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On Fox - China - Be Afraid, Be Very, Very Afraid

Reported by Donna - April 18, 2005

On Studio B with Shepard Smith today, he was going to a commercial break and speaking about the stories coming up after the break.

He said they were going to talk about the "fastest growing economy in the world" and he said, "it's nowhere near here." There were pictures of a Chinese automobile plant. Smith stated that a booming economy can be a "great thing" but can cause "plenty of other problems."

I thought, great, we're going to hear some news about our economy compared to China's. What you hear isn't always what you get.

When it came to the story about China being the "fastest growing economy in the world", Smith spoke with Michael O'Hanlon, a Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institute. O'Hanlon said that the problems in China (he had just returned from China) consisted of poor air quality, but their traffic in Beijing wasn't as bad as Washington, D.C.'s.

Smith then asked him what the biggest threat was. O'Hanlon said that economically, most American workers are concerned and they should be. That was it. This is where the conversation broke off. O'Hanlon went on to say that the biggest threat was security, a possible war between China and Taiwan. He said the Chinese look at Taiwan as the United States looked at it's southern states seceding from the Union during the Civil War. He further stated that in the event of a war between China and Taiwan, we (the U.S.) would most likely get involved.

He added that while he didn't see war coming in the next year, or certainly the next month, that "certainly, the fundemental makings are there if the wrong spark gets introduced into the system."

While there were a few banner messages, such as 'China's GDP growth for 2004 was 9.5%, China's GDP for 2004 was estimated at 1.64 trillion and China had a trade surplus with the U.S. of 162 billion in 2004, there was almost no talk about the economics of the situation from O'Hanlon.

Comment: In light of last weeks news about the U.S.'s trade deficit record, I thought we would hear more about the economics involved in this story. Smith seemed to want to speak about the economy of China and how it was booming, but O'Hanlon seemed to want to steer the conversation towards a possible war between China and Taiwan, that we, most likely, would get involved with. The moral of the story? China has a great economy (we don't), but they have bad air pollution from all of their economic growth and watch out - war may be on the horizon for the U.S. So U.S. workers? Don't worry about the economy, worry about war with China.

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