China’s neighbors know the neighborhood bully can never be trusted. The Beijing regime which the West believed for decades would – with increased trade and prosperity – evolve into a country that wanted to get along with the rest of the world. That hope has been proven wrong.
Everything that comes out of China has to be taken with a grain or even pound of salt. Beijing’s spokesmen serve the interests of the Chinese Communist leadership and its growing imperialistic ambitions rather than the truth. They lie about the country’s economic performance and about her treatment of her own citizens. They call concentration camps “vocational training facilities” as they dismiss their imprisonment of as many as a million of their own citizens, they cover up the spread of the Wuhan virus for weeks or months, putting millions outside China at risk and they pursue outlandish territorial claims that keep their neighbors on edge.
While we have been focused on terrorism emanating from the Middle East and domestic problems here in the United States, Beijing has been quietly and not so quietly proceeding with plans to weaponize just about everything in her quest to dominate first her own neighborhood and then the world.
Last year Vietnam and other Southeast Asian Chinese neighbors suffered a life-threatening drought. These nations are dependent on water from the Mekong which flows through China before reaching their farmers and lands. Last year it seemed to be drying up with water levels along the border between Thailand and Laos eleven feet lower than normal. The culprit, as it turns out, was not “global warming” or “climate change,” but eleven new hydro-electric dams Beijing has constructed upstream of its neighbors. These dams provide not just electricity, but control over the water neighboring countries need to survive.
And last year, they tested that power while dismissing charges that they were having any impact whatsoever on the drought south of them because they were themselves suffering from drought conditions upstream. Turns out that was a lie. Recently released data revealed that China last year was getting more than the usual rain that might be expected in the area, but was nonetheless refusing to release the water her neighbors so desperately needed.
Brian Eyler, Southeast Asia program director of the Stimson Center in Washington who has studied the data dismissed Beijing’s feigned innocence for what it is: “Either Beijing is lying or their dam operators are lying to them. Somewhere, someone isn’t telling the truth.” It’s a safe bet it wasn’t the dam operators who were lying. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got it right when he called China out on the lie, blaming the drought on “China’s decision to shut off water upstream.”
Japan and some of China’s other neighbors are taking steps to insulate themselves from Chinese influence by bringing manufacturing that has been outsourced to their giant neighbor over the last few decades home. Other nations including our own are contemplating similar steps as China’s leadership makes it clearer that she wants not just our jobs, but is aiming at world domination.