Just Say No to Chinese Acquisitions of American Assets

China's recent acquisition of Michigan battery maker A123 represents yet another step in Beijing's well-orchestrated strategy to surpass the U.S. as both an economic and military power.
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FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, file photo, an A123 Systems Inc. high power Nanophospate Lithium Ion Cell for Hybrid Electric Vehicles battery is displayed in Livonia, Mich. Bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems Inc. on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, said it will sell most of its assets to the U.S. arm of Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. for $256.6 million. Wanxiang America Corp. won an auction conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, file photo, an A123 Systems Inc. high power Nanophospate Lithium Ion Cell for Hybrid Electric Vehicles battery is displayed in Livonia, Mich. Bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems Inc. on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, said it will sell most of its assets to the U.S. arm of Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. for $256.6 million. Wanxiang America Corp. won an auction conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

China's recent acquisition of Michigan battery maker A123 represents yet another step in Beijing's well-orchestrated strategy to surpass the U.S. as both an economic and military power. That's why the biggest mistake we can make is to look at this deal in isolation rather than as part of a broader Chinese government strategy to acquire U.S. technology, ship that technology to China, and create jobs for the Chinese.

In China's strategy to dominate the U.S., Beijing's typical MO is to acquire a company like A123, strip it of its technology, and then move most or all of the jobs to China. In this case, A123 has state of the art technology -- with the added turn of the screw that the development of this technology was partly financed by the American taxpayer. With this deal, this technology will now fall into Chinese hands.

History also instructs us that Chinese promises to keep jobs in America after acquiring a key piece of our industrial base are empty . A case in point is the acquisition of Texas helicopter maker Brantly International by Weifang Tianxiang Aviation Technology in 2009. All helicopter manufacturing was promptly moved from Coppell, Texas to Qingdao, China.

As China continues to acquire more and more of our industrial capacity, we have less and less of an ability to produce the jobs we need for our economy and the weapons systems we need for national defense. That's why we must look at each of these deals as pieces on a chessboard rather than in isolation.

In this chess game, we must understand that China is very different from virtually all other countries when it comes to acquiring American assets in two regards: First, we are competing against a country, not companies, aimed at economic dominance. Second, we are competing against a country that is engaged in a rapid military buildup aimed at military dominance.

The American people should be outraged at the selling of America to a country that does not have our best interests at heart. The White House and Congress needs to stop looking at China through a Panglossian lens and read the reports it is getting on a regular basis from the Pentagon and agencies like the U.S.-China Commission.

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