The relationship between the United States and China in recent years has been tumultuous. Although technically allies, tensions are high because of the amount of debt the U.S. owes China.
For this reason alone it would be difficult for any one state to try and work together with China.
Gov. Jerry Brown, however, is trying his best to befriend Chinese investors so that he can get a bullet train system built in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown and California need about $55 billion in order to get the system built.
The Times also states Brown has “vowed” to see this task done.
This is a ridiculous amount of money that would be needed to spend on a railroad system, but putting that fact aside, is it a good idea for Brown to get help from China to build something in his state?
The problem with getting that amount of money from Chinese investors would be the fact that the rail system could fail. If the system fails then these investors will not get their money back and will be looking to compensate that money that they lost. Once again the U.S. will be in trouble with China, only now on a much more local scale than our current debt crisis.
The only reason why China is even dealing with California and Brown is the fact that they are looking to the state to help them with their air pollution problem.
“California is perceived in China as a leader in cleaning up the environment without any ulterior motive, if these requests or demands come from Washington or Brussels, there’s some attitude in China that it’s some kind of effort to slow them down economically,” said Yunshi Wang, director of the China Center for Energy and Transportation at UC Davis, to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Associated Press, Brown has also “announced at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that China-based Zarsion Holdings Group will invest $1.5 billion in the 65-acre housing project on the Oakland waterfront, which has been in the works since Brown was mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007.”
Brown realizes that California has leverage that no one else in the country does. Much of China no longer trusts the U.S. because of the debt that the country owes them. This puts Brown in a very interesting position. Does this mean he should act on this and deal with a country that has a strained relationship with the rest of the U.S.?
This amount of money that is being used from China is dangerous for California. There are no guarantees that any of these projects will work, and if they don’t, the state will be in big trouble.
Furthermore, Brown should not have this kind of power where he is able to go to other countries and bargain with California’s taxpayer dollars. If these projects and investments fail, Brown won’t be the one who has to pay them back; Californians will have to bail him out with their own money.
These dealings with China are not something that was agreed upon by the state as a whole. There was no vote for whether we should be dealing with China or not. Therefore it isn’t right that Brown is attempting business deals with them. He is doing this because he wants to get his agenda finished. He is trying to push for his own projects so much that he is willing to undermine the people of California and start doing business deals of his own with foreign countries.
It would seem that this kind of business deal, even if the people were on board, would still be something that California should stay away from because of the relationship that the country has with China. When the country as a whole has a strained relationship with China, then one part of that country should not be dealing with them.
This state should be united together and needs to be on the same page. Brown needs to realize this and stay away from doing business with China.