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China/America

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It Probably Ain’t Gonna Work Much Longer
In pondering Washington’s new toy, a cold war against China, one sees a pattern. China’s approach to influence and prosperity is commercial and longsighted. This does not mean that the Chinese are warm and fuzzy, only intelligent. They advance their interests while turning a profit, which wars don’t. China invests heavily in the infrastructure, both... Read More
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by Alfred Thayer Fred, a True Son of Tsu
I will now explain war, or some of it. If you wonder how some mutt in Mexico with a computer thinks he knows about strategy, well, look at what we have in Washington. How could I be worse? In geopolitical circles, blather swirls over whether the United States can defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion... Read More
Technological advance in China is rapid, broad in scope and, one might suppose (apparently) incorrectly, of interest to Americans. It is also easily discovered. Subscriptions are not all that expensive to Asia Times, NikkeiAsia, the South China Morning Post, and Aviation Week. The web is awash in tech sites covering everything from operating systems for... Read More
fredchina-1
America Makes Aircraft Carriers, China Makes Money
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... Read More
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I’d Rather Be Ruled by Brain-Damaged Twelve-Year-Olds
There is no limit to misjudgement. If the psychic curiosities in the Federal bunker start a war with China, or push Beijing into starting one, it will be blamed on a proximate cause, such as a collision of warships after which some lieutenant who joined on waivers lost it and opened fire. After all, historians... Read More
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Fred Reports from Foxhole
Today’s characteristically luminous insights will be disordered and structurally horrifying, the sort of essay that would have sent my high-school English teacher into anaphylactic shock. In exculpation I plead laziness. Recently I wrote a column on China’s digital yuan, now in late-stage testing. Bare-bones explanation: You download a digital-wallet app with which you can then... Read More
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Actually, None is Necessary
The Correlation of Armed Forces: U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in... Read More
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It’s only a lump. It will probably go away.
In a sort of distributed Ouija board enterprise, intellectuals these days predict the likely evolution of relations between China and America. These authorities do not wallow in consistency. China will take over the world. Alternatively, China will collapse because of a surfeit of men, because the different linguistic regions will become independent, because their debt... Read More
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As the presidential debates approach, and our grotesque candidates prepare to compete for Best Actor, with their supporting casts of pollsters, advance men, media shills, gestures coaches, focus groups, and allied technicians of mendacity, Americans of broad historical illiteracy, which is most of them, hear endlessly of the evils of China. Whether the evils exist... Read More
Today, regarding China and America, we will have Thought Most Potent, adequate to lube a diesel, curdle milk, or seal a driveway. Whole departments of international studies will close their doors in despair. Ha. Why, we ask, does it seem that the Middle Kingdom advances speedily on so many fronts, while the US doesn’t? The... Read More
fredchinatrain
It is Time to Stop Celebrating Inadequacy
China has an upcoming maglev train that will run at 373 miles an hour. By comparison, the United States increasingly looks like a country from an earlier age. Pop Quiz: Was this train engineered (a) by heartwarming, puzzled, oppressed, suffering, agonized minorities who ought to be making pizzas, or (b) by the brightest people China... Read More
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Not to Worry, They Can’t Innovate
For many years the United States has regarded itself as, and been, the world’s technological leader. One can easily make a long and impressive list of seminal discoveries and inventions coming from America, from the moon landings to the internet. It was an astonishing performance. The US maintains a lead, though usually a shrinking one,... Read More
These Crazies Are Just Like Hitler
One often sees the silly assertion by right-wing extremists that feminists, social justice warriors, and other “cranks” are enstupidating American education. The purpose, according to these fascists, who are just like Hitler, is “to make historically incompetent groups look competent.” The racism in these absurd claims is obvious. In particular such Neo-Nazis say that mathematical... Read More
Economies Diverge, Police States Converge
I have followed China’s development, its stunning advance in forty years from impoverished Third World to a huge economy, its rapid scientific progress. Coming from nowhere it now runs neck and neck with the US in supercomputes, does world-class work in genetic engineering and genomics (the Beijing Genomics Institute), quantum computing and quantum radar, in... Read More
This is my second column on the two weeks that Vi and I just spent in Chengdu, China. It is meant not so much as a travelogue as a snapshot of what is going on in an economic juggernaut. Judging by email from readers, many do not realize the scope and scale of China’s advance.... Read More
Vi and I have just returned from Chengdu, a Chinese village of seventeen million and the gateway to Tibet. Since China is of some interest to the US these days, I thought a description of sorts, actually more in the nature of a disordered travelogue, might be of interest. I hadn’t been to the country... Read More
If One Arm is Right, the Other Will Be Left, No?
This worthy and public-spirited column seldom dives into the thickets of military hardware, which it regards as excessively technical. However, the arms race between China and Washington is of enough gravity that its more exotic armaments may be of interest. Herewith, the truly dangerous weaponry of the contending sides. C-919 A Chinese narrow-body intended to... Read More
Fred Reed
About Fred Reed

Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.

He has been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers.


Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave