Sinomach, the Chinese national company that last year expressed an interest in developing a technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport, has been silent since then.
Officials of the China National Machinery Industry Corp. have not followed up to city and state leaders about the long-term proposal they made last year. But the city has had a number of inquiries from “conspiracy theorists” who have seen versions of my story that went viral on the Internet in the last month.
Adam Park said he has had calls from a number of people asking what the city’s position is on the proposal for a manufacturing and warehouse zone tied to the airport and future technology zone development. That phase one proposal had the most near term potential.
“We don’t have anything to react to,” Park said.
The latest interest in the 2010 story started with a May 13 cover story in the The New American , which is affiliated with the John Birch Society. The article, “China: The New Investment Savior,” by William F. Jasper, is an expanded rewrite of my story, adding many of themes that show up in the blog stories that have generated a flurry of e-mails and calls.
A year ago today I was at a reception in Beijing co-hosted by Republican Gov. Butch Otter and then-U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman promoting Idaho business and products to Chinese investors. Today Huntsman is running for the Republican nomination for President and Otter is preparing for another trade mission, this time to Mexico and South America.
China’s leader, Hu Jintao has visited the U.S. and relations between the two countries remains an enigma. But the fear of China’s influence and power has grown dramatically in the last year.
Early this year I visited Colima, Mexico, a large rural community only an hour from Mexico’s largest port on the Pacific, Manzanillo. Modelo was building a $1.5 billion brewery. The brewery will have a capacity to brew 30 million hectoliters of Corona and may employ as many as 5,000 people.
All of this is for export to Asia, the next big market. That will have a profound effect on what is grown in the region, its economy and its environment.
China’s markets and its bold entrepreneurial efforts have the potential to reshape the world like U.S. companies did in the 20th Century.
The political, cultural and environmental impacts will be dramatic. Read William Cronon’s “Nature’s Metropolis,” which analyzes how the needs and desires of Chicago entrepreneurs shaped the American West and steered its development in the 19th Century.
“However we draw the boundary between the abstraction called city and the abstraction called country, we must understand that all people, rural or urban, share with each other and with all other living and unliving things a single earthly home, which we identify as the abstraction we call nature,” Cronon, a University of Wisconsin historian wrote in the 1991 book.
No matter the risks, the opportunities or the implications, this shared reality can’t be ignored.