Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Alittle over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976.
The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, China went from a backward basket case to the second-largest economy on the planet. It lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese into the global middle class.
Deng’s revolution came at a cost of terrible environmental damage, the rampant destruction of local communities, and continued political repression. A more efficient economy empowered dictatorship.
Abroad, China systematically violated every tenet of international trade and commerce. It stole copyrights and patents. It ran up huge trade surpluses. It dumped products at below the cost of production to hook international customers. It threatened critics with boycotts, divestments, and expulsions. It manipulated its currency. It demanded technology transfers from companies doing business in China. It created a vast espionage network in Western countries to steal technology. And it increasingly bullied and threatened its Asian neighbors.