Obama’s inexplicable admiration for China’s infrastructure policy

The Weekly Standard, March 24, 2014

–Article by Ying Ma

President Obama likes to promote his domestic policy agenda by highlighting economic competition from China. In particular, he has repeatedly pointed to China’s massive infrastructure investments to tout his proposals for infrastructure spending in America.

Second thoughts about the unintended consequences of China’s infrastructure boom and a new reform agenda have figured prominently in Chinese leaders’ recent rhetoric and policy priorities, but the American president appears oblivious to China’s actual experience.

Read the entire article on the website of The Weekly Standard.


Let the Market Check Beijing’s Ambitions

PJ Media, April 4, 2013

–Article by Ying Ma

In the 21st century, China looks like it could buy the world. With over $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves, China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt. Its sovereign wealth fund owns minority stakes in prominent U.S. financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley and the Blackstone Group, and Chinese state-owned corporate behemoths span the globe, gobbling up assets and resources from Australia to Canada, from Southeast Asia to Latin America.

U.S. policymakers know well that Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) brings jobs and other benefits to America’s weak economy, but many are alarmed by the influx of businesses that seem to respond to Beijing’s edicts more than they do to market forces. China’’s international bad behavior, such as aggressive cyber attacks against Western firms and government agencies, only magnifies the dangers of doing business with China’s government-affiliated entities.

Nevertheless, U.S. policymakers should not mistake the national security threats that China poses for the economic omnipotence of Chinese firms. In a world of intense global competition, and frequent hyperventilation about America’’s impending decline, avoiding an inclination to overestimate or panic over the prowess of China’s state-funded endeavors may be difficult, but would also be sensible.

To read the entire article, please click HERE.

The Mother of All Solyndras

Weekly Standard, January 21, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 18

China’s solar power debacle

–Article by Ying Ma

When solar panel maker Solyndra declared bankruptcy in September 2011, the Obama administration defended its $535 million loan guarantee to the company by touting the need to compete with China. At a congressional hearing, Jonathan Silver, then executive director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, said, “[In 2010, China] alone provided more than $30 billion in credit to the country’s largest solar manufacturers through the government-controlled China Development Bank. That’s roughly 20 times larger than America’s investment in the same time period.”

Since then, China has shown the world that massive government subsidies are no guarantee of business success. Today, the solar industry worldwide is suffering from oversupply, weak demand, and depressed prices, and many of China’s solar manufacturers are fighting huge financial losses, debt, and bankruptcy. Not surprisingly, the Obama administration, which was eager to follow China down the path of spending big on clean energy, has had little to say about the lessons to be learned from the current disarray of China’s heavily subsidized solar industry.

Importing China’s Economic Model

Defining Ideas, March 22, 2012

–Article by Ying Ma

Since the financial crisis of 2008, leftwing politicians, pundits, and activists in America have been busy either fawning all over or despairing about China. Repeatedly, they have lauded Beijing’s ability to undertake grand projects far more quickly than Washington’s political gridlock would ever allow. From New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to trade unionist Andy Stern to President Barack Obama, prominent Americans on the political left cannot stop using the example of China to advocate the need to drastically increase the size of the U.S. government and spend big on liberal priorities.

Yet another group of Americans, one far less interested in transforming the United States into a European welfare state, have been no less gushing in their praise of Chinese authoritarian chic. This group consists of business executives who are far more familiar with the workings of the free market than they are with the dogma of liberal ideology, and are driven first and foremost by the profit motive than big-government worship. Their China enthusiasm, however flawed, sheds light on America’s economic weaknesses and deserves attention.

Continue reading “Importing China’s Economic Model”

Authoritarian Chic

The Weekly Standard, February 20, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 22

–Article by Ying Ma

“We have no plan” and “we are unable to act” have become common refrains among influential Americans who grumble about the decline of U.S. power in the 21st century. On both fronts, they lament, China is doing better. From President Barack Obama to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to trade union leader Andy Stern, prominent figures who favor a bigger government in America not only envy China’s state-directed grand plans and its one-party system’s ability to make quick decisions, they also accuse small-government adherents of blindly worshipping the free market, contributing to political polarization, and rejecting the reforms necessary to meet the grave challenges that America faces.

But many U.S. observers in the grip of Chinese authoritarian chic forget that China’s vast economic expansion resulted from the introduction of more economic freedom, not less. They also fail to understand that even after decades of reform, endemic state intervention continues to impose massive inefficiencies on the Chinese economy and prevent the realization of the market’s full potential. In short, China’s experience, both past and present, does not provide support for those who clamor for a more expansive government in the United States.

Continue reading “Authoritarian Chic”

Ying Ma Hosts Discussion on State Capitalism

Heartland Institute, January 24, 2012

Ying Ma interviews Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group, in a conversation about “The State vs. the Free Market.” Topics discussed include state capitalism, the assault on the free market in the United States and around the world, economic competition between America and China in the 21st century, and Bremmer’s most recent book, The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? The discussion is hosted by the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank based in Chicago, Illinois.

To listen to the podcast, click here. To read Ying Ma’s book review of The End of the Free Market, please click here.

Ying Ma Talks to America’s Morning News about China and Her Book

America’s Morning News, November 7, 2011

America’s Morning News, a nationally syndicated morning-drive radio news show, spoke to Ying Ma about the dark side of Chinese state capitalism and her book, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto. Hosted by John McCaslin and Dana Mills, the show airs live 6am – 9am EST on the Talk Radio Network and showcases investigative reporting, accountability journalism and live reporting from Washington, DC.

To listen to the interview, please click here. (Note: The discussion with Ying Ma begins at approximately minute 15:46 and ends at minute 21:00.)