Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

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While the world fights the coronavirus pandemic, China is fighting a propaganda war. Beijing’s war aim is simple: shift away from China all blame for the outbreak, the botched initial response, and its early spread into the broader world. At stake is China’s global reputation, as well as the potential of a fundamental shift away from China for trade and manufacturing.

Source: Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

“More broadly, the pandemic of 2020 has brought doubts about globalization into the mainstream. Decades of open borders, unceasing intercontinental travel, study abroad, just-in-time inventory systems, and the like have created unexpected vulnerabilities in populations and economies thanks to unfettered openness. To worry about such weaknesses is not to adopt a Luddite reactionary stance, but to try and salvage the bases of the post-World War II global economic architecture.  

“Those who assumed that global markets were the optimal economic model and would always work, now have to consider whether globalization is the best system for dealing with pandemics like coronavirus, let alone old-fashioned state power plays like China imposed on Japan back in 2010, when it blocked the export of rare-earth minerals over territorial disputes in the East China Sea. Perhaps the biggest long-term economic effect of coronavirus will be on long-standing assumptions about global supply chains. 

“Because of the way the global economy has developed since 1980, to question globalization today is in large part to question the world’s relationship to China. As Sens. Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton have pointed out, America and the world have a prudential responsibility to reconsider their dependence on China.”

Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age

The Tradwife Movement Reminds Us of the Virtue of Service in Marriage

There seems to be what I see as the beginning of a substantial backlash against many things we have taken for granted in culture and society for the last five or six decades in the Western world, and particularly in America. One of these is the notion that motherhood and homemaking is an inferior, subordinate role that oppresses and demeans women, and that women should therefore eschew it, and join men in the workplace. The rise of the “TradWife” (traditional wife) movement is part of the kickback against this – and one with which, in large measure, I agree.

I was raised by a traditional wife and mother: Ma never worked outside the home during my lifetime, although she did work as an English teacher during the first few years of her marriage to Pa. But not long after my oldest brother was born, she left “outside” work, and returned to the home. And there is no question that I benefited – we all did – from her ability to devote her full time and attention to being a wife, mother, and homemaker. We had clean clothes, a clean house, healthy, delicious homemade meals, baked deserts, and much else, thanks to her not needing to squeeze such things around full-time (or even part-time) work.

I also have no doubt that I was saved from many opportunities to “sin and err” by the fact that I knew she (or if she had to be away, my grandmother) would be there waiting for me when I got home from school! And no matter how far I roamed, through the woods and fields near my house, I never seemed to be out of the range of her call (a resounding “Tooommmmmmmmmm!”), that echoed through the air, come supper time – to the awed amazement of my friends, who were shocked that such a small person (she was all of 5’3″ in height) could call so loudly.

I empathize with the nostalgia for the immediate post-WW II era. Although I was born in 1965, I was in many significant ways a “child of the 1950s”: Ma and Pa were married then, and both my brothers were born in the ’50s (I was a late-comer, and rather a surprise, at the time!). So I get it! My concern about the TradWife movement, however – despite my admiration for many of the women involved, and my agreement with the basic premise that both women and their families are benefited by them being at home with and for those families – is that many or most of them seem to take the 1950s as their template for what a “traditional” wife should be, and do.
Continue reading “Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age”

Empty shelves: a rant on coronavirus and globalism

In which the Anglophilic Anglican goes off on a rare political rant. Rare on video, anyway! I do often rant in writing… *wry smile* My apologies in advance for the length and rambling nature of this!

 

Morning Prayer with Sermon and Litany: Third Sunday in Lent, 2020, and A National Day of Prayer

I have not been regularly sharing my Sunday offerings of Morning and/or Evening Prayer here on The Anglophilic Anglican, but today it seems especially right to do so. On Friday, March 13th, President Trump has proclaimed today – Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – as a National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.

I have done so – and also included some introductory comments. Here ’tis:

I have uploaded several other videocasts to my YouTube Channel, should you want to visit.


FYI, here are the President’s original Tweets on the subject:

Screenshot_2020-03-15 (8) Donald J Trump on Twitter It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of[...]

Also from President Trump:

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Coronavirus reveals the weakness and danger of the “global economy”

Image result for us reliant on china for drugs

I certainly hope and pray that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not end up having the kind of global impact – and especially, is not as damaging and deadly here in the US, and in other Western countries, where cases have so far been few in number – as some doomsayers seem to take perverse pleasure in predicting.

But if nothing else, I hope it does point out the weakness and danger of globalism: both open borders, and the off-shoring of major chunks of our economy, especially manufacturing. Cheap consumer goods (and cheap – not to say exploited – labor) are not the only things that can circulate freely, in such an environment.

Perhaps most sobering is the fact that we are reliant on China – China, the source of the outbreak, and the country hardest-hit by it – for many of our drugs!

As this article from last month points out,

“Everything from antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, from antidepressants to Alzheimer’s medications to treatments for HIV/AIDS, are frequently produced by Chinese manufacturers. What’s more, the most effective breathing masks and the bulk of other personal protective equipment — key to containing the spread of coronavirus and protecting health care workers — and even the basic syringe are largely made in China.”

Another article notes that “the Food and Drug Administration estimates that at least 80 percent of the active ingredients found in all of America’s medicines come from abroad – primarily China,” and asks us to “imagine if China turned off that spigot.” Or if we are forced to turn it off ourselves, due to issues like coronavirus! A third article points out the hazards of contamination of generic drugs manufactured abroad:

“What’s responsible for the repeated drug safety lapses? The offshoring of the American drug supply to China and, to a lesser extent, India during the past couple of decades.”

It continues,

“China and India now manufacture about 80% of the drugs consumed in the U.S. This figure understates China’s dominance because many of the active ingredients in the Indian manufactured drugs come from China. The U.S. doesn’t even manufacture vital drugs like antibiotics anymore [emphasis added], with the last penicillin factory closing in 2004.”

That is chilling, or should be.

Particularly in the face of the current situation, in which reliable supplies of drugs are critical! But unfortunately, as USA Today notes,

“The coronavirus outbreak is sparking fears of drug shortages in the U.S., largely due to its disruption of pharmaceutical supplies from China and India.  The Food and Drug Administration has warned of shortages in one drug due to the coronavirus, while penicillin shipments to the U.S. from China have dried up [again, emphasis added]. The FDA said it expects the outbreak of COVID-19 to cause ‘potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.'”

And to make matters worse, as yet another article points out, “the U.S. is woefully unprepared to address even minor disruptions in the supply of these drugs.” This article continues,

“Medicines can be used as a weapon of war against the United States,” Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser on health care issues at the bioethics-focused Hastings Center and co-author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, told lawmakers last month. “Supplies can be withheld. Medicines can be made with lethal contaminants or sold without any real medicine in them, rendering them ineffective.”

Then there is the whole issue of “just in time” logistics, a primary feature of the modern economy. This may have cost and efficiency advantages when everything’s working smoothly, but it leaves us highly vulnerable to disruptions in overseas sources of manufacture and supply, whether these originate in pandemics like coronavirus, international conflicts, other forms of social or political disruption, rising fuel prices, or other causes.

While the issue is obviously most vital in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical technology, the reality is that we need to seriously rethink our entire approach to the so-called global economy, starting with a clear-eyed understanding that independence and sovereignty begin with being able to supply our own needs from our own resources and manufacturing capability, here at home.

Anything less leaves us dangerously vulnerable to disruptions abroad.

 

Hong Kong protesters wave American flag and sing our National Anthem

Protesters in Hong Kong waving the American flag and singing the American National anthem as they advocate for democracy. Wow!

Source: Kaya Jones | Facebook

That moment when protesters for freedom and democracy abroad are more patriotic Americans than are many here…!

Too many here in the U.S. are “taking a knee,” or attacking symbols of our history and heritage – including statues of Francis Scott Key, and even the National Anthem (“The Star Spangled Banner”) itself – while in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy, pro-freedom demonstrators have been protesting against the oppressive Chinese Communist government in Beijing for months, some of them (pictured here) are waving the American Flag and singing our National Anthem.

Unlike too many of our own people, they know what it really stands for.

There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

A campaigner carries a former colonial Hong Kong flag during a Hong Kong-UK reunification demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong on July 1, 2016, the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to Chinese sovereignty from British rule.

These Hong Kongers aren’t clamoring for freer elections. Nor are they demanding outright independence. They want to transform Hong Kong back into British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.

Source: There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

There is a movement – small, so far, but with big ambitions – that wants to “transform Hong Kong back into a British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state”:

“’Many Hong Kongers love Her Majesty very much!’ says Alice Lai, the leading face of the campaign. ‘Even now, we still call Her Majesty ‘The Boss.’'”

“Even in Hong Kong’s more rebellious circles, this idea will sound far-fetched. The city’s pro-democracy camps are mostly fixated on less radical goals, such as loosening Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong’s leadership.

“But the Hong Kong-United Kingdom Reunification Campaign, while extremely small, is quite serious.”

Will anything practical come of this? Tough to say! They have a rough row to hoe, and that uphill: as the article points out, such a move on the part of Britain “would nuke relations with China, a key trading partner, and baffle heads of state around the world.” But it also points out that “Wishing for an independent Hong Kong isn’t so rare. A recent poll shows that one in six Hong Kongers shares that unlikely dream.”

It also notes that the agreement that handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 came with “some major caveats. Both sides agreed that Hong Kong would enjoy a ‘high degree of autonomy,’ including a legal system with some basis in British common law.”

But as part of China’s overall flexing of muscles in recent years, they have been reneging on that promise, and “Reunification campaigners claim Beijing’s meddling is now so severe that it has actually voided the terms of the British handover.” Indeed, the article noted that “The former British foreign secretary has already declared that China breached the joint declaration.”

Still, I am not going to hold my breath, waiting for the UK to reassert its sovereignty over Hong Kong! But I have to admit, I’d love to see it…

[Note: The linked article was written in 2016. I do not know the current status of the Reunification Campaign. If I find out, I will update this post!]