Choose a public forum topic.
Read before accepting. Failure to adhere to these rules results in a complete forfeit, with 7 points being awarded to the con side.
I'm interested in doing a debate on any topic which I have debated before. I ask that my opponent choose the topic, and begin arguing in the next round. Regardless of which topic is chosen, I will be con. Below is the list of topics, from the National Forensic League (slightly edited for clarity), that I have debated. Pro must choose one, and only one, of these topics.
Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.
Resolved: On balance, current income disparities in the United States threaten democratic ideals.
Resolved: In the United States, the costs of a college education outweigh the benefits.
Resolved: Birthright citizenship should be abolished in the United States.
Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.
Resolved: The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.
Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.
Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
Rules (similar to public forum)
Neither side may present a plan. As such, "We should reform the immigration system in X way rather than abolishing birthright citizenship," "We should suspend aid to Pakistan, and then implement X, Y, and Z before giving it back," or anything along those lines is not allowed.
Pro must argue first, presenting the choice of topic and supporting arguments in round 1. To make sure rounds remain even, pro will not post anything pertaining to the debate in round 4.
Definitions are open for debate.
No semantics, lawyering, trolling, etc.
No new arguments in the final round.
The rules/topics I set up are fairly specific, but you can post in the comments if you are interested in debating without certain rules.
I will put asterisks next to my contentions to help reading.
I affirm the resolution "Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States."
In my argument, I will show the many benefits of China to the United States which clearly outweigh any adverse effects.
*Contention 1: The rise of China is beneficial to the foreign relations and national security of the United States.
Asian powers are actively shifting arrangements due to mutual competition and suspicions among each other. They used to be in careful balance, but with the rise of China, the other powers are becoming unbalanced. According to Robert Sutter, a fellow at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (2005), this imbalance causes powers like Japan, Russia, and India to align themselves more with other world powers. In this case, the world power is and was the United States. This is further supported by the recent behavior of these 3 countries.
But this doesn't only happen with these countries. China itself is also looking to be a very valuable ally to the United States. Recently, there has been a pattern clearly showing China's willingness to work with the US.
Last March, China cut about 20% of oil purchases from Iran, withdrew some support from American enemy Syria, and worked with the Obama administration in response to international scrutiny.
Yet, not only will the rise of China give the US a stronger global stance with strong allies, it will also helps its national security. A quote from Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to North Korea's ambassador on February 12 was that Beijing was "strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed" to North Korea's nuclear test, showing that with rise of China would help neutralize very dangerous threats like North Korea. China is North Korea's largest ally, which amplifies the rising support for American prospects. China has a voice with North Korea that the US lacks.
Additionally, according to senior fellow of the CATO institute Doug Bandow (July 1, 2009), only Beijing has the clout to influence North Korea due to it providing much of North Korea's resources and food. This fact, combined with China's unhappiness at the nuclear testing could be the only way to stop North Korea from utilizing nuclear weapons.
Thus, the rise of China gives the United States a stronger foreign relations position and *protects* American lives.
*Contention 2: The rise of China is economically beneficial to the United States.
According to Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies,
"China's engagement in the global economy is good for people of China, good for Americans, and good for the world. While the critics of trade with China mistakenly focus on the alleged harm it causes, they tend to overlook the benefits."
A large portion of these benefits refer to the huge domestic demand that China has to help stimulate economies and this has been proven to help the United States.
The U.S.-China trade reached $456.8 billion in 2010; 14.3% of the U.S. foreign trade. U.S. exports to mainland China reached $118.5 billion; 9.3% of the U.S. total exports according to the US.
Griswold also stated: "Since 2000, U.S. exports of goods to China have increased by 158 percent, from $16.2 billion to $41.8 billion in 2005."
And this number is still growing. In a quote from Hu Jintao, president of China in 2011, China will "provide important opportunities for countries in Asia and the rest of the world to increase exports to China." as well as "implement the strategy of boosting domestic demand, especially consumer demand."
Additionally, America's debt to China makes China extremely invested into the American economy, as they want the American economy to do well so they can pay back the debt. With the rise of China, the United States will undoubtedly also profit.
Thus, China has a large stake in the United States and is an amazing opportunity for the American economy to once again flourish, and thus the rise of China is definitely in the interests of America.
*Contention 3: The technological rise of China provides benefits to all of society.
Just how the invention of the computer revolutionized the world, the technological advances of China would help all of society. The US's invention of the computer revolutionized the world, bringing about the Internet. China's technological rise could potentially be even more useful, working with environmentally friendly alternatives. There is a very high potential for extremely beneficial technologies developing that could serve to revolutionize energy issues and practices.
Similar to the Space Race with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the rise of China provides a competitor to the US. During the space race, many satellites, rockets, and space equipment were produced to keep up with the USSR. If China starts to create technological advancements that rival those of the United States, the United States can retaliate, leading to better inventions for all of society.
For example, according to Dr. David Caploe, Chief Political Economist, China was set to overtake American in green research back in 2010. He says: "On the other side of Xi'an from Applied Materials sits Thermal Power Research Institute, China's world-leading laboratory on cleaner coal. The company has just licensed its latest design to Future Fuels in the United States."
Another example is in cancer research.
According to Dr. Charles M. Balch (Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for nearly 6 years), "The Chinese have made huge investments, at both the government and private-sector levels, in support of biomedical research in China."
There are so many more revolutionary research practices in China that could help save lives or solve world problems, helping everyone. China is a leader in many of these areas of research, and thus the rise of China would help us solve these world problems, not only helping Americans, but the entire world.
For these three reasons I urge a pro ballot.
I look forward to my opponent's response.
Apologies for a slightly rushed round - our national qualifying tournament is tomorrow. I'd like to briefly note that my opponent did properly cite any of his sources. I'm fine with this. I will be doing the same, although all warrants used are available upon request. Should my opponent request a source, challenge evidence, or request that we begin formal citations, I will be happy to oblige.
The resolution asks us to analyze the rise of China "on balance". While China undoubtedly provides benefits to the United States, these benefits are certainly outweighed by the extensive harms of declining world hegemony, a loss of economic competitiveness, and a decrease in world stability. Conveniently, these arguments line up well with my opponent's contentions
Evan Ellis, of the National Defense University, explains that a combination of economic, cultural, and institutional ties from China have contributed to an erosion of the U.S. global strategic position. As China rises, and its extensive ties in foreign relations continue to expand, the nation gains what's known as "soft power." Ellis continues, and explains the harm of Chinese soft power, stating that as it expands, governments are more likely to orient themselves in ways that benefit China, rather than the United States. This presents a dual-harm to U.S. interests.
First, it harms resource security. As China develops, the country requires an increasingly large amount of oil for new industries. Eduardo Abisellan, of the Brookings Institution, finds that this has led China to develop increased economic ties with a variety of new regions, including the Middle East and Africa. These economic ties ensure that China has increased leverage over future oil exports. Over the long term, as supplies dwindle, and economic influence becomes increasingly important, China will possess a distinct advantage over the United States, which will be unable to leverage any major influence in regions dominated by Chinese investment. A more extensive link to U.S. interests is unnecessary, but will be stated regardless: failure to maintain access to oil results in a massive economic collapse, preventing the U.S. from exerting economic hegemony, as well as directly affecting millions of U.S. citizens.
Second, it prevents power projection. In countries through the Middle East and South Asia, military bases are necessary to project U.S. global power, thereby preventing Iranian or North Korean adventurism. Should the United States lose access to these vital bases, these nations will have be free to act as they please. Unfortunately, China's rising influence in regions such as Pakistan cause this exact scenario to occur. As China's influence expands, countries are more likely to move away from the strained United States relationship and towards a Chinese alliance. Often times, since these countries tend to be on pretty bad terms with the United States, this is accompanied by an expulsion of U.S. intelligence operatives, and the request for removal of military bases. Thus, China's rising influence prevents the U.S. from exerting freedom of action on the behalf of its national security interests.
China's economic relations with Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea promote global instability. As the Economist explains, China is now Iran's largest trading partner, investing billions of dollars into the country's infrastructure. A similar picture is painted for North Korea, with the Council on Foreign Relations finding that China has increased trade with the country over the past few years. Despite public statements to the contrary, China strongly supports the nuclear programs of these countries, and ensures that they continue operating. Indeed, China's initial advocacy and sharing of nuclear weapons was the prime reason for initial advancements in the nuclear programs of numerous pariah states.
Thus, China harms U.S. interests by propping up these pariah states, thereby spreading instability. As China continues to develop, and these relations continue, the likelihood of conflict between pariah states and their rivals, such as Israel for Iran and every damn country in the world for North Korea. This initial instability prevents the U.S. maintaining, and operating in, a stable world system. Upon actual possession of nuclear weapons, the risk of North Korean or Iranian adventurism, or even direct attack, is greatly increased, further destabilizing the surrounding region and potential creating world-ending conflict.
The Chinese substantially harm U.S. economic interests in a few crucial ways.
First, the growing trade deficit costs jobs. While my opponent analyzes the export side of our trade relationship, he fails to look at the broader picture. When analyzing exports and imports, the United States is in a substantial, and growing, trade deficit. Robert Scott, of the Economic Policy Institute, notes that the trade deficit has eliminated or displaces more than 2.7 million U.S. jobs over the past 10 years. More importantly, he notes that competition with Chinese workers and exports has reduced the wages and bargaining power of nearly 70 percent of the U.S. workforce, or about 100 million workers.
Second, China steals intellectual property. Ed Gerwin and Ryan McConaghy, of the Bernand L. Schwartz Initiative on American Economic Policy, finds that 99% of China's music, and 78% of its pc software is pirated. In fact, China's own estimates place between 15 to 20% of all products made in the country to be counterfeit. The U.S. International Trade Commission finds that, if China were to protect IP at levels comparable to the United States, exports to the country would increase by 107 billion, and the economy would add over 2.1 million jobs. However, the more important harm is the long term decline in innovation. As Derek Scissors, of the Heritage Foundation, explains, IPR is strongly linked to a country's ability to innovate. When China ignores our intellectual property rights, innovation falls. This is crucial because America's comparative advantage is in innovation, particularly technology goods. Thus, China's development both directly effects the U.S. economy, as well as harms the overall trade standing of the United States.
Third, and finally, China hoards vast amounts of savings, severely depressing interest rates in the United States. Helen Mees, of Foreignpolicy magazine, explains that this prevented major economic growth at the start of the millennium, and instead led to the housing bubble in 2008, which in turn caused a severe economic recession. In fact, Mees continues that these depressed interest rates were a major, although not the only, factor in the worldwide economic downturn. Thus, as China continues to rise, and the amount of savings increase, the already massive harms posed to the United States are compounded on a global scale.
Some direct contrast can be seen already between my case and my opponents. However, as is the usual in public forum, I will until the next round to actually attack his case.
I'd like to thank my opponent for his response, and would like to now give a rebuttal speech.
I will first rebut each of my opponent's contentions and then reaffirm my own points.
In his second subpoint, my opponent says that the foreign relations with the United States would suffer from the rise of China, but he once again fails to show a proper correlation. He assumes that with better foreign relations with China, there will be worse foreign relations with America. However, there is no "set total" for foreign relations. In fact, the rise of China has only helped US foreign relations. As I will restate, "According to Robert Sutter, a fellow at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (2005), this imbalance causes powers like Japan, Russia, and India to align themselves more with other world powers." This clearly shows that with the rise of China, our influence in the area will actually increase because other powers will want to balance China's rise out by allying with another power: the United States. He does not address any of these 3 countries, but instead addresses countries like North Korea and Iran. It was not in the interests of the United States to ally with these unstable countries anyway, and yet the rise of China will help us in our foreign relations with countries that matter.
We both agree that nuclear weapons in enemy countries would definitely pose a harm to the United States. However, what my opponent once again fails to show is a correlation.
My opponent impies things directly against the facts. He paints a picture of China funding North Korea's nuclear program, where in reality, China does *nothing* of the sort. Within the last month, we have already seen that China condones North Korea's nuclear program. In a quote from Yang Jiechi, China's Foreign Minister, China was "strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed" North Korea's nuclear test. In addition, Hong Lei, China"s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, called for restraint from all parties involved with North Korea"s statement of conducting "a higher-level nuclear test" just this January.
As to Iran and Pakistan, China is not and has not been shown to fund terrorist groups. In fact, the money they spend there is to counter terrorism, which is a benefit for the United States national security.
In his first subpoint, he says that the US is outsourcing many jobs which is bad for the US economy. However, there are two main points that show that this is not so. First, many of the jobs that are outsourced are so extremely below the minumum wage of the United States that they would never be likely to be in the United States anyway. Secondly, we need to look at the reason that jobs are outsourced in the first place. Companies decide to outsource jobs because they can make a profit. So the outsourcing of our jobs helps American companies prosper, which in turn creates more jobs in the future and reduces prices on our products. Most of the jobs shipped overseas would not even be possible as jobs in the United States and thus wouldn't help anyway.
In his second subpoint, he talks about the lack of intellectual property laws hurting innovation and costing jobs. However, he once again fails to show a proper correlation! In fact, with the rise of China, we expect to see better living conditions for the citizens and thus better jobs. Along with this, China will likely implement stricter intellectual property laws in order to insure success as a country. Then, the rise of China would have helped us by preventing the theft of American innovation and jobs because they can begin to provide their own!
In his third subpoint, my opponent addresses China's hoarding of savings, which depresses interest rates. However, the problem with this lies with the United States, not China. As a country, the United States debt has been increasing because they repeatedly borrow more and more money. If they cut down on the amount of money that they borrowed and paid back some of the debt, China can't just deny the US in paying back the debt. My opponent says that "Thus, as China continues to rise, and the amount of savings increase, the already massive harms posed to the United States are compounded on a global scale." Here, he makes the assumption that the problem lies with China, that there is a correlation between the rise of China and the rising savings that they have. In contrast, they only hoard as much as the United States allows them. China only takes what is given to them, they can't take anything more. My opponent's implication is that we should blame the person who loaned us money for loaning us money in the first place! We can't reasonably expect China to just forget about the money that the United States owes without the money being paid back! China is doing us a favor by loaning us money in our time of need!
On my own points, I will go over each contention in a brief summary of the contention.
In my first contention, I have shown that the rise of China would be helpful to foreign relations, which strengthens our role as a global leader as well as protects our nation from threats like North Korea.
In my second contention, I have shown that the rise of China provides something that the United States desperately needs: a growing market for US exports. China also has a huge interest in helping the United States economy succeed, so with the rise of China inevitably comes the rise of the United States.
In my third contention, I have shown how the rise of China would provide amazing technologies and research that would help everybody. For example, it's definitely important to the United States to have new green technologies or find a cure to cancer. In subjects like these, along with many others, the rise of China would lead to economic funding that could help or save many, many people, including Americans.
On an ending note, I'd like to remind the voters and my opponent that the resolution is "Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States." This means that we only are talking about what happens with the rise of China, not just "On balance, China is beneficial to the interests of the United States." What is in the past is in the past, unless the opponent can clearly show a pattern, provide statistics, or provide any sort of evidence showing a trend that comes with the rise of China.
I look forward to my opponent's response. Thank you for your time.
(On a separate note, please excuse my poor formatting the first round, I had no idea about rich text/bolding/bullets until about right now!)
My opponent appears to misunderstand my point. Indeed, it was not an argument on how supply versus demand leads to prices increasing. Rather, it discusses the future impacts as oil supplies dwindle. The link to China's rise is fairly obvious - as the country continues to develop, the oil consumption increases. For specific quantification, we look to the CNPC Economic and Technology Research Institute, which finds a 4.8% increase in oil demand. As he only attacked correlation and quantification, I maintain access to my impacts: economic collapse following the eventual loss of oil to China.
My opponent next discusses pollution laws. In this case, he makes two mistakes.
He then discusses potential new allies as a result of China's rise, yet he again makes two mistakes.
My opponent paints the picture of a complete change in China's behavior. However, there's a difference between what China says, and what China does. My opponent showed that China has made some public statements denouncing North Korea/Iran. I can concede that this is true. However, my evidence, which basically went unrefuted, still stands. Despite public statements to the contrary, China still supports Iran, and has been increasing its trade relations with North Korea.
My opponent then claims that the money they spend in Iran and Pakistan is on counterterrorism efforts. Yet, this is entirely untrue. Again, China's relationship with these countries take two forms: First, direct investments; second, trade. Neither of these are counterterrorism efforts.
In his first response, my opponent discusses outsourcing. However, this is non-responsive. Remember, my point was on the growing trade deficit - more money leaving the economy than there is entering. Thus, my impacts still stand. Even the competition point was not on outsourcing. Rather, the mere presence of China as such a large economic power is what causes the wages to decline - not the outsourcing that comes as a result. He next tries to tell you that companies are outsourcing to make a profit, but this is exactly the harm. Firms may make profits, but this comes at the expense of a loss of jobs in the United States. The loss of jobs in the United States creates a net harm, despite some initial benefits in profits.
Second, he tells you that the rise of China will cause a decrease in intellectual property theft. Yet, he offers no real warrant to substantiate this claim. Rather, as China continues to develop, and the trade relationship becomes more intricate, Chinese companies have increased access to U.S. IP, and more ability to steal it. Again, the impacts still stand.
Third, he tells you that the U.S. is to blame for the interest rates problem. However, this contention was not about China financing our debt - it was about China's rising savings. He claims that China can only hoard as much as we give them, and that's exactly the problem. As we give them more and more, they continue to rise. As they rise, interest rates fall. Impacts are maintained.
My opponent then claims that China is doing the U.S. a favor by loaning money. However, the only reason we needed the amount of money that we did was because of China. Essentially, he attempts to solve his own problem. Remember the impacts of my contention: without the rise of China, the entire would could have had economic prosperity, rather than a worldwide recession.
My opponent's case
This contention was extended in response to my point on instability. His two points, diplomacy with pariah states and a shift in the balance of power, were responded to above.
Recall the claim made in the first subpoint of my contention on economics. My opponent only analyzes the exports, and fails to realize that imports are growing at a faster rate than exports - leading to a substantial growth in the trade deficit.
Additionally, my opponent claims that China's purchasing of the U.S. debt encourages investment. I have two responses to this.
As this is the only contention which does not provide direct clash, it is also the one to which I have the most new responses. This contention can effectively be divided up into two subpoints: Chinese competition, and Chinese innovations.
Starting off on his point about competition: My opponent gives no concrete examples of ways in which this competition has benefited the United States. In fact, we see the opposite occurring. The relationship with China both discourages innovation, through growing intellectual property theft, and drives down wages, due to unfair trade practices.
More importantly, let's look my opponent's point on Chinese innovations. I have two responses.
The links back to China's rise have been presented throughout the debate. More trade means more harmful trade practices. China's growing relations lead to a decline in hegemony. China's growing relations with pariah states create worldwide instability. The links have been presented, the impacts remain.
This, of course, will be my last argument in this debate. I'll start with my opponent's case and then move on to my own.
B) My opponent also says that I have not shown that the rise of China will help our relations with China. Yet, back in my
2) Instability I apologize for my very bad phrasing, I did not mean that China's money went directly to counterterrorism efforts, but they definitely do not go to terrorism efforts. As I quote my opponent, the ways that there are funding to these countries are "First, direct investments; second, trade."
"China has become the largest and fastest growing holder of the US dollar, peaking at $1.31 trillion in July 2011. Because China has invested a large share of these reserves in U.S. private and public securities, the economies of China and the U.S. have become “interdependent and inseparable.” Economic ties between the US and China have expanded significantly in the past decade. China is now the U.S. second largest trade partner and biggest source of imports. As China continues to grow, they increase export rates to the United States, bringing an increase in job growth, demands, and investments."
Thus, I conclude that the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States. Thank you all for your time, and I strongly urge a pro ballot.
I thank my opponent for participating in debate. That being said, let's move in to the arguments. I'll be splitting the hegemony impacts into two sections.
My opponent has essentially gone non-responsive to my prior rebuttal. He continues to push that China will implement green policies, but remember that this was already responded to.
Remember, the impact from my first round was never contested. If I should win this point, then we will see an economic collapse as a result of a failure to maintain energy security, a decline in economic hegemony, and a direct harm to millions of Americans who rely on oil every day.
Again, my opponent has gone non-responsive. He drops the fact that China's rise harms already strained relationships. His only response in this last round was to attempt to outweigh this point with a potential benefit to relations with other nations. That being said, let's look at the three reasons why this point flows con.
Like my opponent, I'll address each country individually.
First, Iran: My opponent's response to this point was that China does not explicitly help Iran commit anti-U.S. actions. However, I never once claimed that this was the case. As stated in my case, Iran is a threat to U.S. interests. Chinese investment in Iran allows for the country to maintain itself without collapsing. The increase in funding to the country grants them more money to spend on their nuclear program - which, remember, my opponent agreed is a substantial threat to U.S. interests. Thus, China, while it may not spent explicitly to harm U.S. interests, still spreads instability nonetheless.
Second, North Korea: Evidence was brought up within my case showing that China has been increasing trade relations with North Korea. Here's the link: http://blogs.cfr.org.... My opponent claims that this trade promotes dependency, yet nowhere does he show that China is actually using this to its advantage. He claims that China is denouncing the regime - we see no effect. He says that China has agreed to U.N. sanctions - again, we see no effect. In fact, we actually see the opposite occurring. Thus, regardless of what increase in "dependency" may exist, we see that this increase provides no benefit. Instead, it funds North Korea's nuclear program and keeps the rogue regime afloat.
Before I separate this into two of my original points (IP theft will be dropped), I'd like to respond to a statistic brought up by my opponent which claims that we've gained 512,000 jobs: There's no link to China, so drop that response.
First, let's look to the trade deficit. My opponent pretty much had one response to this, claiming that the rate of export growth exceeds the rate of import growth. This may be true, but the rate of growth is irrelevant - we should be looking at the actual numerical value. Using the very source cited by my opponent, we see that the actual numerical value of our trade deficit has been consistently increasing over the last few years. A percentage change fails to give the whole picture, and looking at the whole picture shows this point flows con. Let's look at the impact. Remember, 100 million Americans have their wages lowered, and we lose 2.7 million jobs. This outweighs anything my opponent has brought up relating to China.
Second, let's look at interest rates. You'll notice my opponent has no specific response to this in his last round. Thus, since I already explained the link to the rise of China in my previous round, we're just going to look to impacts. Remember my third contention: The low interest rates, depressed as a result of China, were the largest factor in the U.S. and worldwide recessions around 2008. Again, this outweighs any harm cited by my opponent, as we lost hundreds of billions of dollars, million jobs, and a global economic leadership position.
My opponent claims that there is not a limited amount of innovation. This is true, but I never claimed otherwise. Remember the response from last round: China gaining power in these fields erodes U.S. dominance in high tech fields. The spread of technology away from the United States, regardless of whether or not there is a finite amount of innovation, is responsible for over half of the U.S.' relative decline. This is not specific to China - however, it does prove the spread of technology is harmful, regardless of my opponent's analysis.
Additionally, remember that I already outweighed my opponent's impacts. He mentions how they may lead the world in green energy, but I already showed that there's still a net harm to the environment as a result of China's rise. He brings up coal, and the same response can be extended. He brings up biomedicine, but he has not shown any actual examples of innovation, or breakthroughs; he simply says that more money is being spent on research. These low-probability, low-magnitude, extreme-timeframe impacts are outweighed by the concrete loss in global high tech leadership which I brought up in my last round.
As expected, I will not say anything pertaining to the debate in this round. Thanks to my opponent and the voters for their time.
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