U.S. Companies Spring To China’s Aid; America Degrades Democracy; Cash For Illegal Immigrants; Blinken Warns Putin, Sort of

“U.S. Investments Aid China In Its Bid for Chip Dominance,” headline in WSJ this past weekend. Venture-capital firms, private investors and chip-industry giants participated in 58 deals between 2017 and 2020, twice the number in the previous four-year period. American investment banks pour into China to help it raise foreign capital.

The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them, a sentence attributed to Lenin but which cannot be found in his writings, is certainly one of which Xi Jinping has heard but decided it impolitic to repeat.

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Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Procter & Gamble, Intel and Visa are among the American companies sponsoring the Beijing Olympics that China is depending on to enhance its international prestige, somewhat damaged by its treatment of Uighurs and Hong Kong and its threats against Taiwan.

President Biden did not use his virtual summit with Xi Jinping to announce a boycott of the Beijing Olympics or any strengthening of ties with Taiwan. He might have felt it Important not to spoil the investment climate for U.S. investment bankers hoping to pour money into China’s chip industry and help the communist regime to raise capital.

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The $1.75 trillion-plus social policy bill now before the senate contains a provision removing the requirement that recipients of the $300 per month child tax credit have a social security number. That would allow parents who entered the country illegally to receive that benefit.

According to current estimates the Social Security trust funds are expected to be depleted by 2034.

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“U.S. and Allies Spur Much of World’s Democratic Decline, Data Shows” reads a headline streamed across a full page of The New York Times. The studies by a Swedish non- profit “…suggest that much of the world’s backsliding is not imposed on democracies by foreign powers, but rather is a rot rising within the world’s most powerful network of mostly democratic alliances.”

Cuba cracked down on pro-democracy protestors. Russia passed a law allowing Vladimir Putin, who has already run the country for two decades, to remain in power until 2036. China this week elevated Xi Jinping to a hero status equal to Mao Zedong, assuring him he will remain President for life if he so chooses.

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China agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion of American products as part of the 2019 trade deal. Chad Brown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that they are on pace to fall 40% short of that promise.

“The business community has been pushing to reduce the tariffs” imposed on Chinese products as part of the deal in which they promised to make the purchases they are not making, reports the NYT.

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Putin has ordered a buildup of about 90,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine after, says The Washington Post, he and other Russian officials “have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking Kyiv’s Western ties and even questioning its sovereignty.” Michael Kofman, director of the Russian studies group at CNA, a non-profit says, “It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening.”

Secretary of State Alan Blinken is on the case. He warned Putin against making a “serious mistake” and added a threat, “Any escalatory or aggressive actions would be of great concern to the United States.” It is not known whether Putin was vacationing in Yalta, a resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula at the time he received Blinken’s warning. The Crimean Peninsula was wrested by force from Ukraine by Russia.