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China’s trade imbalance: a threat to U.S. security?

Regarding all the complaints about America’s trade deficit with China (“Trade deficit drops sharply in October,” Dec. 13):

In plain language, America’s trade deficit with China means that we voluntarily buy more from the Chinese than the Chinese buy from us.

This situation is no more of a problem than is the fact that I buy more from supermarkets than supermarkets buy from me.

Now here’s a genuinely serious problem: Uncle Sam forces me to “buy” more from him than he buys from me. Like most taxpayers, I have a gigantic and growing trade deficit with Washington.

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Does my trade deficit with Washington justify my refusing to ship any more of my money to that town?

Donald J. Boudreaux

Chairman

Department of Economics

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George Mason University

Fairfax, Va.

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Regarding “A sinister look at China as an economic threat,” Business Bookshelf, Dec. 10:

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The review of Peter Navarro’s “The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Will Be Won” is a grossly inaccurate hatchet job reprinted from a British publication. This is a serious book by a well-know local author. He and your readers deserve a more balanced, more thoughtful review.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is at a record level and trending higher, largely because of official currency manipulation and other trade barriers created by the Chinese for that specific purpose.

China has been identified as a leading perpetrator of both economic and national security espionage against U.S. companies and government agencies.

China maintains the world’s largest standing army and is using Russian technology, possibly purchased with its burgeoning reserves of U.S. currency, to develop a variety of capabilities aimed at projecting offensive military power at considerable distances.

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The reviewer’s most telling premise is that U.S. concern over Islamic extremism is merely a boogeyman. According to this reviewer, China -- like Al Qaeda -- poses no threat to the U.S.

Having lost a number of former Wall Street colleagues on Sept. 11, 2001, I beg to differ. Al Qaeda is a clear and present danger today, and China has emerged as America’s greatest strategic competitor in the 21st century.

Matthew S. Lawson

Laguna Beach

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