China: Next Stop, Superpower?

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This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: I have been telling you the last few nights that something — my spider senses are tingling — something is going on with China. Something just doesn't feel right to me. They're taking a run now at becoming a superpower. They're working with Brazil to stop using the dollar. They're divesting from the U.S. economy, slowly but surely.

You know what? Here's what it is: They're doing all the things that I would do if I were rooted in common sense and that was my business or my home, China was my home, and these were the other investments that I had been investing in the United States. I would do what they're doing right now — slowly but surely, just kind of distance yourself a little bit.

Now, 5 percent of their exports are linked to this country — 5 percent. And actually, they're showing much less interest in America and European retailers and car companies, in general, than they did even just in the last year. Instead, they're looking to undeveloped countries like Latin America, Africa. They're spending billions on natural resources like gold and oil.

Wait a minute. I thought we just learned that they were backing the electric car. Why the sudden interest in oil with everybody?

It seems like a lot of their flexibility comes from savings. They hang on to almost half of the money that comes into their economy while America saves 8 percent.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

John Bolton is here. He is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a FOX News contributor, author of "Surrender is Just an Option," and a man who just told me that what Ben Stein did is — this is bad luck?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: It is — to stick your chopsticks straight up and down like that. So, I've corrected, you're OK.

BECK: Did you learn that at the U.N.?

BOLTON: I did. And actually, I learned it at the State Department.


BECK: Really? Did they brief you on something like, don't ever do that?

BOLTON: Absolutely. That's critical.

BECK: OK. Tell me about China. We have several things going on. Australia is starting to up their military budgets — they're worried about China.

We have one of our Pacific commanders saying that, "Gosh, it looks like they're starting to war game against us." What's happening?

BOLTON: Well, I think in America, the predominant view of China is what they call the peaceful rise, that its economy is going, will continue to grow, surpassing ours fairly soon, but that's OK, it's benign and nothing to worry about. There is a radically different scenario which says the communist party is still the most important political force in China, and within the communist party, the People's Liberation Army is the most coherent force.

They are expanding their strategic nuclear capability. They are building a blue-water navy. They are doing a lot of things — purchasing resources around the world.

We don't really know what direction China is going to take, peaceful rise, more militaristic, but it requires a lot of time and attention by the president to make sure that we do what we can to make it consistent with our interests. We're not seeing that at the moment.

BECK: Do you know anything about Jon Huntsman, Jr.?

BOLTON: I have met him from time to time in different Republican governments. And, you know, I think he's going to get through the Senate fairly quickly.

BECK: I know his father quite well and think he's a real man of honor and integrity. But I don't know the governor of Utah at all. I assume that, you know, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

BOLTON: He was quite a good ambassador to Singapore. He was a successful deputy U.S. trade representative and I think is a solid choice.

BECK: Would you — I mean, they just entered into contracts with Venezuela, Brazil and they're building a pipeline with Russia — China is. They're not getting anywhere close to getting off of oil. This is...

BOLTON: Of course not.

BECK: This is a sham against us.

BOLTON: The Chinese have huge and growing energy demands. They've talked about building 50 nuclear reactors in the next 20 years.

BECK: Oh, geez.

BOLTON: They're purchasing oil and natural gas assets around the world. Why does China fly cover for Iran for its nuclear weapons program? Because they want access to oil and natural gas. Why does China defend the government of the Sudan, charged with genocide in Darfur? Because the government of the Sudan has control of the oil and natural gas leases.

Chinese purchasing agents are all over Latin America and Africa, buying raw materials for their expanding economy. They, at least, are planning way ahead.

BECK: You know, I am — have you read the book, "Lords of Finance"?

BOLTON: I have not.

BECK: OK. I've been reading "Lords of Finance," and you know what's really frightening, it's about who ran the country or the world economically, you know, right around the time of the First World War — and I am seeing this. We are — China is acting like we acted back in the First World War, where we were just buying up all the debt. We were getting all the gold. We were accumulating wealth — real wealth — and we now are acting more like Germany was where we're just printing money.

BOLTON: We're certainly not acting like the United States.

BECK: Yes.

BOLTON: You know, they put — they put to the secretary of the treasury the question: What do you think of the proposal by the governor of the Central Bank of China to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency? His first answer — un-briefed, unscripted, showing what he really thinks — is, "Well, that's an idea we should take a look at."

BECK: Yes.

BOLTON: Until later, the Treasury Department pulled him back.

I think the real danger, though, is the president's long-range budget. We already have over $6 trillion of debt under his budget. In 10 years, it will go to nearly $18 trillion, tripling the national debt. It will inflate our currency. It will diminish the value of the dollar.

No wonder China wants to get out of the dollar. Why should they hold a currency that's going to be devalued?

BECK: Let me — let me — may I have one more minute with the ambassador here for a second?


BECK: I just want to ask you this. Last night, I had Michael Scheuer from the CIA, formerly from the CIA, and he said something that I just thought was amazing. He said, "What is our strategic interest in Israel? Why should we lift a finger to help Israel?"

How would you answer that?

BOLTON: Because it is a critical ally in a very unstable region. It's a country that strongly supports us. It's democratic. It's a position of stability and strength in a region that's very unstable.

BECK: Any doubt that Ahmadinejad means what he says when he says, "I will wipe every Jew out of Israel"?

BOLTON: If he had the chance — this is what strategic analysis is based on: capabilities and intention. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad has stated their intentions.

BECK: How do you know they're not just playing politics? Because that's what people say, "Oh, he's just saying that."

BOLTON: Yes. And I'm sure that the cognoscente in the 1930s were saying, oh, that "Mein Kampf," that's just for domestic political consumption.

BECK: Yes. Exactly right, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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