Are you ready for a future where China will employ millions of American workers and dominate thousands of small communities all over the United States? Such a future would be unimaginable to many Americans, but the truth is that it is already starting to happen. Chinese acquisition of U.S. businesses set a new all-time record last year, and it is on pace to absolutely shatter that record this year. Meanwhile, China is voraciously gobbling up real estate and is establishing economic beachheads all over America. If China continues to build economic power inside the United States, it will eventually become the dominant economic force in thousands of small communities all over the nation. Just think about what the Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) acquisition alone will mean. Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world. It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans. It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others. But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America. If you don't think that this is important, you haven't been paying much attention to what has been going on in the world. Thanks in part to our massively bloated trade deficit with China, the Chinese have trillions of dollars to spend. They are only just starting to exercise their economic muscles.
And it is important to keep in mind that there is often not much of a difference between "the Chinese government" and "Chinese corporations". In 2011, 43 percent of all profits in China were produced by companies that the Chinese government had a controlling interest in. Americans are accustomed to thinking of "government" and "business" as being separate things, but in China they are often one and the same. Even when there is a separation in ownership, the reality is that no major Chinese corporation is going to go against the authority and guidance of the Chinese government. The relationship between government and business in China is much different than it is in the United States.
Over the past several years, Chinese companies have become increasingly aggressive. Last year a Chinese company spent $2.6 billion to purchase AMC entertainment - one of the largest movie theater chains in the United States. Now that Chinese company controls more movie ticket sales than anyone else in the world. At the time, that was the largest acquisition of a U.S. firm by a Chinese company, but now the Smithfield Foods deal has greatly surpassed that.
But China is not just relying on acquisitions to expand its economic power. The truth is that "economic beachheads" are being established all over America. For example, Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc. recently broke ground on a $100 million plant in Thomasville, Alabama. I am sure that many of the residents of Thomasville, Alabama will be glad to have jobs, but it will also become yet another community that will now be heavily dependent on communist China.
And guess where else Chinese companies are putting down roots? Detroit.
Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country's steady push into the American auto industry.
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.
If you recently purchased an "American-made vehicle", there is a really good chance that it has Chinese parts in it.
In fact, it is becoming harder and harder to get auto parts that are actually made in America by American companies. A lot of those companies are dying off. One example of this is a battery maker that had received $132 million from the federal government that was recently gobbled up by a huge Chinese corporation ...
Industry analysts are hard-pressed to put a number on the Chinese suppliers operating in the United States. "We simply don't know how many there are," said David Andrea, an official with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, a trade organization for auto parts makers.
In one of the more prominent deals, the Wanxiang Group bought most of the assets of the battery maker A123 Systems, which filed for bankruptcy last year despite receiving $132 million of $249 million in federal grants to build two factories in Michigan.
Congressional Republicans criticized the deal, saying A123's technology could support military applications in China. Still, the buyout was approved this year by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal government panel.
China seems particularly interested in acquiring energy resources in the United States. For example, did you know that China is actually mining for coal in the mountains of Tennessee?
Guizhou Gouchuang Energy Holdings Group spent 616 million dollars to acquire Triple H Coal Co. in Jacksboro, Tennessee. At the time, that acquisition really didn't make much news, but now a group of conservatives in Tennessee is trying to stop the Chinese from blowing up their mountains and taking their coal. The following is from a Wall Street Journal article back in March ...
The Tennessee Conservative Union began airing an ad Tuesday that says lawmakers have failed to protect the state's scenic mountains and are allowing the "Chinese to destroy our mountains and take our coal…the same folks who hold our debt."
But when it comes to our energy resources, China has been most interested in our oil and natural gas. It is a complete and total mystery why the federal government would allow China to buy up our precious domestic sources of energy, but it is happening. The following is a list of some of the oil and natural gas deals that China has been involved in during the last few years that was compiled by the Wall Street Journal ...
- Colorado: Cnooc (NYSE:CEO) gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming in a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK).
- Louisiana: Sinopec (NYSE:SHI) has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN).
- Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.
- Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third stake in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal.
- Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.
- Texas: Cnooc acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.
- Wyoming: Cnooc has a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5 billion deal.
- Gulf of Mexico: Cnooc Ltd. separately acquired minority stakes in some of Statoil ASA’s (NYSE:STO) leases as well as six of Nexen Inc.’s deep-water wells.
How could we be so stupid? Sadly, as our politicians endlessly bicker China just continues to aggressively push ahead.
And pretty soon China may want to build entire cities in the United States just like they have been doing in other countries. According to Bloomberg, right now China is actually building a city larger than Manhattan just outside of the capital of Belarus ...
China is building an entire city in the forests near the Belarusian capital Minsk to create a manufacturing springboard between the European Union and Russia.
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko allotted an area 40 percent larger than Manhattan around Minsk’s international airport for the $5 billion development, which will include enough housing to accommodate 155,000 people, according to Chinese and Belarusian officials.
And this is actually already happening on a much smaller scale in this country. For example, as I have written about previously, a Chinese company known as "Sino-Michigan Properties LLC" has purchased 200 acres of land near the little town of Milan, Michigan. Their stated goal is to construct a "China City" that has artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.
In other cases, large chunks of real estate in the middle of major U.S. cities are being gobbled up by Chinese "investors". Just check out what a Fortune article from a while back says has been happening in Toledo, Ohio ...
In March 2011, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million cash for a restaurant complex on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they put down another $3.8 million on 69 acres of newly decontaminated land in the city's Marina District, promising to invest $200 million in a new residential-commercial development. That September, another Chinese firm spent $3 million for an aging hotel across a nearby bridge with a view of the minor league ballpark.
Are you starting to get the picture?
China is on the rise and America is in decline. If you doubt this, just read the following list of facts which comes from one of my previous articles entitled "40 Ways That China Is Beating America" ...
#1 As I mentioned above, when you total up all imports and exports of goods, China is now the number one trading nation on the entire planet.
#2 During 2012, we sold about 110 billion dollars worth of stuff to the Chinese, but they sold about 425 billion dollars worth of stuff to us. That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
#3 Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.
#4 China now has the largest new car market in the entire world.
#5 China has more foreign currency reserves than anyone else on the planet.
#6 China is the number one gold producer in the world.
#7 China is also the number one gold importer in the world.
#8 The uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were made in China.
#9 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
#10 The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.
#11 The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
#12 One of the reasons it is so hard to export stuff to China is because of their tariffs. According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.
#13 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#15 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#16 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
#17 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
#18 China now produces more than twice as many automobiles as the United States does.
#20 After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government. The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.
#21 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.
#22 The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
#24 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now more than 30 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#25 China now consumes more energy than the United States does.
#26 China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.
#27 China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.
#28 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
#29 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.
#30 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
#31 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
#33 China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.
#34 China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.
#35 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.
#36 A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services found more than one million counterfeit Chinese parts in the Department of Defense supply chain.
#37 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles. But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.
#38 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.
#39 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income. In China, the average household debt load is 17% of average household income.
#40 The Chinese have begun to buy up huge amounts of U.S. real estate. In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.
And what we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg as far as Chinese "investment" in U.S. real estate is concerned. The following is a brief excerpt from a Bloomberg article that was posted just last week ...
China is studying the possibility of investing a portion of its $3.4 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves in U.S. real estate, said two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange began the study after seeing signs of a recovery in the U.S. property market, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. China may acquire properties, invest in real estate funds or buy stakes in property companies, they said. The safety of the investments will be the top priority, said the people, who didn’t elaborate on a timetable or other details.
So what can we do about all of this?
Unfortunately, not a whole lot. Both major political parties seem to be fully convinced that merging our economy with the economy of communist China is a great idea. I would not expect major changes in our policies regarding China any time soon.
For now, I will just leave you with one piece of advice ... learn to speak Chinese. You might need it someday.