For years I’ve tried to get people interested and/or concerned over the way in which the US was borrowing from China to fund the extraordinary national debt we have accumulated in the last 6 years. I would sometimes explain that China has a long history of using trade politically, i.e., thousands of years of history in doing so. Most Americans have an impoverished idea of my ancestors (I’m both Korean and Chinese in ancestry) and think of the subjugated Chinese immigrant from films, the flat-footed coolie, or the seductress in the dragon-pattern cheongsam and have never once in my conversations with them taken the threat seriously. Yesterday, this appeared:
Two officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning – for the first time – that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress.
Shifts in Chinese policy are often announced through key think tanks and academies.
So, there it is. William Gibson’s science fiction novels are often heralded as being prescient about the internet. But Gibson also wrote of a future where economic warfare was as deadly and serious as conventional warfare, where companies maintained armies and had more influence than countries. He may turn out to be ahead of the curve on that one also.