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Peter Navarro
Peter Navarro is the author Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and is a business professor at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine.

Entries by Peter Navarro

Buy Made in China, Weaken National Security?

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 8:22 PM

The National Interest Crouching Tiger Series: Buy Made In China, Weaken National Security? from Peter Navarro on Vimeo.

At the next two presidential debates - the Republicans square off in Nevada and the Democrats duel in New Hampshire - this question should be put to every candidate by the CNN and ABC moderators:

Will you buy any Made in China gifts for the holiday season? If not, why not?

In fact, this is as much a national security question as it is an economic one. Here's why.

This Black Friday weekend, American consumers will add billions of dollars to the US trade deficit as they binge on Made in China holiday gifts. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) will then use some of the profits from this China trade to continue building what will soon become, if not the most technologically advanced military in the world, then certainly the most heavily equipped.

In a perfect world, we would realize buying illegally subsidized Made in China products not only costs the American economy the jobs, factories, shipyards, and tax revenues its needs to build a strong military. We would also be mindful that our Made in China addiction helps the PLA build the weapons it increasingly aims against us and American soil.

Just why are our political leaders so utterly failing to connect these Made in China economic and military dots? The answer may be found in two competing ideologies, each of which works at cross-purposes to crafting sound China policies.

Consider, for example, Liberal Democrats like Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They tend to be hawks on unfair trade practices and take a tough line on Chinese mercantilism. However, these LibDems also strongly favor the butter of social welfare programs over more guns to defend America from the likes of Xi Jinping's China and Putin's Russia. Here, the very real power of Bernie Sanders has been to move a nervous, poll-watching Hillary Clinton farther to the Left on these issues.

As for Conservative Republicans, they are equally hamstrung on China but for the exact opposite reason. These ConReps tend to be hawks on defense and take a tough line on Chinese aggression. However, they are also free traders who take a soft line on unfair Chinese trade practices like currency manipulation and illegal export subsidies. This soft on trade policy conservative posture has thereby allowed a mercantilist China to have its way with our manufacturing base.
Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are the poster child twins of this counter-productive conservatism. While each has been hawkishly quick to rattle the China sword in the face of Beijing's South China Sea aggression, each has a long history of opposing any Donald Trump-like crackdown on unfair Chinese trade practices like currency manipulation.

In the Crouching Tiger book and film series, I try to square these ideological circles on the Left and Right by illustrating the critical connections between a strong manufacturing base, a vibrant economy, a solid tax base, and ultimately a military powerful and ready enough to defend US interests against the rise of authoritarian and revanchist nations like China and Russia. One of the most important insights in this Crouching Tiger effort comes from former White House advisor Stefan Halper.

In a landmark Pentagon study, Halper documents China's growing reliance on its non-kinetic "Three Warfares," what he calls "a dynamic three-dimensional warfighting process that constitutes war by other means." To Halper, the Three Warfares are particularly important to Beijing's revanchism in an era in which it is increasingly difficult to use kinetic military force to advance territorial goals. Indeed, as Russia's adventurism in the Ukraine has demonstrated, unlawful kinetic force is likely to draw immediate condemnation and economic sanctions.

Viewed through Halper's lens of the Three Warfares, China's mercantilist attacks on America's economy and manufacturing base are every bit as deadly as any Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile crashing into an American aircraft carrier in the Taiwan Strait or any covey of hypersonic glide vehicles smashing into the runways of Okinawa's Kadena Air Force Base. Indeed, the closure of over 50,000 American factories at the hands of China's unfair trade practices has done has much to strike a blow at America's ability to produce the weapons systems it needs to defend itself as the wholesale slashing of military spending because of budget sequestration - and both phenomena are inextricably intertwined.

Ultimately, the problem America faces in coming to terms with a Rising China is a political one. Here, Michael Pillsbury describes in blunt Madisonian "mischief of factions" terms the difficulty of building a coalition to meet what Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz accurately described over a decade ago as The China Threat. Warns Pillsbury:

The eight or ten critical interest groups in America and their representatives in Congress will not cooperate. In fact, they hate each other and would rather oppose each other on broad philosophical grounds. Tax cuts are good, or tax cuts are bad. Corporations are bad, or the labor unions are bad. They'd rather have this kind of bickering among themselves than focus on China as a challenge.

Perhaps a leader will emerge from this year's bumper crop of presidential candidates who will lead us out of this bickering darkness and focus on the highly inter-related economic and military dangers of a Rising China. As for who that candidate will be, it certainly won't be one buying any Made in China gifts for the holiday season.

Peter Navarro is a business professor at the University of California-Irvine and author of Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World (Prometheus Books)

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China's Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile -- This is How Wars Start

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:09 PM

Real Clear Defense Election 2016: China's "Carrier Killer" Missile Strikes the 2016 Presidential Debate from Peter Navarro on Vimeo.

Can China really hit an American aircraft carrier zigzagging at 30 knots with a missile launched from a thousand miles away? This episode in the Crouching Tiger Project series examines the implications of China's anti-ship ballistic missile for the 2016 Presidential election debate.

Toshi Yoshihara of the US Naval War College and Free Beacon Senior Editor Bill Gertz explain the stark mechanics of the anti-ship ballistic missile -- from initial firing to possible mission kill. Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation together with Bernard Cole and T.X. Hammes from National Defense University then illuminate the various difficulties of hitting a carrier at sea -- says Cheng "even at a hundred tons, it's 'big sea, small ship.'"

Richard Fisher of International Assessment and Strategy concludes with a chillingly logical explanation of the strategic challenge the "pernicious" anti-ship ballistic missile poses for any new leader in the White House. Says Fisher: "We are less able to deter attacks from this conventional weapon with our nuclear forces" and therefore "China will be more tempted to use this weapon against our forces because it has less of a fear of American retaliation. This is how wars start. This is how miscalculations take place."

With Permission by Real Clear...

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China's 'Carrier Killer' Missile Strikes the 2016 Presidential Debate

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:07 PM

Reprinted with permission from Real Clear Defense

VIEW companion video


At the next Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, the CNN moderator asks this two-part question: Can China really hit an American aircraft carrier zigzagging at 30...

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As ISIS Strikes, China Rises (and America's Pivot Seems on Hold...Again)

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Click here to view the companion video.


As our hearts go out to Paris, Washington's collective head will once again pivot away from Asia and focus singularly on the war on terrorism. As this spectacle of angst unfolds, cable...

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Goose-Stepping Towards Bethehem

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 5:41 PM

So now we have borne witness to the Big Parade and the Big Lie all in rolled up into one gigantic intimidating event -- the spectacle of China's September 3rd celebration in Tiananmen Square of the defeat of Japan in World War II.

What's wrong with this picture? For starters,...

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In Defense of Shinto Abe

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 2:15 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinto Abe's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has been denounced by the Chinese and South Korean governments as a neo-fascist homage to war criminals while the U.S. government expressed "disappointment" at an ill-advised action likely to "exacerbate tensions." In fact, Abe's visit was perfectly timed given...

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Obama's Max Baucus Debacle

(8) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 3:57 PM

The appointment of Max Baucus to be the new Ambassador to China is a slap in the face to every working man and woman - and unemployed worker - in America. It's also a another electric shock and cigarette burn to every political dissident now working seven hour days in...

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Is Narenda Modi a Lot of Bull?

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 10:37 AM

Narendra Modi. Is he India's Ronald Reagan, who will light a fire under one of the most underperforming economies in the world? That's a critical question financial analysts and corporate executives around the world are now asking as Modi has emerged as the odds-on favorite to become India's...

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From Sarajevo to the Senkakus: The Road to World War III?

(12) Comments | Posted December 8, 2013 | 1:14 PM

The clash between China and Japan over five small islets in the East China Sea has gone into hyper drive over the last month with China's declaration of a new Air Defense Identification Zone, the immediate defiance of that zone by both Japanese and U.S. military aircraft, and a visit...

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Six Great Reasons to 'Don't Buy Made in China' This Holiday Season

(39) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 10:35 AM

As the holiday season madness officially begins, I want to offer six most excellent reasons for Don't Buy Made in China.

#1: Save America's Jobs - Don't Buy Made in China.
When a big corporation like Apple or General Electric offshores its factories to China -- and...

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It's Time For Independence From China

(15) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 6:19 PM

This July 4th, as thousands of patriots march in parades across our great land, they will be waving American flags made in cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shaoxing. This situation is not without humor -- but there is nothing really funny about the loss of American independence it so painfully...

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The 'Snowden Effect' Is Deadly for America

(15) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 8:19 PM

It is likely no accident that Edward Snowden is hiding out in China. No country has benefited more from his revelations about the U.S. government's widespread eavesdropping and surveillance than the People's Republic. Indeed, Snowden almost singlehandedly derailed any chance that President Obama could strike a "stop your cyberattacks" deal...

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China's Sweet and Sour Pork Deal

(5) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 5:54 PM

The latest biggest story involving China's buying up of America should make all Americans nervous around the barbecue this summer: Shuanghui International of China has scooped up America's Smithfield, one of the world's biggest pork producers.

This is a blockbuster deal worth almost $5 billion, and it is part...

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Parsing the North Korean Threat

(7) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 5:58 PM

As North Korea's enfant terrible Kim Jong-un continues to rattle nerves from Seoul and Tokyo to Wall Street and Washington, its useful to understand these essential truths about the latest in a long line of Korean peninsula crises.

For starters, North Korea's latest threat takes it place in a long...

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Chinese Hacking and The Art of War

(6) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 4:12 PM

Finally, there appears to be real alarm in the White House over Chinese cyberattacks. The president recently summoned top corporate leaders to the White House to discuss this growing threat even as he dispatched newly appointed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to confront his counterparts in Beijing. Here's what the president...

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The Chinese Real Estate Market's 'Butterfly Effect'

(5) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 4:40 PM

China's real estate bubble is very real. It is driven by both private speculators and government development; and it is both a coastal and inland phenomenon.

Private speculators have treated real estate in China like a Pai Gow table in Macao.
Buyers go to pawn shops for capital. Interest...

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Just Say No to Chinese Acquisitions of American Assets

(32) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 1:44 PM

China's recent acquisition of Michigan battery maker A123 represents yet another step in Beijing's well-orchestrated strategy to surpass the U.S. as both an economic and military power. That's why the biggest mistake we can make is to look at this deal in isolation rather than as part of...

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China Bashing Bears Fruit: Apple Moves Bring Manufacturing Home

(46) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 3:40 PM

Written by Greg Autry

I'm going to take a little (very little) victory lap here. Several times in this space, I've suggested that Apple needs to move manufacturing back home. Each time I've gotten comments like "that's not going to happen" or "they will just move to...

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Fix US-Taiwan Dysfunction

(7) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 6:16 PM

I had the enjoyable opportunity of leading a delegation of academics to Taiwan last week, courtesy of the ROC government. During my stay in Taipei, I noticed an autographed picture of former President Ford among the notables decorating the wall in the Landis hotel restaurant. Ford, like a lot of...

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California Moves to Protect Private Space Jobs

(9) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 6:14 PM

While most of us think of the October 4, 1957 launch of Sputnik as beginning of the space age, this week is actually marks the 70th anniversary of the spaceflight. The first manmade object to pass the Karman line -- the 100km boundary that separates spacecraft from aircraft -- was...

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