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‘China Shock’ 2.0 is haunting the U.S.


Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi of Iraq met with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Sep 23 (Photo from AFP)

‘The China Shock Doctrine’, written by Samual Hammond and published in The American Enterprise Institute’s National Affairs Issue Number 41 – Fall 2019, is a nearly 5,000 words long essay on how the United States was shocked by China’s success in upgrading and diversifying its own manufacturing capacity in general and engineering talents in particular.

While Hammond provides a comprehensive review from various perspectives, ranging from economic to philosophical, of the history since the year 2000, he says this:

“… For most of our living memory, the U.S. has been a ‘large, closed economy’ … But with China and other emerging markets coming online, the U.S. economy behaves more and more like a ‘small, open economy’ …”

The growth of the U.S. economy will become, in other words, vulnerable to the partnership between China and other developing countries. This phenomenon is happening with some sort of surprise with Iraq as an example. Therefore, perhaps, it may be named as ‘China Shock 2.0’.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi visited Beijing this week and he announced that “Iraq will join China’s signature Belt and Road Infrastructure investment project … Iraq has gone through war and civil strife and is grateful to China for its valuable support …”

Why? Why does Baghdad not turn to the U.S. for support to rebuild the country, given the fact that the former leader Saddam Hussein was expelled by the Americans? Many analysts try to explain, and The National Interest offered one of them with this article title: ‘How the United States could lose Iraq’ on Sep 21.

Another simple reason is that many Arabs do not trust the U.S. due to the unbearable Islamophobia, for instance, a Palestinian Harvard student was denied entry into the US during his first attempt to pass the immigration check point (he was subsequently allowed to go to Harvard after a series of high profile reports in the mainstream media).

On the contrary, China is much more friendly. One recent showcase is that while China trains lots of translators to become fluent with the Arabic language, “… Iraq’s first Chinese language department will be opened in October in Salahaddin University in the city of Erbil … The Chinese side will send two teachers …”

Prepare to be shocked again.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

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About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

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