Saturday, January 20, 2018

U.S. foreign policy in China for the past generation is a dangerous failure that threatens world peace.

"The cause of human rights is a single cause, just as the people of the world are a single people. The talk today is of globalization, but we must state that unless there is global solidarity, not only human rights but also the right to remain human will be jeopardized." - Oswaldo Paya, December 17, 2002

 Presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter meet with Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Yesterday at the Dorothea Green Lecture Series event, State of the World 2018 at Florida International University yesterday on the first panel, Challenges to U.S. Foreign Policy, Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America made the claim that "globalization isn't a choice but a reality." Others have made that claim, but it downplays that choices were made and are being made that define this global order.

 One of those decisions was for the United States to engage and legitimize Communist China's leadership, and assist in its economic modernization and growth, despite a horrid human rights record, over the past forty six years. The rest of Western countries followed the lead of the super power. Was that a good idea?

State of the World 2018 panel at Florida International University
Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America responded that US assisting the economic rise of China, lifting 400 million out of poverty, was a good thing on the whole.

Realpolitik could justify engaging China in 1971, in the midst of the bloody Cultural Revolution, to exploit divisions with the Soviet Union, but once the USSR imploded in 1991 that engagement, especially economic should have ended but instead it intensified.

Richard Nixon shaking hands with China's mass murderer Mao Ze Dong
Consider that 10 years after President Jimmy Carter normalized relations with China in 1979 at least 10,000 Chinese demonstrators, who demanded democratic reforms, were butchered in Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Western nations, including the United States during the Bush Administration, continued and intensified their economic engagement with this murderous regime. 
The Clinton Administration continued and intensified this relationship with China and completely de-linked it from human rights considerations. This decision had consequences for the American middle class. Corruption appears to have also played a role. Clinton confidante Webster Hubbell was forced to resign to face a criminal investigation in 1994, the former associate attorney general received more than $400,000 from about a dozen enterprises, including the organizers of a multibillion-dollar development in mainland China that received the endorsement of the Clinton administration. Jane White, the author of America, welcome to the poorhouse, have called Bill Clinton, the outsourcer in chief. What did this translate into in concrete economic terms? According to Jane White quite a lot:
"Manufacturers never emerged from the 2001 recession, which coincided with China's entry into the World Trade Organization. Between 2001 and 2009 the U.S. lost 42,400 factories and manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million, a loss of 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs. The last time fewer than 12 million people worked in the manufacturing sector was in 1941."
Chinese nationals have been subjected to new totalitarian controls over there lives with the help of American companies such as Google and Yahoo. Google,to be able to operate in China, censored its search engines and Yahoo went further and actively tracked down dissidents who had been sending out e-mails critical of the government, leading to their imprisonment and torture. American corporations today are complicit with a murderous totalitarian regime.

Chinese Dictator Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1997
Economically empowering Communist China also means that the regime has modernized and grown its military, projecting power regionally and flexing its economic muscle in Africa and Latin America. It also means that it could buy influence in Washington, and academia to the detriment of U.S. national interests.

The Peoples Republic of China during the 1990s was having set backs getting its rockets to launch successfully but American corporations came to the rescue with the assistance of presidential waivers signed by President Bill Clinton in exchange for substantial campaign donations.

China goes ballistic, tests nuclear-capable missiles able to reach U.S.
John Mintz in The Washington Post on January 1, 2003 reported that The State Department had charged that two of the country's largest aerospace companies, Hughes Electronics Corp. and Boeing Satellite Systems (Loral), illegally transferred sensitive U.S. space technology to China in the 1990s that could have helped Beijing's military develop intercontinental missiles. In the end the Loral Space and Communications Corporation paid out $20 million in fines to settle the Federal investigation which is relatively small potatoes when compared to $250 million telecommunications deal for Loral to launch satellites on Chinese rockets.

DF-31A mobile missile
Bill Gertz in The Washington Times reported on October 2, 2014 that "China’s military has conducted the first flight test of a new variant of one of its road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles in a sign that Beijing is increasing its strategic strike capability against the United States. The test of a new DF-31B missile was conducted Sept. 25 from a missile test range in central China."

Disagree with Anne-Marie Slaughter because the disengagement from human rights in China while pushing economic engagement with the same regime that killed 45 million of its own people was and is a terrible idea. It is part of the reason for freedom's decline globally over the past 12 years and the rising threat to peace in the world.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment