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July 27th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

GE moving X-ray business to China. What message is sent to U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here is more evidence of the suicide mission this country is on: General Electric announced it's moving its 115-year-old X-ray business from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing, China.

The X-ray business is part of General Electric's GE Healthcare unit, and this move is just part of a broader plan by GE to invest $2 billion in China.

This will become the first GE business to be headquartered there. A handful of the unit's top executives will be transferred to China but otherwise, the company says, none of the 150 staffers in the Milwaukee-area facility will lose jobs or be transferred. However, GE plans to hire more than 65 engineers and a support staff at a new facility in China.

It's the kind of news that makes you want to reach for something sharp and jab it in your eye. General Electric's Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is one of President Obama's advisers on… ready? U.S. job creation!

In January, President Obama asked Immelt, a self-described Republican, to head up the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Tapping Immelt was supposed to provide the Obama administration with a business world perspective on job creation - not in China - here.

The administration also hoped it would give the president a leg up negotiating with the Republican-controlled House on deficit reduction, jobs programs, and health care. And we can all see how that's worked out really well.

Two months after Immelt was named to the council, The New York Times reported that General Electric paid no income taxes last year... thanks to some fancy accounting footwork, even though the company earned $14.2 billion in profits last year - more than $5 billion in the U.S. alone.

Here’s my question to you: General Electric is moving its X-ray business to China. What message does this send Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China • U.S. Global Image • United States
April 25th, 2011
04:40 PM ET

What does it mean that China's economy could surpass U.S.'s in 5 years?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE CLARKE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The year 2016… Mark your calendars.

It's the year the International Monetary Fund projects China's economy will overtake the U.S. economy. Or as Brett Arends, a columnist for MarketWatch writes, "The moment when the 'Age of America' will end." He says if the IMF is right, whoever wins the presidency in 2012 will be the last U.S. president to preside over the world's largest economy.

Kind of sad... and kind of scary.

Other forecasters have set the date the U.S. falls to second place a decade later. The IMF projections are based on something called "purchasing power parities," what people in both countries earn and spend domestically. Either way, China will pass us by in a matter of years.

It's just another kick in the stomach to this country's already-battered economy. The job market is still beaten down, the housing market remains horrible, and the federal government still can't agree on how to rein in spending or what to do about a debt ceiling that expires in weeks. Last week, Standard & Poor's announced that it was downgrading the U.S. debt outlook from stable to negative over concerns that the White House and Congress will not be able to agree on a deficit reduction plan for 2012.

Congress is still on Spring Break - perfect.

The Obama administration downplayed the S&P announcement, saying it was political and should not be taken too seriously. They're wrong. The markets took it seriously though. The stock market suffered its biggest one day loss since the threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan last month. And what'll you bet the White House won't have much to say about this new IMF projection either. It's called whistling past the graveyard.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that China's economy could surpass the U.S. economy in five years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China • Economy • United States
January 19th, 2011
04:42 PM ET

Make your child learn Chinese?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Forget the romance languages. If you really want your child to be ready for the future, you might want him to crack open some Chinese language textbooks.

As President Obama meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House this week, there are more reasons than ever to believe China holds the key to all of our futures.

For starters, China owns us – or soon will, as they continue to snap up U.S. treasury bonds. China is now the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, just under $900 billion.

The Chinese also have a significant financial stake in many other countries around the world. It was reported this week that China has lent more money to developing countries in the past two years than the World Bank.

Then there's their military expansion – Chinese military spending is up 12% in the last decade.

A Chinese-developed stealth fighter jet recently took its first flight. They've also created a long-range missile that could hit U.S. ships in the pacific. And, they're building their first aircraft carrier to launch missions far off China's coast.

There's more: Beijing has become an integral player in nearly every major international issue, from the standoffs with North Korea and Iran to global warming.

In fact, one top NASA scientist says that China is the world's "best hope" in the fight against global warming. He says that our democracy – including lobbying dollars from the fossil fuel industry – makes it impossible for the U.S. to confront global warming.

Here’s my question to you: If you were the parent of a small child, would you make him/her learn Chinese?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Children • China • Education • On Jack's radar
June 21st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What if China overtakes U.S. as world's leading manufacturer?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's an ominous sign of the end of an era:

For 110 years, the United States has been the world's leading manufacturer... a title we will likely lose to China next year.

A report by an economic research firm shows that China's manufacturing sector nearly caught up to the U.S. output last year... and will probably surpass us in 2011.

According to IHS Global Insight, China may be able to quickly close the gap - particularly due to the recent announcement that it will let its currency, the yuan, rise in value versus the U.S. dollar.

But even without a stronger currency, China's manufacturing sector has been growing at a much faster rate than the U.S.

No surprise since we've been shutting down factories left and right for years... and shipping jobs overseas, where the labor is cheaper.

One expert suggests the U.S. shouldn't worry too much about losing this title to China.

He says it's obvious that China would pull ahead at some point since they have four times the population and a tenth of the wages of the United States.

Really?

Then why didn't they challenge us for 110 years?

Nonetheless - with almost 10 percent unemployment in the U.S. there's no question we could use those lost jobs back here.

The U.S. has been the world's top manufacturer for more than a century - in the late 1890s, the United States surpassed Britain, which had held the top slot for a few decades.

And before that?

It was all China, which held the title of world leader for goods production for more than 1,500 years.

Looks like they will soon reclaim the title.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if China overtakes the U.S. as the world’s leading manufacturer?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China
February 18th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Now the time for U.S. to irritate China by meeting with the Dalai Lama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In a move sure to get the Chinese all riled up - President Obama met today with the Dalai Lama at the White House.

The Dalai Lama draws in the snow with his finger outside the White House after meeting with Pres. Obama earlier today. The meeting drew angry protests from China.

The Dalai Lama draws in the snow with his finger outside the White House after meeting with Pres. Obama earlier today. The meeting drew angry protests from China.

The president commended the Tibetan spiritual leader's commitment to non-violence and stated his support for the preservation of Tibet's identity and human rights.

After the meeting, the Dalai Lama told reporters he was very happy with the session; and that Mr. Obama was very much supportive. The exiled leader says he admires the U.S. as a champion of freedom and talked about promoting religious harmony and human value.

Here's the problem: China warned ahead of time that the meeting would damage relations with the U.S. The Chinese view the Dalai Lama as a separatist who wants to overthrow Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama insists that's not true. And - critics are after the president for not meeting with him last fall when he came to Washington.

All of which is why the White House kept today's meeting very low key - it wasn't held in the Oval Office where presidents usually meet with world leaders, and there were no reporters allowed. The White House only released a single photo.

Meanwhile it might not be the best time to tick off the Chinese. Relations are already strained between the two countries due to trade disputes, a recent U.S. arm sales deal for Taiwan, and a censorship disagreement over Google. Not to mention the fact that the Chinese hold a staggering amount of U.S. debt - hundreds of billions of dollars worth.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time for the U.S. to irritate China by meeting with the Dalai Lama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China
February 23rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

What if China stops buying U.S. debt?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on China to keep buying U.S. debt.

What if China stops buying U.S. debt?

Secretary Clinton urged the Chinese government to continue buying U.S. debt.

During her first overseas trip as the country's top diplomat, Clinton asked Beijing to keep purchasing U.S.Treasury bonds despite our deteriorating economic condition. She also talked about the importance of the administration's economic stimulus package. Clinton says because our economies are so intertwined, it could hurt China if the U.S. couldn't finance the nearly $790 billion stimulus plan.

"We are in the same boat. Thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction, toward landfall," said Clinton. She added that China and the United States "are truly going to rise or fall together."

But this call from the Obama administration shows just how the balance of power is shifting between the U.S. and China. If the Chinese decided to stop buying our debt, or if they decide tomorrow to cash out the more than $1 trillion they already own, we'd be in deep trouble.

The Chinese Foreign Minister didn't promise to keep buying our Treasuries. Instead he said his government would buy the bonds if they continue to represent the best investment when it comes to value, low risk and liquidity.

Meanwhile, although Clinton made clear her support for human rights, she didn't take any meetings with high-profile dissidents. Perhaps now is not the time to tick off the Chinese government- when we're asking for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Here’s my question to you: What would happen if China suddenly stopped buying U.S. Treasury bonds?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China
March 25th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

What will it take for world to boycott Beijing Olympics?

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Nepalese policemen arrest a Tibetan monk protester in exile during an anti-Chinese demonstration in front of the consular section of the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu on March 25, 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a small but growing chorus of voices that's telling the Chinese government to knock it off.

Latest reports are Chinese police opened fire on hundreds of monks and nuns in an effort to quell demonstrations by Tibetans in parts of China. Witnesses say one monk and a farmer were killed and about a dozen people were wounded.

The government in exile of the Dalai Lama in India says the overall death toll has risen to 140; the Chinese government says it's lower. Of course, there's no way to verify these numbers because there's no such thing as a free press in China and foreign journalists are being barred from any areas where there has been unrest.

The president of the European Parliament has said European countries should not rule out threatening China with an Olympic boycott if violence continues in Tibet. Shooting monks and nuns is not a good way to make friends in the global community.

So far, the only response from President Bush is that he plans to attend the opening ceremonies in Beijing, saying the Olympics are about the athletes and not about politics.

When it comes to the United States, the politics are: we are in debt to China up to our eyeballs. Money borrowed to finance President Bush's war in Iraq and the stimulus package. And it might be hard to keep borrowing billions from the Chinese if the U.S. called them out for being nothing more than barbaric savages in their treatment of one of the most peaceful people on earth, the Tibetans.

Here’s my question to you: How bad does China's crackdown on Tibet have to get for the world to boycott the Olympics?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Beijing Olympics • China • Tibet
March 17th, 2008
05:45 PM ET

Boycotting the Olympics because of China’s crackdown on Tibet?

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A burning car sits on a street in the Tibetan capital Lhasa after violent protests broke out on March 14, 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

China has been hoping to boost its image in the eyes of the world as it gets ready to host the Summer Olympics in Beijing, but the Chinese government's crackdown on protesters in Tibet is not helping.

What began a week ago as mostly peaceful protests by monks has spiraled into violent clashes, with Tibetans attacking the Chinese and burning their businesses. The Chinese government is now vowing to protect its territory and issued a midnight deadline that's now passed for protesters to either surrender or face harsh consequences.

There are reports of Chinese authorities parading handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in the capital of Lhasa. Chinese police are going house-to-house checking id cards and residence permits. The Chinese government puts the death toll at 16, with dozens injured. But the Dalai Lama's exiled government says 80 people have been killed.

Meanwhile, the protests that started in Tibet have spilled into three neighboring provinces and even to Beijing. And sympathy protests are also going on around the world.

China insists the violence won't harm the upcoming Olympic games. The U.S. has called on China to show restraint.

However, it’s getting support from who else but Russia – another beacon of human rights. The Russian government says it hopes China will take "all necessary measures to stop illegal actions." It adds that any efforts to boycott the Olympics are "unacceptable."

Olympic officials also say they are opposed to a boycott because of the violence in Tibet.

Here’s my question to you: Should countries boycott the Olympic Games in light of China's crackdown on protesters in Tibet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Beijing Olympics • China • Tibet