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What is China Doing?

Washington, DC. Dec 12th, 2005 ---- One topic of conversation I get involved with on a daily basis is the looming Superpower status of China, and India. One staunch Republican and unswerving supporter of the policies of the Bush/Cheney Administration often points to China as a weak third world country who should do what Condeleezza Rice tells them to do. He believes that the $1 TRILLION debt we owe China for our excursions into economic madness is a conspiracy theory, put forward by Liberal Democrats to discredit the tax cuts. How could the USA possibly owe the Chinese so much? For what?

Today this news piece came over the wires:

China surpasses U.S. in global IT sales, report says
China sold more IT and communications gear than the U.S. in 2004

News Story by Nancy Gohring

DECEMBER 12, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - China surpassed the U.S. to become the world's No. 1 exporter of IT goods in 2004, according to a report released today by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

China exported $180 billion worth of information and communications technology (ICT) goods last year, including mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras, up from $123 billion in 2003. ICT exports from the U.S. grew at a slower rate, rising from $137 billion in 2003 to $149 billion in 2004, the OECD said.

The data also showed that the U.S. imports more ICT goods from China than from any other source. China supplied 27% of ICT imports to the U.S. in 2004, up from 10% in 2000.

Total U.S. worldwide trade, including imports and exports, remained higher than that of China. U.S. world trade reached $375 billion in 2004, compared with $301 billion in 2003. China’s imports and exports were worth $329 billion in 2004, compared with $234 billion the previous year.

Next year we will see another huge jump in Chinese exports, and see more layoffs and depressing numbers from the manufacturers here in the USA. The Black Hole of the US Auto Industry will probably begin asking for taxpayer handouts, to continue on it's blindfolded charge into obsolescence, joined by other technology based companies. Their MBA's will come up with new buzzwords, moving forward, that being said, with metrics, catchy phrases and collapsing infrastructure to maintain the American Dream for the big institutionalized investors. Then when they have sucked the lifeblood out of the US economy these international investors will move their assets to the Far East.

I did meet with some executives last week who pointed out that they were having the best of times, each expecting a six figure income on their W2's. They pointed to the benefits of downsizing and outsourcing. As regards to Competitive Intelligence on their global, national and local competitors, for supplies as well as markets, the majority were adamant, they had no use for "espionage". "It is inefficient use of corporate resources to spy on competitors", quoted one executive. "How can you measure the efficiency of an intelligence department, how do you define metrics, and we all know if it can't be measured it can't be managed!"

The concept firmly held by the majority of these executives was that China was a third world production center for cheap mass produced household goods. That they could produce more complex assemblies but only under the supervision of American managers. They had no firm numbers, but unlike their insistence of metrics for competitive intelligence, it appeared that their beliefs for the global marketplace was based on like minded opinions between plays, watching Monday night football.

Later a couple did come over and ask how they could create a small pilot OSINT department to research the possibilities of using Open Source Intelligence for marketing, product development and sourcing of components. They had been trying to find a convenient source without having to become entangled in the tentacles of the big consultancy firms. The problem is that the corporate intelligence community has not been very forthcoming with welcoming new, unsure and cautious managers into it's fold. Instead the majority of Competitive Intelligence and OSINT companies frighten away the cautious.

It's time to start a big push to show the benefits of OSINT to every company in the USA and Europe, before we all have to learn Chinese. And no Bubba OSINT isn't "espionage". It's connecting the dots, which is what successful business and military leaders have done since Sun Tsu. It was only in the Cold War that the rules were changed. It's time to change them back.

Even the CIA is trying to get into OSINT. What is interesting is that most of the money to fund the CIA OSINT initiative has been borrowed from the Chinese!

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