Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reasons why Obama needs a new start with China-part 4 of 5: As High Tech Export Market

The Obama Administration takes office on the promise of change and one of the most critical changes he can make is to reboot our relations with China based on mutual respect and shared interests. A strong and positive alliance with China is more important now than ever.

By treating China as an equal partner, the Obama Administration would not only recognize the reality of China’s position in the new world order but would gain an ally that could reduce America’s military expenditures, provide diplomatic cover in certain parts of the world essential to world stability and help rescue America’s foundering economy.


In general, China prefers high tech equipment and machinery from the U.S. over the competitors from Western Europe, Japan or Russia. However, none of the other suppliers require the buyer to jump through the hoops that the U.S. government imposes on China for the privilege of buying from us.

The U.S. export control policy towards China needs to be revamped and hostile bias removed so that China can be accorded the same respect as with any customer. The notion that goods sold for civilian use could also find military use and therefore must be restricted when exporting to China is outdated and gratuitously insulting.

The U.S. export licensing process has been costly to administer, costly for American manufacturers to comply and costly for the Chinese buyer to follow. The policy has not made America more secure but has impeded export sales and made buying from us less attractive than buying from our competition.

The export control process was instituted during the cold war to guard against American technology falling into the Soviet hands. The efficacy of this policy was questionable then and its relevance certainly more questionable now.

China is too important a market for American high tech goods for us to continue to tolerate a policy that undermine our own competitiveness.

Read entire 5 part article on Asia Times.

1 comment:

Hank said...

Basically good points, but they could have been made more effectively without the vitriol and sanctimony.

The author writes: "the notion that goods sold for civilian use could also find military use and therefore must be restricted when exporting to China is outdated and gratuitously insulting." Those familiar with this subject will surely question whether the author is joking, naive, in denial, or ignorant of the facts.

The author's views on U.S. suspicions about Chinese espionage are similarly distorted. He bemoans the "harassment of Chinese Americans" by the ignorant, incompetent, and bigoted FBI. While there have unfortunately been cases of irreparable damage done to the careers and reputations of certain falsely-accused Chinese Americans, Chinese espionage in the U.S. is not an imagined problem, and Dr. Koo's blanket statements about the FBI stem from the same type of bias he is decrying.

If Dr. Koo's goal is truly to promote mutual understanding, he should work on tempering his obvious bitterness toward the U.S. and reflexive defensiveness of China.