When someone asks, "What should U.S. policy be towards China?" two questions must be asked in response:
What is "China?"
Is "China" 1.3 billion human beings? Or is "China" 60 million members of the Communist Party? Next, we must ask,
What is "the U.S.?"
Is the United States 300 million human beings like you and me, or is "the United States" the politicians in Washington D.C.?
Every single person who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would say that the politicians in Beijing are the most depraved tyrants they have ever seen.
Every single person who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would say that the politicians in Washington D.C. -- who have taken an oath to "support the Constitution" -- are the most hypocritical tyrants they have ever seen. (It would be clear to the Founders, even if it's not to us, that Washington D.C. is a tyranny.)
It turns out that the opening question ("What should U.S. policy be towards China?") really means something like this:
Should politicians in Washington D.C. attempt to appear more benevolent than the politicians in Beijing by preventing people like you and me from going to Wal-Mart and buying goods made by people like you and me in China?
The answer is NO.
The answer for both the U.S. and China is "Liberty Under God."
Many Libertarians see the rising standards of living in China -- a result of expanded commerce with the western world -- as evidence of "freedom." It is more accurately evidence of U.S. support for Beijing’s Corporate Fascism
Imagine that in 2008 an outspoken Christian -- we'll call him Smith -- is elected President of the U.S. and many like-minded Christians are elected to Congress. Looking back 50 years later, one voter recalls,
During the initial years of the Smith Administration, the majority of the American people wanted to dedicate their efforts toward serving the people of the nation. We believed this would turn the American economy around. The government stopped prostitution, gambling and drugs. We believed that if we worked hard, we would have a bright future.
These words are taken from an interview with Harry Wu, a former Chinese Communist who became critical of communism and was sentenced to life imprisonment in China's slave labor system ("laogai"). Here is an excerpt from the interview with Wu:
Wu said that during the initial years after the communist revolution , "the majority of the Chinese people wanted to dedicate their efforts toward serving the people of the nation. We believed this would make China a wealthy nation."
"The communist government told the people, 'There will be no more imperialism, no more colonialism.' In China at that time, the government stopped prostitution, gambling and drugs. We believed that if we worked hard, we would have a bright future."
"We believed at first that the new communist government would be clean and straight and honest. We wanted to work hard and discipline ourselves for the good of the next generation. We believed in the future of communism, and Mao was treated as a god."
Mao certainly exercised god-like powers, killing millions of people to solidify communism in China. More than 100 million people have been murdered by the Communist Revolution in China. The first victims were Christians, Buddhists, and other non-atheists. Why were they killed? "It's the economy, stupid!" In order for the government to give everyone the material standard of living they lusted for, totalitarian powers were required.
Wu and many other prisoners were released during "reforms" in the latter part of the 20th century, but like the "reform" in the "former" Soviet Union, the same Communist Party members held control of every area of life. "Freedom" was a window-dressing.
Although China's population is over three times that of the U.S., its national wealth is about the same. This means the average person in China lives on about one-third of what you have. The extraordinary wealth of Party leaders (who have become millionaires and even billionaires in state-market joint ventures) is offset by hundreds of millions of dirt-poor peasants. But the communists claim to be eliminating poverty. According to a reporter for The Asia Times,
At a press conference held by the World Bank on March 23, 2004, Liu Jian, deputy director of China’s State Council Aid-the-Poor Development Office, announced that the country’s poverty population had dropped from 250 million in 1978 to 29 million in 2004. However, at the same press conference, the vice president of the World Bank said the Chinese poverty population had dropped from 634 million in 1981 to 210 million in 2004. The number of Chinese citizens below the poverty line that the World bank calculated was more than seven times higher than the figure the Chinese government presented.
Chinese Poverty Line Far Below International Standard
The Chinese government uses a standard of 20 cents a day as the poverty line. Earn more than 20 cents a day? Congratulations . . . you're out of poverty! Can you buy anything with your 20 cents? Not necessarily. Millions of rural Chinese are moving to urban areas in search of opportunities.
Chinese columnist George Zhibin Gu writes,
Although the late developers' recent progress has attracted a lot of attention from the outside world, in actuality they have made only a small step towards prosperity. China may have 16 million cars on the road, legions of millionaires, and even a few billionaires, but its GDP per person is still only around $1,200 and the average manufacturing job pays only around $115/month. In fact, its economic development remains very much at the beginning. Lifting the standard of living for 1.3 billion people is no small task.
In the United States, we have "three branches of government," but the bulk of the "governing" is done by bureaucracies. Congress passes a few hundreds laws a year, while the bureaucracies churn out a hundred thousand pages of regulations each year. In China, the bulk of governing is done by the People's Liberation Army, or its spin-off, the People's Armed Police. Most Americans know very little about the PLA other than seeing their effective techniques for "maintaining law and order" in Tiananmen Square.
I was born in L.A. I was a bit irritated, to put it mildly, to hear a Chinese general threaten to lob a nuclear warhead on L.A. if the U.S. attempted to help Taiwan avoid being conquered by the Chinese Communists.
My irritation changes to lamentation when I ask, "Why would this Chinese general be willing to kill millions of Americans just so he could maintain his political and military power over the island of Taiwan? Why is he willing to drive his tanks over his own people, or enslave them in the laogai just to keep his job?"
"Boycott China!" "Nuke the Chinese!"
It's easy to depersonalize a billion Chinese people based on the words and actions of a few who claim to be their "leaders." But is the Communist Chinese government ethically inferior to the U.S. federal government for threatening to vaporize a few million Angelenos, when the U.S. federal government has already killed a couple of million people in Iraq in the interests of stabilizing oil prices?
Should the U.S. trade with China? Should we buy goods from Wal-Mart made in China in slave labor camps? (Should our taxes subsidize the Chinese government?)
"Trading with China" means trading with the People's Liberation Army. Recent efforts to put a happy face on Trade with China have included divesting the PLA of many of its commercial holdings. PLA officials have merely resigned from the PLA in order to continue managing tens of thousands of commercial enterprises. Norinco’s corporate earnings in 1994, for example, were an estimated $31 billion. While some of those profits came from sales of "Sparky the Dog" and "Princess the Cat" toys in American stores, another big earner for the firm was arms sales to Iran, Pakistan, and other "rogue states." The military also controls China’s pharmaceutical industry and a sizable chunk of its medical services. This is
entirely predictable, given the role played by the military and security police in enforcing Red China’s draconian "population control" (forced abortion) program.
Will Americans be more free or less free if a thousand laws are passed making it illegal for Americans to trade with China? Will the people of China be better off if we don't buy the products they were forced to make? The U.S. has been boycotting Cuba for half a century, and now an entire generation has lived out their entire lives in poverty, if they weren't executed as political "enemies," while Fidel Castro is still alive, still partying, still imprisoning enemies, and by now a billionaire.
America Should Welcome China's Rise
No Apology Appropriate, But Some Education in Economics Would Be a Good Idea
Both the United States and China face the same essential question: Will these two nations be Christianized, or will they be militarized? Both nations are now dedicated to military and commercial hegemony. The future presents two options:
- The 21st century could well see a huge conflict between the United States, representing 300 million people, and China, representing over a billion human beings. Congress will likely have nothing to do with the unfolding of these events, as they will be orchestrated by the "unitary executive."
- China and the United States will merge into a new nation sharing "common interests." Both will continue along the road of corporate fascism. Both will continue to be run by the military.
"Freedom" is not just a high standard of material wealth. The rich can be very unfree. True freedom begins in the heart: the power to resist the temptation to initiate force or violence against others just because they won't do your bidding. By this definition, neither China nor the United States are free.
Expanding trade with China is good. Exporting "Liberty Under God" is better. If we want to help hundreds of millions of Chinese obtain adequate food, shelter, and clothing, we must remember, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
The House Church movement in China is not on the radar of most Americans. It has the potential of buffering the idolatrous militarism of Communism, or of degenerating into its own form of idolatry, a retreat from dominion into a religious narcotic of "spirit-filled" irrelevance. The pulpit was once the most powerful force in America. Today it is mostly a form of self-centered entertainment. If Christianity were made illegal in America like it is in China, most church-goers would quickly "convert."
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