By: John Mills
Spring break is over now, somewhat unfortunately. As we sit on the precipice of the post-spring-break sprint to the end of the year, I think it’s a good time to think about literally anything else.
The end of the year is just too insane and stressful to think about without turning around and running as fast as I can in the other direction.
Deliberate ignorance to problems never goes wrong, does it?
In the news over the last few days has been the emerging story of a so called “trade war” with China.
This started when President Trump levied an estimated $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese-made imports to the US.
Said tariff is intended to level the perceived trade deficit between the US and China, but mostly has just angered newly-cemented president-for-life Xi Jinping.
This is while President Trump is also seeking China’s aid in defusing the seething ball of pent up angst that is the North Korea situation.
Somehow, this combination of moves doesn’t exactly seem like something out of the fictional “International Relations Power Plays Playbook.”
The stated reason behind this first set of tariffs is the blatant disregard the Chinese populace tends to have for intellectual property rights.
This state of affairs is hardly anything new though. Intellectual property violations have never been prosecuted heavily in China, which is part of why so much of their technology is reverse-engineered versions of other countries’ inventions.
Doing this was necessary for them in the late 1970s through to the beginning of the 1990s and beyond.
History lesson time: At the turn of the 20th century, the Chinese government and people were essentially structured the same as they had been three hundred years previous, except for the repeated shin kicking, then removal, they suffered at the hands of the British.
Post-WWII, and once the Communists secured victory over the Nationalist Guo Min Dang, China was severely behind the rest of the world both technologically and socially.
Much of the population lived in rural communities and farmed for a living.
Their cities had been ravaged by several decades of continuous war, and there was little remaining industrial base.
Several methods were taken to rectify this state of affairs, largely under the auspices of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.”
What does this mean for the present? Well, a lot actually. More than can fit in one column. Probably more than can fit in one book, though many have tried.
In very broad and general terms, it means China isn’t likely to start heavily prosecuting intellectual property violations, and the US is going to continue to be mad about it.
Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse than that.
Also, as a last word. Keep your head up through the end of the year. It’s tough in many ways, and no one needs the extra stress, but it’ll be over before you know it, for better or for worse.