Opinion: 'Death by China' or uncovered hostility toward China?
Updated 15:42, 11-Jul-2018
By Kong Qingjiang
["china","north america"]
Editor's note: Kong Qingjiang is the dean of the School of International Law at the China University of Political Science and Law. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
US President Donald Trump's arguments on his trade provocations against China, America’s allies and neighbors, can be found in the book “Death by China.” The writer is Peter Navarro, an American economist who currently serves as the director of the White House National Trade Council.
After reading "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action" by Peter Navarro, what struck you most was probably that the author was not afraid to speculate on the Chinese with the greatest malice, I bet. A stunning title like Death by China is not the only factor that would instill in you a sense of uneasiness and compel you to think about the true intention of this book.
A further cursory look at the chapter headings in the contents would add to the uneasiness that arises from the bottom of your heart: Death by Chinese Poison, Death by Chinese Junk, Death to America’s Manufacturing Base, Death by Currency Manipulation, Death by Colonial Dragon, Death by Blue Water Navy, Death by Chinese Spy. In the author’s description, China is like "death," haunting the United States and the West as a whole.
He wrote, “unscrupulous Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding world markets with a range of bone-crushing, cancer-causing, flammable, poisonous, and otherwise lethal products, foods, and drugs.” He further wrote, “China’s perverse brand of Communist-style 'State Capitalism' has totally shredded the principles of both free markets and free trade… China’s state-backed 'national champions' have deployed a potent mix of mercantilist and protectionist weapons to pick off America’s industries job by job and one by one.”
Cover of "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon" by Peter Navarro

Cover of "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon" by Peter Navarro

In this regard, he coined the term “weapons of job destruction” to refer to “massive illegal export subsidies, the rampant counterfeiting of US intellectual property, pitifully lax environment protections, the pervasive use of slave labor” and “shamelessly manipulated currency.”
Enough! I don’t need to cite more. You will find that the author is innovative in inventing derogatory terms, which are often contrary to the common sense of economics, and the book is full of false and malicious accusations against China. Readers are led to believe that China is no more than a hell. Ironically, rarely can the reader find well-documented evidence in the book.
A book like this, full of illusionary masochism and groundless accusation, would have turned out to be that of a paranoid, rather than that of a professor of economics. No wonder the book failed to attract adequate attention of serious US economists and students of China long after it was published.
In China, in particular, nobody took the book seriously. Surprising to all, unfortunately, the author of this book became a close guest of the US president and later the director of the National Trade Council. What a world!
Of course, Navarro is not a paranoid. He is just hostile to the People’s Republic of China. In order to mobilize his ally, he had to portray a dark picture of China, create a dangerous world that China is associated with, and instill horror and hostility in his believers and those who might have never been to China and who understand China from selected media outlets rather from the real China.
The White House, Washington, DC /VCG Photo

The White House, Washington, DC /VCG Photo

This is why he exaggerated the environment problem in China, while keeping blind to the stringent environment policy and its achievement. That is why he deliberately criticized China’s “misuse of peace-keeping mission,” of which the international community has a high opinion. That is also why he blamed China for “exploiting” mineral resources in Africa, which in fact has helped boost the economic development of the African countries and alleviate the poverty of local people. We don’t need to cite more in this regard.
Navarro is egotistical. He is not a military expert. But he dared to talk about China's military buildup. He ridiculed all the China policy choices that Americans, who are either seasoned political elites or experienced businessmen, favored. He provided his countrymen and other Westerners with “a survival guide and an action plan.”
Look at what he wisely advised: “Avoid Death by Chinese Junk and Poison,” “Disarm China’s Weapons of Job Destruction,” “Drawing a hard line in the sand on Chinese espionage and Cyberwarfare.” Enough!
What we find is nothing but a book that says "ignore everything about China" and "stay alert against China." I don’t know if the advice from this wise man is more attractive to the ordinary US consumer than the reliable and cheaper Chinese goods. But I do doubt that the containment policy, if it's adopted, can inhibit the rise of China. 
As a matter of fact, even Navarro occasionally – amid his accusations against China – talked about China’s technological development in an obviously envious mood.
Harvard-trained Navarro is smart. He claims to be Chinese-friendly. In the end of the book, he lavishly praised “Chinese people from San Francisco and Toronto to Singapore and Taipei” for their success, setting a different tone from the theme of the book. Navarro did so in an apparent attempt to make his book more convincing to prospective readers and even Chinese readers. 
Unfortunately, no reasonable person, regardless of Chinese or American, would be misled to believe there exists another Navarro in him. As a matter of fact, before he came into the White House’s side hall, many had recognized his views as “misguided” and “dangerous.”