Time for a Reality Check on America’s China Policy

April 16, 2001

By Tom DeWeese and Peyton Knight

Just as Neville Chamberlain should not have been surprised when Adolf Hitler broke his dubious promise for “peace in our time,” nor should America be surprised by the recent actions of Communist China.

Pundits and politicians alike, when describing our tactful dealings with China, are quick to remind their audiences that today’s China is a “centuries old civilization” rich in tradition and ancient religious discipline. A Confucian civilization that is still upset over wrongdoings during the European colonization period. Such a view is wrong. The China we are confronted with today is nothing like the pre-nineteenth century nation to which is commonly referred. Since the reign of Mao Tse-tung began in 1949, Communist China, much to the dismay, torture and death of its own citizens, has been governed by tyrannical thugs, thirsty to expand their dictatorial regime and unrelenting in their hatred of Western civilization and the United States.

Over 60 million innocent Chinese have been murdered in the past half-century. Jiang Zemin is the newest leader of this rogue, imperialistic

government, whose civilians are under constant persecution. Much of China’s barbaric treatment of political dissidents happens behind closed doors and prison walls—sterile of independent observers or media. Though the secrecy is hardly stage-fright, as we saw a little more than a decade ago in the Tiennamen Square Massacre, in which China’s Politburo crushed freedom advocates, literally, under the treads of war tanks, for the entire world to see.

Why then, considering the human rights atrocities and iron-fisted political oppression, is the United States practicing a policy of friendship with China? We need them for trade, we’re told. An open market with China will enhance the independence of their citizenry. They’re in the slow, but steady process of reform. None of these statements could be further from the truth. Open, limitless trade with China does nothing but pay credence to a hostile regime, the likes of which we have not seen since Hitler or Stalin. As the Chinese people continue to suffer, U.S. appeasement policy ever emboldens Dictator Jiang Zemin. Our 80 billion dollar trade deficit with China continues to bolster their military build-up, further enhancing their nuclear capability. Our dollars pay for the missiles they point towards the United States. Yet time and again we are told our trade policy is reforming China and helping the millions of Chinese who are persecuted.

Many believe that China is a young, budding example of a communist nation transforming itself into a democratic republic. They point to China’s Constitution, which guarantees freedoms such as speech, association, religion and press. They cite the rise in individual wealth of “businessmen” in Beijing. Yet the thugs in China’s Politburo don’t practice what their Constitution preaches—and that is no mistake. There are no independent businessmen or private companies in China. These outlets serve as sources of massive income and intelligence gathering for the brutes in charge. China is a vile, communist dictatorship operating under the guise of a pseudo-capitalist republic—and their mask is fooling many in the United States government. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China is simply a bone thrown to human rights critics in the international community.

The Chinese government has complete control of the nation’s broadcast media and various printed publications. During the course of the last year, many independent publications were shut down, and journalists arrested, beaten and imprisoned for printing information that was not in cadence with what the reigning authorities deemed “appropriate.” Every single piece of information, whether it be in print, on the radio, on television, or on the Internet, is filtered through the Politburo and censored. Recently, several new regulations regarding the Internet have been issued, and consequently many web sites and foreign news sites have been blocked by the authorities.

There are even special Internet police units that monitor and control

Internet content and access. Despite all of this, the report from the

Chinese government is that media institutions operate independently.

Indeed. They have every bit as much freedom as a hostage at gunpoint.

There is no freedom of religion in China. All places of religious activity must register with the government and come under the supervision of official “patriotic” religious organizations. In several instances last year, authorities, guided by national policy, tore down houses of worship.

Catholics and Protestants continue to be under particularly tight surveillance. The U.S. State Department reports instances of priests and other religious leaders being fined, detained, beaten and tortured. China’s Communist dictators are atheists on a constant mission to cultivate a belief amongst their citizenry that there is no higher worship or being than the communist state. For this reason, the authorities fear all religious activity to the point of paranoia, and consequently, feel the need to exterminate such political dissension.

Yet, you need not be religious or a journalist to qualify for imprisonment and beatings in China. You need only be critical, in any way, shape or form of one of their government institutions. Take the case of Li Lusong of the Shanxi Province. Last year, Li paid a visit to his local party officials to complain about the shoddy facilities at the local government school. The police response to Li was to beat and torture him. Angry and frustrated, Li reported what had happened to him and posted comments criticizing the brutality of the Chinese government. Upon posting the comments, Li was arrested by the local authorities. He was detained and tortured with a stun gun. The police then used pliers to pull out his tongue and cut it off with a knife. Li won’t criticize the ruling thugs anymore—at least not verbally.

But Li Lusong was lucky in a way. At least he was granted permission to live. Thousands of others have had that privilege revoked, most notably, members of the Falun Gong religious movement. In just the past year, hundreds of Falun Gong members were beaten, tortured and killed—their bodies cremated before relatives could have the chance to identify them.

“Reeducation-through-labor” camps continue to thrive in China. These camps are prisons for political dissidents and religious adherents. Dissenters are subjected to rigorous forced labor, beatings, and torture in a brainwashing process designed to revert them back to “good citizens” of China’s People’s Republic. The latest statistics on record show that in 1997, some 230,000 persons were being detained in the camps. Psychiatric hospitals continue to imprison political prisoners and drug them against their will, such as labor activist, Cao Maobing, Tiennamen Square protestor, Wang Wanxing and thousands of others. Of course, the Chinese government does not permit the independent surveillance of these camps or psychiatric wards.

As with most police states, brutality and barbarism become habitual to the soldiers who dole out the law. Soon, every incident seems to call for violence, no matter how innocent. Arbitrary arrest and detention is commonplace. Due process and fair trials are nonexistent. For example, in June of 1999, a woman was detained by police for not possessing an identity card and for being visibly upset because her luggage had been stolen. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital where male inmates repeatedly raped her before her husband could secure her release. She and her husband attempted to file suit and claim damages, but were thwarted when vital evidence was destroyed prior to the investigation.

The simple right to bear children does not exist in China. Zemin and his henchmen are vehement in their enforcement of population control policy. Forced abortions and mandatory sterilizations are the order of the day. For those that manage to bear one too many children, fines and imprisonment await. Livestock in China have more procreative freedom than citizens.

The list goes on and on.

Yet despite all of the unthinkable atrocities, China hopes to host the Olympic games in 2008. In fact, one Chinese official recently wrote a scathing letter to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), warning him not to interfere in the communist nation’s Olympic bid. The Olympic games would provide just one more international vote of confidence that all is well in China. Are we about to repeat the abomination of 1936, when Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany used the Olympics as a propaganda tool to showcase the strength of the Arian race?

In the past eight years, China has made tremendous gains in international power and influence. The Clinton administration allowed the communist dictators to buy into our political process—in return, he turned a blind eye to Chinese spying and technology thefts. Thanks to Clinton’s Democratic predecessor, Jimmy Carter, Red China now occupies and controls both ends of the Panama Canal. China’s military budget continues to rise rapidly. It is clear the United States is helping to create a new powerful enemy which is more of a threat than the Soviet Union ever was. America is blundering into creating its own adversary for a new cold war.

The time has come for a sensible, honest approach with China. One that recognizes this evil empire for what it is—a threat to civilization in general and the United States in particular. The first step in confronting the China threat is the passage of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R-CA) bill, H.R. 1467, which would withdraw normal trade relations status from the People’s Republic of China.

Because China has yet to join the World Trade Organization, their normal trade status must annually come up for congressional review. In June of 2001, Congress will vote to either continue the charade of reforming China through limitless, open trade, or revoke their normal trade status and begin the true reformation process. H.R. 1467 currently has 32 cosponsors, proving its popularity, yet more Reaganesque champions of liberty are needed onboard.

We can’t reform China until we reform our current policy of enabling the murderous regime. Millions of Chinese citizens are silently praying that someone, anyone will step up to the plate and take on their torturous rulers. They pray for the day that they might pray aloud. The Chinese people, like all people, desire the most basic freedoms. Unfortunately, many in Washington think that a policy of appeasement will achieve that goal. But until the United States takes positive action, beginning with trade restrictions and the passage of Rep. Hunter’s bill, our nation will remain an accomplice to one of the bloodiest dictatorships of our time.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.