China on a Buying Spree

China is taking advantage of the economic downturn to go on a major shopping spree, investing in energy and other natural resources that could give it an economic advantage it has never had before.

……Some economic analysts say they believe that China’s investments pose a threat to competitors like the United States. In the last move, Beijing said on Friday that one of its big state-owned banks, the China Development Bank, would lend the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras $10 billion in exchange for a long-term commitment to send oil to China.

China signed similar deals this week with Russia and Venezuela, bringing Beijing’s total oil investments this month to $41 billion. They represent an important investment. Supplies of commodities like oil are likely to tighten again once global growth picks up, and China will have a toehold it lacked during the recent boom, when it grew phenomenally even with limited access to resources.

Think about this when the products you buy say: “Made in China”

……China is flush with cash — thanks to trillions of dollars from decades of selling goods to the West — at a time when credit markets are tight and collapsing commodity prices have left energy and natural resource companies desperate for cash. For many of these companies, China has gone from pariah to lender of first resort.

……The investments are China’s biggest moves since 2005, when a Chinese state-owned oil company made an unsuccessful bid for Unocal, the American oil company, prompting worries about whether fast-growing China was seeking to tie up global resources.

……Analysts say there are still worries about whether China will compete with other nations, like the United States and India, for oil and other natural resources.

……In many cases, China has struck deals in countries that have access to large supplies of oil and minerals but where American and European countries are not well positioned, like parts of Africa and the Middle East. In one of the deals struck this week, China made an alliance with the government of Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, who has denounced American leadership. While the oil deals announced this week vary in terms, analysts say they ensure China a steady supply of oil for decades to come, sometimes at favorable prices.

For a long time, the U.S. government and corporations have been endangering our security and economy by entrenching our money in Bejiing-controlled business ventures.

Forget the human rights violations, the crackdown on freedom of speech, and the imprisonment of dissidents. Forget that they are a Communist state with hostile intentions. There’s money to be made.

They are not our friends. If they ever become a dominant military and economic world superpower, you can thank our own feckless government, banks, and businesses for the outcome.

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