Beyond the 38th Parallel
It was assumed a divided Korea never could get together again. But hostilities can change quickly, as evident in Germany a decade ago when the walls suddenly and seemingly overnight came tumbling down.
There are compelling and mutually beneficial reasons for the reunification of the Koreas. North Korea is in a profoundly devastated economic state with its people starving and its industrial base virtually nonexistent.
While that undoubtedly would please American consumers and joint venture shareholders in the West, there's a more ominous and mostly ignored threat.
of the Koreas provides an ideal conduit through which readily available
high-end Western technology could flow into China next door, all but eliminating
the need for a Western industrial and business presence there.
of years, the Chinese, in addition to their own innovation prowess, have
absorbed and assimilated, borg-like, all available processes, methodologies
and technologies. A reunified Korea could help China become the dominant
industrial power of the Asia Pacific.
that concern the West? The answer should be obvious and pose the question:
Is another nationalization of existing Western facilities in China the
keeps repeating itself in China, as in 1949 when former leader Generalissimo
Chang Kai Shek was banished to Taiwan. Soft drink giant Pepsi Cola was
nationalized in that Communist takeover and was banned from the country
for a quarter century. Ford and General Motors, with long business pasts
in China, had their investments there expropriated at the same time the
West was rebuilding Europe after World War II.
Then there was Boeing, founded in 1916 with the aid of Chinese-born, American-educated Wang Tsu, the company's first chief engineer. Renewed company ties with China followed the 1972 reopening of that country. But Boeing wasn't spared six years ago from the wrath of the world's most populous nation when the U.S. interceded on behalf of Taiwan. China abruptly turned to AIRBUS in Europe to slap the hand of the West for intervening in a dispute it felt was no one else's business.
Recently, it has almost seemed China was trying to become Westernized. Daily flights to Beijing (originating from the U.S.'s automotive headquarters in Detroit) are commonplace as are the droves of Western executives traveling there to live where they work.
IBM will send volumes of technology to help small, emerging Chinese firms grow, according to Wu Baochun, manager, of the e-business department of IBM Corp., China, as reported earlier by Agence France Presse. And according to news reports, China has been wooing 11 foreign law firms and two from Hong Kong to set up mainland bases - an agreement based on China achieving its long-sought status as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
With the world's most cutting edge technology, and a motivated labor force ready for the rewards of a burgeoning economy, what is to prevent China from capitalizing on those strengths, its relationship with a united Korea and its massive size and sheer numbers of people?
A Matter of Honesty
China hasn't changed. The Chinese are not ambiguous. They will tell you forthrightly what they want, and they have announced to the world exactly what they intend to do. What outsiders need to do is listen with Eastern ears.
"Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory." - Sun Tzu The Art of War
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