ByteDance and TikTok

Recall that TikTok, a social medium heavily favored by our children, is wholly owned by ByteDance. Recall further, that ByteDance is domiciled inside the Peoples Republic of China. Finally, recall that the PRC’s 2017 national security law requires every PRC-domiciled company to collect and deliver to that nation’s intelligence community any information that community requests. A bonus memory: TikTok’s executive team has been at pains to insist that, in the United States, they operate independently of all of that.

Against that backdrop, there’s this:

Wrong Emphasis

The lede says it all.

The Biden administration and its European allies are laying plans for long-term military assistance to Ukraine to ensure Russia won’t be able to win on the battlefield and persuade the Kremlin that Western support for Kyiv won’t waver.

There’s no interest in the Biden administration or those European allies that are safely removed from the Russian border, insulated as they are (they think) by the eastern European nations who directly face the barbarian threat, to provide the prompt and extensive aid that Ukraine needs actually to win on the battlefield.

“Let Ukraine Direct Its Own Counteroffensive”

US Army General Jack Keane (ret), once Army Vice Chief of Staff and current Institute for the Study of War Chairman, thinks US military personnel criticizing the way Ukraine is conducting its offensive should (my paraphrase) sit down and shut up.

Keane’s characterization of those sideline inhabitants’ behavior, chirping from the sidelines, is being generous. Whatever their own combat experience, if any, it has no relevance to the realized combat environment the Ukrainians are facing with the Russian up-armored barbarians.

Achieving Energy Security

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thinks it would be good for our energy security were we to eliminate the 60% of our oil-centered energy that we import and switching over to 100% clean electricity by 2035.

It’s true that wiping out that 60% of our oil imports would help our energy security, but only if it’s done right. We shouldn’t be importing any energy, much less from enemy nations or from nations vulnerable to enemy nations. The right way to eliminate those imports is to release our own oil—and natural gas and coal, come to that—producers to produce from our own, domestic, hydrocarbon-based sources. It’s highly important, too, to get the regulators out of the way of our producers’ ability to produce nuclear power. Sadly, though, Granholm—Energy Secretary Granholm, mind you—seems unable even to say the words “nuclear power,” or at least she never does say them.


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (D) is headed to the People’s Republic of China at the end of this month, ostensibly in an effort to stabilize rocky US-PRC relations.

The long-expected visit is aimed at deepening communications with Beijing, the department said.


Raimondo will be the latest administration official to visit China since President Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia last year.

This is a serious foreign policy mistake. The PRC is, as some pundits euphemize, an adversary. I’ll be blunt: the PRC is an enemy nation.

A Military Exercise

The United States, Japan, and Australia are conducting joint naval exercises in the South China Sea this week. The core of the flotilla conducting the exercise is the American aircraft carrier USS America, Japan’s helicopter carrier JS Izumo, and Australia’s helicopter carrier HMAS Canberra.

President Joe Biden (D) had a joint statement released from Camp David, where the leaders of US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea were meeting last week that said, in part,

Do your own Work

As the US begins, however tentatively, to start severing scientific ties with the People’s Republic of China, some American scientists are manufacturing an alarm and sounding off about it.

China has built itself into a powerful engine of scientific discovery in recent decades, partly with American help, and many in Washington fear that China could gain a security and military advantage unless the US takes decisive steps to cut off cooperation in scientific research.
Many scientists warn, however, that Washington would be severing ties as China is making its greatest contributions to scientific advancements, and cutting it off risks slowing American progress in critical areas such as biotechnology, clean energy, and telecommunications.

Go Ahead On

IBM was interested in buying the Israeli chip maker, Tower Semiconductor, and the acquisition might have raised antitrust concerns in Israel, the US, the EU, and elsewhere around the world. Each of those antitrust concerns, if acted on, would have had effect only inside the nation raising the concern, however, making the matter purely a business decision whether to go through with the merger and simply not do business in the objection nation. Nobody objected, though, except the People’s Republic of China.

The PRC’s State Administration for Market Regulation balked and withheld approval, so IBM meekly quit the deal altogether, apparently in order to appease the PRC and preserve—IBM hoped—its other business concerns there.

Chip Manufacturing

The Biden administration is bent on bringing computer chip manufacturing back into the United States. On its face, that would seem beneficial. However, the administration team he’s formed to oversee the matter and its $39 billion of taxpayer dollars allocated to the program is populated with

investment bankers, private-equity investors, and management consultants.

And apparently no chip engineers or anyone familiar with supplying chip factories.

Uh, huh.

The Manhattan Project and the crash program to develop treatments for the Wuhan Virus were populated, strongly preferentially, with experts in the field, and they just as strongly deemphasized the moneybags experts.

Biden’s Tightrope

That’s what the editors over on The Wall Street Journal calls President Joe Biden’s (D) move to bar US investments in certain People’s Republic of China technologies and enterprises.

President Biden’s executive order on Wednesday restricting US investment in Chinese military technologies tries to balance national security and business interests. The problem is that Beijing doesn’t distinguish between the two, which is why business risk in China is rising.