Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Economist in 2018 recognizes U.S. engagement policy with China a failure

"The Economist and politicians of both parties may have gotten China wrong--but we have been reporting and warning of the human and religious rights violations of this regime for more than 20 years. This was obvious to anyone covering Beijing honestly." - Raymond Arroyo, EWTNews 

 Presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter meet with Deng Xiaoping in 1979
The Economist, after years of cheer leading the conventional wisdom on economic engagement with the Communist dictatorship in China on March 1, 2018 recognized that they had been mistaken.
China has grown rich beyond anybody’s imagining. Under the leadership of Hu Jintao, you could still picture the bet paying off. When Mr Xi took power five years ago China was rife with speculation that he would move towards constitutional rule. Today the illusion has been shattered. In reality, Mr Xi has steered politics and economics towards repression, state control and confrontation. 
This blog over the past ten years repeatedly warned of the wholesale failure of U.S. policy towards China. Economically engaging and subsidizing the communist dictatorship in China did no lead to the regime liberalizing and incorporating itself into the family of nations as Western engagement changed it for the better.  Instead global human rights standards have been steadily in decline with Western governments, led by the United States, compromised their values for shot term economic gain for narrow interests. The influx of Western investment, technology, and know how assisted in both the wholesale modernization of the totalitarian regime's surveillance apparatus and the Chinese military machine. Considering all of this, this blog asked on September 5, 2009 the following question about U.S. policy on Mainland China: "Are Normalized relations with Totalitarian States Normal?"

Chairman Mao Zedong and President Richard Nixon
Fang Lizhi, a professor of physics at the University of Arizona, a leader of the pro-democracy movement in China before fleeing the country in 1989, published an Op-Ed in the International Herald Tribune on October 11, 2010 warned that the "dangerous notion" that economic development will inevitably lead to democracy in China was a failure: 
"Increasingly, throughout the late 1990s and into the new century, this argument gained sway. Some no doubt believed it; others perhaps found it convenient for their business interests. Many trusted the top Chinese policymakers who sought to persuade foreign investors that if they continued their investments without an embarrassing “linkage” to human rights principles, all would get better at China’s own pace. More than 20 years have passed since Tiananmen. China has officially become the world’s second largest economy. Yet the hardly radical Liu Xiaobo and thousands of other dissidents rot in jail for merely demanding basic rights enshrined by the United Nations and taken for granted by Western investors in their own countries. Human rights have not improved despite a soaring economy. ... As the unfortunate history of Japan during the first half of the 20th century illustrates, a rising economic power that violates human rights is a threat to peace."
On December 12, 2014 this blog took a closer look at engagement and consequences during the Clinton Administration. Apologists for de-linking human rights concerns often cite national interests and strategic concerns trumping human rights. President Clinton took this line of argument to a new level in 1998 justifying a second waiver to the Loral Corporation providing technical information to the People's Republic of China at the time saying: "I believe it was in the national interest and I can assure you it was handled in the routine course of business, consistent with the 10-year-old policy." However CNN in  1998 reported that "[a] Pentagon office concluded in a still-secret report that 'United States national security has been harmed," according to government officials.' 

President Clinton completely de-linked human rights and trade with China
Further digging done by Edward Bolton in a 2000 report to the National Defense University National War College provided an analysis that points to particular financial and corporate interests, not national interests explaining the de-linking of human rights from MFN and also provides insight into the Clinton Administration's waiver for the Loral corporation to provide sensitive information to the Peoples Republic of China:

Boeing, which donated millions to both Democratic and Republican candidates over the years, is the parent company of Loral Corporation. In 1993, Loral sought and received a waiver to launch Loral/Hughes satellites from China. Loral CEO Bernard Schwartz has personally donated over $1M to both parties. Boeing also owns McDonnell-Douglas which in 1994 made an agreement with China to open a parts factory in Beijing. Boeing, who sold nearly 70% of the airliners China purchased in the 1993 to 1995 time frame, selected former Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry for its board of directors shortly after he left the Pentagon. Hughes Electronics Corporation, a subsidiary of General Motors (GM) and co-developer of satellite systems with Loral, also has dealings with China and worked to maintain MFN for the PRC. Hughes Electronics Chairman Michael Smith also serves as vice Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association, a long time supporter of MFN status for China.
Imagination, informed by history, led this blog to raise the question on February 6, 2015  "if policy makers today, now that the vast majority of computers used in the United States and the West generally are made in the Peoples Republic of China, who is to say that Communist China will not ... set up the conditions to switch on software, perhaps something hardwired into the computers they manufacture, and cripple the U.S. economy?" 

In August of 2015 this blog explored the consequences of communist China hosting the olympics.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing were a human rights disaster for China with scenes of Tibetan demonstrators gunned down by Chinese soldiers. Despite this the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has chosen China to once again to host the Olympics in 2022 in the midst of an ongoing crackdown on human rights lawyers and defenders in the country.  As was the case in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics friends of a free China need to increase scrutiny on the Chinese regime with an Olympic Watch. The consequences of  the IOC legitimizing such a regime cannot be overstated. The 1936 Olympics held in Berlin and hosted by the Nazi Third Reich with the ceremonies formally opened by Adolph Hitler should serve as a cautionary example. The 1936 Olympics whitewashed the brutality of the Nazi regime in Germany and led to acceptance of Hitler's criminal regime. The 2008 Olympics whitewashed the brutality of the Communist regime in China further legitimizing that criminal regime. In 2022 it will add insult to injury by returning to China and making this decision amidst a human rights crackdown where more than 200 lawyers and human rights activists have been detained with some facing 15 year prison sentences.

Olympics legitimized totalitarians in 1936 and 2008
This legitimization, despite a horrible record, is still found in mass media, including in The New York Times, America's paper of record, and this blog called them on it on September 28, 2017.  A  British diplomatic cable declassified in December of 2017 revealed that "at least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June 1989."

History has demonstrated that appeasing tyrants, rather than confront them early on, has terrible and bloody consequences. This isn't a choice but a historical reality. Paying lip service to human rights, while abandoning them in practice, shaped the process of globalization that is leading to an emerging world order that is the stuff of dystopian nightmares.

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