of delivering on the green promise.”

The article, hard to summarize in a sentence, is worth reading. As so often, the Chinese do things, try things, while the US talks, riots, imposes sanctions, sucks its thumb, and spends grimly on intercontinental nuclear bombers.

Huawei is Developing Smart Roads Instead of Smart Cars”

“Multiple sensors, cameras, and radars embedded in the road, traffic lights, and street signs help the bus to drive safely, while it in turn transmits information back to this network-“

Quantum Cryptography Network Spans 4,600 Km in China”

Quantum Key Distribution, QKD, allows unhackable communications. China read Ed Snowden’s book on NSA’s snooping, realized it had a problem, and set out to correct it. If this spreads to other countries—see below—much of the world could go black to American intel agencies.

The Chinese may have thought of this.

“…colleagues will further expand the network by working with partners in Austria, Italy, Russia and Canada. The team is also developing low-cost satellites and ground stations for QKD.”

The last sentence is interesting. If China begins selling genuinely secure commo gear abroad, it is going to make a lot of intel agencies very unhappy. Did I mention that the Chinese are a commercial people?

Further:

Chinese scientists achieve quantum information masking, paving way for encrypted communication application.”

My knowledge of this might rise to the level of blank ignorance after a good night’s sleep and three cups of coffee. However, the achievement made the American technical press, and suggests Chinese seriousness about gaining privacy.

See the rest here

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well, A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be, Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle, Au Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book About VietNam, and A Grand Adventure: Wisdom’s Price-Along with Bits and Pieces about Mexico. Visit his blog.

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