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China Rattles Sword in Wake of Johnson’s Economic Threats

China is entirely responsible for ratcheting up China-U.S. tensions. Shooting missiles over Taiwan, flying fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone—how does any of that compare to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a few colleagues visiting Taiwan and talking with officials whom South Dakota’s Legislature has long recognized as partners in democracy and free trade?

But if right-wingers want to blame Americans for China’s military provocations, maybe they should go after Congressman Dusty Johnson for advocating kicking China in the economic chops by restricting their access to the American free market:

“I understand this is a global economy and, in general, when international companies invest in America, it could be good for the American worker, it could be good for prosperity,” Johnson said in his opening remarks. “If Toyota wants to build a car manufacturing facility in Tennessee, hire 1,000 workers at good wages, that enriches America. I feel pretty differently when it’s the Chinese Communist Party seeking to gain more control over our food or health care supply chains” [Siandhara Bonnet, “Johnson Emphasizes China, US Economy During Town Hall,” Rapid City Journal, updated 2022.08.04].

Throw in Governor Kristi Noem’s attack on Chinese involvement in U.S. agriculture, and you might think South Dakota’s Republican leaders are the primary provokers of China’s wrath.


  1. 96Tears 2022-08-07 09:44

    Funny how China is portrayed when they’re being painted as a good guy or the bad guy. South Dakota Republicans had their pants down and keesters propped up to receive millions in EB-5 money from Chinese investors when they were running a grifting scheme under the Mike Rounds administration. By golly, them thar investors were the pride of capitalistic intrigue!

    But when it’s advantageous to label the red bastards “the Chinese Communist Party” as our 95-pounds-soaking-wet boy Congressman does, well them thar China dudes are somethin’ to throw a fright into ya!

    Going back to Karl Mundt, South Dakota Republicans have maintained a slap-stick cartoonish world view that is too easily shared by the simple minds of the party’s membership. Friend or foe seems tied to whose pockets are getting filled at the moment. State motto should be changed to ‘WE CAN BE BOUGHT.’

  2. Donald Pay 2022-08-07 14:33

    OK, so is it Chinese companies or the Chinese government that Dusty is squawking about? And exactly which Chinese governments is he talking about?

    Chinese governments (local, provincial or state) sometimes have a stake in companies, although often it is not a major or controlling stake. Smithfield, for example is now owned by a company that has undergone quite a change over its existence, and even since it was bought by the Shaunghui Group in 2013. That group was originally a sort of cooperative set up by a municipal government in Luohe, then grew enough that it was partly privatized. International investors became involved as the company surged in China and it developed an international business. By this time the company had a number of subsidiaries, none government-owned. The original government subsidiary, now struggling, sold out totally to Goldman Sacs and CDH Investments, two international investment firms, one based in the US and the other in China. That deal sparked concern by some in China that Chinese investors were selling off Chinese assets too cheaply. The company turned around quickly and soon Goldman Sacs sold off its share to CDH. Less than a decade later Shuanghui was buying out Smithfield. Since then Shuagnhui changed its name to WH Group.

    Is there Chinese Government investment in WH Group? Probably, as there may be investment by the the SD Retirement System and other SD money in Smithfield or other Chinese companies. Do the Chi Coms have some control over WH Group? It would be very limited, if any. The main concern of the Chi Coms would be food security and food safety. They are not interested in flooding the US market with China meat.

    When the Smithfield deal was announced my daughter wrote two articles about it for Modern Farmer, linked below:

  3. Arlo Blundt 2022-08-07 14:56

    Donald..Uncle Xi and his boys keep a watchful eye on all things Chinese…Companies may be 51% in private hands but various institutions, particularly the Chinese military always get their cut. It is one way Xi maintains total control of the economy.

  4. John 2022-08-07 18:07

    China and Russia are has beens. They know it. That makes them desperate and dangerous.
    Why? For both it’s imploding demographics they failed to “fix” their demographics 30-40 years ago. (Which is why Russia grabbed about a million Ukrainians for forced resettlement in Russia. It’s an old method used by the Russians throughout the 20th Century.) For China, it’s the most resource dependent and vulnerable nation on earth. Two submarines in the Indian Ocean could cut China’s oil from the Persian Gulf and China would implode within a year. China does not have a blue water navy. The last time China went to war was 1979 and that didn’t go well.
    For Russia, it’s their oil harvested through the permafrost. Once the oil stops flowing, water seeps in and the pipes burst. That last occurred in 1992 with the implosion of the Soviet Union. It required western companies and 30 years to repair. It will begin occurring again this winter. Russia also gave up the funding they receive from being the world’s leading supplier of fertilizers, in addition to wheat.

    Hear it from globalist, Peter Zeihan in his talk to the Iowa Pork Industry. No kidding. The intro and microphone & slide advancer battery changes are rough.

    On the other hand . . . the “arsenal of democracy” may not be up to the task of defeating Russia through a proxy.

  5. Donald Pay 2022-08-07 21:31

    Arlo, the military getting its cut sounds familiar. Oh, that happens here, too.

  6. jerry 2022-08-08 04:13

    It does cost a lot to fund a strong military. There are a whole lot of mouths to feed, vehicles to maintain that wear parts out. The list goes on. You should’ve signed on the dotted line to see how much is needed to keep troops in the field. One grunt takes at least 30 remf’s working to keep us in the field. That ain’t counting the rest of the logistics for the other branches that provide air support, etc.

    Russia is finding out what happens when you screw around with the supply lines….you die. Always remember that Vietnam kicked China’s butt in their little misunderstanding, big time. China is just trying to bluff it’s way into the lucrative sea lanes that also involve Taiwan’s location. Truth is, I don’t think China gives a rat’s behind about Taiwan, they just want the chips and the sea lane.

    Meanwhile, when are we gonna get serious about those chips? Not Doritos either.

  7. Mark Wolski 2022-08-08 04:32

    To be uninformed is to be happy.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-08 08:58

    Donald, great articles on Smithfield from the expert in your family. The key line: “fears about a Chinese takeover of our food system are overblown.” Every one of the producers the younger Pay interviewed said Chinese entry into the American market is a good thing. None expressed fears about U.S. food security.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-08 08:59

    And 96 duly reminds us that the Daugaard Administration, for which Dusty worked, absolutely loved Chinese investment in our CAFOs and processing plants via the EB-5 investment program… until the people Mike Rounds let privatize the scheme blew it up in scandal.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-08-21 21:13

    The Saudi royal family owns Dan Lederman lock stock and chock a block so how that not an inherent conflict of interest as Howdy Doody Dusty drafts legislation to exclude foreign investment in South Dakota ag land?

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