Tuesday, February 23, 2010
And for the invitation, I thank Tang Baiqiao, one of the strongest anti-communist student leaders from the June 4 uprising - the occasion in 1989 that led to the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Tiananmen Square was like a ton of bricks for Generation X; it was a savage atrocity, a crime against humanity, and an affront to Western sensibilities and American values.
On world television, we got to see the blood, the guts, and the gore from innocent Chinese in Beijing, while they bravely stood for freedom, democracy, and human rights.
It was not forgivable. It was a hideous turn of history, by the hand of evil.
United States China policy took a wrong turn, right then and there. One can say that United States China policy--itself--has been a hideous turn of history, by the hand of George Bush senior; and then by Bill Clinton; and then by George Bush junior.
America could have stood by its values, and stood by its anti-communism. That would have been the right thing to do.
Far from doing the right thing, the U.S. White House began to reward Communist China for bad behavior. The U.S. executive branch seemed to synchronize with the dictators of Beijing, like one hand washing the other.
Far from being curtailed, trade was renewed, and then expanded. This was wrong to begin with, and this remains wrong today. Communist China should be treated like the Soviet Union.
In the past month and a half, it has been heartening to see some stiffening in the spines of the U.S. White House and commentators. And public opinion polling remains anti-communist. Americans were 79% against the "permanent" normalization of trading relations (PNTR), and now they are 75% in favor of a Free Tibet, and staunchly on the side of Taiwan in its ongoing faceoff with Communist China.
Anti-communism never really went away, but it was eclipsed by the treasonous policy of three recent U.S. Presidents. Free trade finances military build up, and enriches China's communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. It finances human rights abuse--crimes against humanity that will inevitably be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.
And in some way, President Hu Jintao is in the same boat with President Barack Obama. Each has a predecessor who launched crimes against humanity. If Hu was an upright leader for China, he would correct the excesses of former President Jiang Zemin. Hu should prosecute Jiang for launching the Falun Gong crackdown with faulty justification.
And, if Barack Obama was an upright leader for America, he would correct the excesses of former President George Bush. Obama should prosecute Bush for launching a war of aggression with faulty justification.
Hu and Obama would have a good place in history if they would alleviate the flawed policies--and deadly outcomes--that they inherited in their national policies.
History is a funny thing. It's now 21 years since Tiananmen Square, and U.S.-China policy has been an abomination for every minute of those 21 years. --But, the history of these years has included establishment of the International Criminal Court. A new player has quietly made its entrance onto the world stage.
Jiang Zemin and George Bush acted like the ICC didn't exist, and like they could simply ignore its implications. The world will still come to appreciate the implications of the ICC: Genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity now have recourse. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they turn inexorably.
A brighter day is coming for the human rights community. There is a term for the Falun Gong crackdown. It is a bullshit crackdown. And, there is a term for the Iraq war. It is a bullshit war.
Presidents Hu and Obama are world leaders who could make a difference for the better; yet, China and America each need a course correction, and the correction has not yet come from those two offices. Does this mean that Hu and Obama would like to be in the dock with Jiang and Bush, facing justice about the same policies?
Since this is a Chinese democracy event, it is fitting to warn and to caution Beijing. We saw that Tiananmen crackdown; we know it was wrong. We see that Falun Gong crackdown; we see that Tibetan crackdown; and we see that Uighur crackdown. We know these are wrong.
And, it is fitting to appeal to Barack Obama: Stand with us in the face of history's largest humanitarian disaster: The rule of the Communist Party in China. Change is not optional.
In this movement, we will stand with humanity and demand justice. Thank you very much.
Friday, February 19, 2010
By John Kusumi
It's Thursday, February 18, 2010, and U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting a meeting at the White House with Tibet's Dalai Lama.
Meanwhile, America's media of pawns, schills, and propagandistic sock puppets is completely dropping the ball in its coverage of this meeting.
Suppose that Russia kidnapped the Pope and offered a replacement, to be a pretender to the papacy? --The world, in its outrage, would ascribe no legitimacy to the pretend Pope. We know how Popes are selected (by a conclave of Cardinals), and that method is not by the fiat of Russian leaders.
Indeed, in the above example, the world would express shock, outrage, and demand that the situation be returned to the status quo ante.
For about a decade now, America's news media has been keeping the U.S. public "in the dark" and uninformed about the violations of human rights -- crimes against humanity -- that are perpetrated by the regime in charge of mainland China: namely, the Communist Party.
Above, for comparison, I've made a fictitious example where Russia kidnaps a Pope.
But, the analogy is to a completely true situation: China kidnapped the Panchen Lama, a high figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and offers a replacement, to be a pretend "new" Panchen Lama. And America's news media? --Having no shame, they are content to report about the new, replacement Panchen Lama.
Can you say sacrilege? Can you say no shame? --CNN and the Associated Press are both content to bamboozle the public, and then to pat themselves on the back with their self-congratulatory slogans about being "the most trusted name in news." In this vein, CNN's latest transgression was today, but let's consider the backstory.
On April 13, 2006, the China Support Network (grass roots boosters of China's pro-democracy movement) published "AP and Reuters assist in sacrilege." In there, I wrote:
No newswire is questioning whether or not Joseph Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI. He is that.
Tibetan Buddhism has the Panchen Lama. No newswire should be questioning whether or not Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is Panchen Lama XI. He is that.
The arrogance of journalism comes to the fore when some newswires arrogate to themselves the decision making authority over who is a figure in Tibetan Buddhism. The correct arbiter of same should be the Dalai Lama, not Christopher Bodeen of the Associated Press.
The Panchen Lama was kidnapped by China in 1995 at the age of 6, and became known as "the world's youngest political prisoner." The abduction itself is a hideous human rights abuse, and where there is no closure in this case, it is still correct to demand that Beijing release the Panchen Lama.
Again from my earlier article, "Beijing rejects both the Dalai Lama and his choice of the boy for Panchen Lama. No one in Beijing has the authority to choose a Panchen Lama, but they have gone ahead and selected their own boy so that they can "install" their own, pro-Beijing person to be a regime-friendly, pro-Beijing person."
In fact, I had written about the Panchen Lama's case in an earlier (2004) article:
Brazen is one word. Flagrant, heinous, and sacrilegious are three more words....his case clearly points out the diabolical nature of China's Communist regime, as it readily violates not just an individual, but a religious figure, and thereby the entire society that cares about the Panchen Lama. Violated and raped are two more words, and Tibet can understandably feel that way.Back to 2006:
if the kidnapping was bad enough, then words begin to fail now, as we consider (a.) the arrogated selection, by Beijing, of a Panchen Lama impostor; and (b.) the fact that AP and Reuters today are reporting the impostor as if he is actually the Panchen Lama. I believe clearly that this is sacrilege, and that this is foul, faulty, and false reporting that serves only to [convey] Communist propaganda, while a crime against humanity is committed. Again, I am not Tibetan, and I am not Buddhist, but I can see a religion being violated, and I can see journalists arrogating to themselves something akin to the selection of the Pope.
History did not begin yesterday, nor did we fall off of a lemon truck yesterday. (Boy, don't journalists wish? In my lifetime, journalism has gone from "the first draft of history" to "the fictionalization of history.")
Reuters began its article by saying, "Tibet's 11th Panchen Lama, anointed by China's atheist Communists but not by the Tibet's Dalai Lama, took center stage at the World Buddhist Forum on Thursday, defending China's record on religion." (Hmmm. Why would China's record on religion need defending, if Beijing were not offending?)
Reuters continued, "Gyaltsen Norbu, appointed in 1995 as the Himalayan region's second most important religious figure after Beijing rejected the Dalai Lama's nominee...." (Hmmm. Recall from above that the Panchen Lama is named Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. The impostor, Gyaltsen Norbu, is being named here....)
The AP is in on this scam, too. Look at this quote from AP: "Gyaltsen Norbu, 16, is the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism." AP described this appearance as "an apparent sign that Beijing is seeking greater acceptance for its choice of the Panchen Lama." However, we know from earlier that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was previously reported to be the Panchen Lama. Whether the newswires agree this is sacrilege or not, a vast violation of estoppel it certainly is.
A vast violation of estoppel is a change of story; a reversal; an inconsistency. The AP did the same in 1989, when it reduced the casualty figures from the Tiananmen Square massacre. (Newswires earlier reported 3,000 dead; they later said "hundreds" dead, and CSN believes that change occurred at the behest of the propaganda minister in Beijing.) Beijing cannot make the China Support Network say what it wants, nor report Beijing's one-sided version of history. But apparently, Beijing can get the AP and Reuters to bend over backwards, and into a pretzel shape, in the course of their pandering, brown nosing, and general selling out to the Chinese Communist Party.
The AP went so far as to refer to "That other boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima," taking note of the dispute. AP also said, "A spokesman for the Dalai Lama on Thursday again rejected Beijing's right to make the final decision on reincarnations.
'Reincarnation is a religious belief and it cannot be decided by an administrative office,' Thubten Samphel said by telephone from the Tibetan government-in-exile's headquarters in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala."
This means that the AP is openly admitting that "their man" is an impostor, but they are reporting this story "the Beijing way," even without authority from the Dalai Lama. One might think they could at least have the decency to refer to the "Chinese Panchen Lama" as distinct from the "Tibetan Panchen Lama," and perhaps "Chinese Buddhism" as distinct from "Tibetan Buddhism." The rightful authority for Tibet and its Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, and the AP and Reuters stories again mix and blur the distinct concepts of Chinese versus Tibetan.
It's ugly, it's disgusting, it's slanderous, and it assists Beijing in committing a crime against humanity. To any thinking intellect, it is obvious propagandizing, and it is offensive to be assaulted with Communist propaganda while we Americans are merely sitting in our living rooms. Shame on these two newswires!
In short, the Chinese government is attempting an Orwellian revision of history, and the U.S. news media is helping Beiijing in that attempt to hoodwink the world and to foist their Panchen Lama selection upon the world. My 2006 article went on to say that newswires should retract and apologize for those stories.
Fast forward to 2010. What did we see on CNN this morning?
The video report was titled, "Objections to Dalai Lama visit," and was filed from Beijing by CNN's Emily Chang. Her script began as follows:
Thousands of Chinese worshipppers flock to the Lama Temple, praying for blessings. It's a shrine to Tibetan Buddhism. But, this isn't Tibet. It's Beijing, and this is a state-sanctioned temple. Over the years, the Lama Temple has become one of China's most popular tourist attractions. It's a traditional stop for national and international visitors, and an opportunity for the Chinese government to show the world it allows the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Worshippers are required to recognize the Panchen Lama, chosen by the Chinese government, rather than the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Some don't seem to worry about the difference.
If this is journalism, it is one-sided journalism. Now they're stacking the bogus Panchen Lama, not against the real Panchen Lama, but against the Dalai Lama himself. Chang's report glosses over the real Panchen Lama entirely -- it skips the entire controversy! She then says, "Some don't seem to worry about the difference." --Okay well logically, if some don't worry, that implies that others do. (In fact, the first "some" could be a tiny minority, and the second "some" could be a vast majority.) So, will both sides be illustrated in this report?
No. The other side of the matter is people concerned about human rights and religious freedom. This report refers to no one from the pro-freedom, pro-democracy, pro-human rights community of dissidents and 'Free Tibet' campaigners. They don't appear. Who appears instead?
Folks, I start a new paragraph here because I am truly incredulous. --A street vendor of incense becomes the new guest on CNN!
Folks, it's another paragraph break because I am boggling. At stake are international relations, freedom, democracy, human rights, and the religion and culture of Tibet. And who gets face time on CNN? --A street vendor of incense! She says:
"Average Chinese people have no opinions on the Dalai Lama and what he does," this incense vendor says. "We just care about having enough food to eat and clothes to wear. Not politics. That's the government's business."
There is such a thing as the international human rights community, but CNN seems to be foggy about their existence. They could have inserted spokespeople from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the China Support Network, or Students for a Free Tibet. Or, how about America's labor unions, which lost jobs to Communist China? None of that appears in this report! What was illustrated is that "some don't seem to worry about" the substitution shell game -- the controversy, wherein Beijing kidnapped the Panchen Lama and now promotes its own choice of replacement.
Let's have a recap of words that apply to what we're seeing, per my article above.
- brown nosing
- general selling out to the Chinese Communist Party
- assisting Beijing in committing a crime against humanity
- Orwellian revision of history
- one sided journalism
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Feb. 12, 2010 (CSN) -- The United States has confirmed that President Barack Obama will meet with Tibet's exiled leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV, this coming Thursday in Washington, DC.
The meeting will occur over the objections of the Chinese government, which invaded, occupied, and colonized Tibet after the Chinese Communist Party won the Chinese civil war in 1949.
China claims the right to govern Tibet, while history (since 1391) has included fourteen incarnations of the Dalai Lama who traditionally rules Tibet as a theocracy of Tibetan Buddhism.
The current Dalai Lama fled into exile in India at age 23 (in 1959) and has been responsible for the Central Tibetan Administration, a government-in-exile based in Dharamsala, India.
Meanwhile in Tibet itself, the Chinese government rules with an iron fist, imposing crackdown after crackdown and a human rights environment characterized by killing, brutality, and oppression.
Abortive uprisings have been followed by additional crackdowns, the latest in 2008. As seen in a video documentary about the 2008 uprising, the China Support Network responded to that crackdown by demanding that China "Stop the killing, release the prisoners, and talk to the Dalai Lama."
Since then, the Chinese government has held a series of insincere negotiations with representatives of the Dalai Lama. The most recent talks broke down on February 1, 2010.
The Chinese government has objected strenuously to this Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama, threatening that this will "damage Sino-U.S. relations." However, the same step was taken by the previous President, George W. Bush, so it should not surprise Beijing that U.S. Presidents continue their tradition of meeting with the Dalai Lama.
The protests by the Chinese government can therefore be seen as rote, routine, and ritualized, following the traditional script from their tired old canons of propaganda.
The Dalai Lama is actually one of the strongest pro-Chinese democracy figures on earth, and enjoys warm relations with many Chinese dissidents. He understands that the success of the Chinese democracy movement would spell relief for Tibet.
The issues of freedom, democracy, and human rights will be squarely in the hands of U.S. President Barack Obama in this upcoming meeting. We can only hope that Obama does not fumble the ball or punt on first down, as he did in 2009.
Chinese Dissidents Target Yahoo!
The China Democracy Party World Union (CDPWU), based in Flushing, New York, is contemplating a class action lawsuit against Internet giant Yahoo!, and is seeking out those with complaints against Yahoo to prospectively join in the class of plaintiffs.
Yahoo! has some history as a whipping boy of the Chinese democracy movement. They were roundly criticized when the Chinese government imprisoned journalist Shi Tao, based on personally identifiable information that was rendered by Yahoo! to the Chinese government upon request.
The dissident writer Liu Xiaobo then wrote an open letter to Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, with lengthy and articulate excoriation that amounted to a slow roast and a public shaming of Yang. Yahoo! was also criticized in Congressional hearings about how Internet giants are providing technology to assist repression in China.
In a gesture of atonement, Yahoo! provided funding for the Laogai Museum, a facility that opened in November 2008 under the hand of Chinese dissident Harry Wu, who is also responsible for the Laogai Research Foundation.
--However, we can note that while the Laogai slave labor camps are one human rights issue, it is a separate and distinct issue from that of technological repression and Internet censorship -- another human rights abuse from the same government of Communist China.
Chinese dissidents continue to worry about technological repression and Internet censorship, since this human rights abuse is ongoing.
China Democracy Journal, a publication of CDPWU, is usually published entirely in Chinese. But in their latest issue, they took the unusual step of providing an English translation of their lead article on the front page: "Yahoo.com Represents China Communist Government to Do Spying Around the Globe."
Based on their journalistic sources, the article speculates on a possible "secret deal" made between Yahoo! and the Chinese government. The perceived deal includes (a.) more rendering of personally identifiable information from the accounts of Yahoo customers and clients; and (b.) Yahoo support for a Chinese government initiative against anonymity on the internet.
The article continues, "In addition, the spying deal also prescribes that China Communist Government will transfer the Chinese market left behind by Google.com to Yahoo.com, as rewards to Yahoo.com for representing spying for them."
In January, 2010, Google raised awareness of cyber attacks believed to be from the Chinese government. Those attacks specifically targeted the GMail accounts of human rights activists. Google suggested that it may leave the Chinese market.
In China Democracy Journal, the article says, "Some readers implied that their Yahoo email boxes are supervised and stolen, possibly guilty deeds of Yahoo.com." That is to say that human rights activists are finding that their Yahoo email accounts may be compromised.
Based on its history with Yahoo! and the fact that journalist Shi Tao continues to sit in prison right now, suffering the consequences of Yahoo!'s indiscretion, it is understandable that the Chinese democracy movement would be suspicious and distrustful of Yahoo!.
China Democracy Journal invites readers to "combine with many cyber victims to accuse Yahoo.com of criminal behaviors and ask compensation from Yahoo.com." It concludes, "We warmly welcome people to call our office to register so that we can hand in the case together and bring the criminal to the court." Their contact information is at http://cdjweb.org.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
In Washington, DC of the U.S. it becomes evident that China policy 2010 will be nothing like China policy 2009. What changed in between? The 2009 Climate Change Conference of the UN -- a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark in mid-December, was an occasion where China maneuvered high-handedly, and this served to block the achievement of a world agreement, which failed to materialize at that summit. U.S. President Barack Obama may have felt personally snubbed by China's Premier Wen Jiabao.
Also in mid-December, as reported by Google, a series of cyber attacks, believed to be from the Chinese government, targeted Google servers (including GMail accounts of human rights activists) and those of other U.S. firms.
Of course, China has its own problems, and policy irritants, that pre-date December 2009. The persecution of Liu Xiaobo and Zhou Yongjun extends back and originated 20 years ago, as deadly force was used to clear Tiananmen Square of Chinese citizens in their pro-democracy uprising of 1989.
Above ground in mainland China, the Chinese democracy movement has not been seen much in the years since 1989. --But the intervening years have seen a 500,000 person rally in Hong Kong, and a 2 million person rally in Taiwan, and a large number of Tiananmen Square student leaders finished their college educations in the United States. Also in the U.S., more senior Chinese dissidents (Wei Jingsheng, Harry Wu, Xu Wenli) have been exiled after their release from Chinese prisons.
In fact, the United States is a hotbed of the Chinese democracy movement. Falun Gong practitioners have been active in the U.S., and they came to be hardline anti-communists, due to their ongoing persecution -- a holocaust which still needs to stop -- back in China. Hardline dissidents formed a transitional China Interim Government, to be a government-in-exile standing by. Two of the four original officers were U.S. based.
And in the United States, the above groups mingle freely with protestors of Taiwan, Tibet, East Turkestan, Mongolia, and oppressed peoples of other lands such as Vietnam, Laos, North Korea, and Burma. Wei Jingsheng has helped to form a pan-asian pro-democracy alliance.
In the recent time frame, on December 25 the Chinese government sentenced Liu Xiaobo to 11 years' imprisonment. His crime? --Writing a tract / petition / manifesto called Charter 08, for the political reform of China in the same style as Charter 77, which was an effort by dissidents in the former Czechoslovakia to resist Communism of the former Soviet sphere.
Then, on January 15, the Chinese government sentenced Zhou Yongjun to 9 years' imprisonment. His crime? --Trying to return to China to visit his aging / ailing parents.
For both Liu and Zhou, what's notable is that we're now 20 years after the fact of Tiananmen Square's bloody massacre of thousands, seen on world TV. Liu and Zhou have both been political prisoners twice before -- and still the persecution continues! The Chinese government has taken out a lease for a third decade of persecution in the Tiananmen crackdown.
The new year of 2010 began with its first news item: a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. In fact, protests have continued, demanding the release of Liu Xiaobo and support for Charter 08 and investigation about the "secret rendition" of Zhou Yongjun from Hong Kong authorities to mainland authorities, the precursor to Zhou's trial and recent sentencing. On January 13, Hong Kong's Legislative Council debated a resolution in favor of Liu Xiaobo.
Ominously, on January 11 the Chinese regime arrested Zhao Shiying, another signatory to Charter 08. The original group was of 303 signers, from all walks of life including past or present officials in the Communist Party. --How many of these people will be caught in a dragnet? Clearly, mainland authorities have tried to signal a hard line and to intimidate the Chinese democracy movement by way of their heavy handed treatment for Liu, Zhou, and Zhao recently.
On January 12, while Haiti's earthquake took the world's attention, Google released "A new approach to China." This was outing the Chinese government for its cyber attacks and announcing that Google would no longer toe the line for the regime by censoring its results on Google.cn. In Beijing, human rights activists sent flowers to the offices of Google's headquarters there.
Flowers were not the only repercussion to the Chinese cyber attacks. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) promoted his Global Online Freedom Act, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton correctly seized upon the occasion to speak out for Internet freedom on January 21. Where previously, we would have said that Google had "crossed over to the dark side," this change of heart seemed like "coming back from the Sith," and Google was hailed as heroic by energized human rights campaigners.
On January 24, the Wall Street Journal editorialized that campaigners are right -- Hong Kong's special status under the "one country, two systems" arrangement is compromised by how Zhou Yongjun was handed over to mainland authorities, contrary to routine procedures which would have returned him to the United States, where he has permanent residency and two U.S. citizen children. Yet more dissidents, and rights in Hong Kong, may be in jeapordy -- the legal precedents in this case are ominous.
What happened to "one country, two systems?" We want Zhou Yongjun back, and we want Liu Xiaobo freed. There is a point of good news: On January 25, the Washington Post reported that Zhao Shiying was freed after two weeks of being held. Also during January, the problem of poison diary products returned in China -- evidently, the milk powder from the last poisoning was not thoroughly destroyed, and it found its way back onto the market.
On January 25, Reuters published 'Factbox: Sources of tension between China and U.S.' as a helpful resource for those who need a score card. If you are a busy world leader and can't remember your place in the story, that's also why the China Support Network releases this article. Feel free to use it as a crib sheet or Cliffs Notes.
On January 28, Hillary Clinton met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, asking China for cooperation at the UN to place stiff new sanctions on Iran. She was also expected to raise the Internet freedom / Google cyber attacks issue.
On Friday January 29, the United States announced that it will sell $6.4 billion worth of weaponry to Taiwan. The sale is said to include 114 Patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) missiles, 60 Blackhawk helicopters, and two Osprey-class mine-hunting ships. Beijing responded by cancelling military visits between the two country's armed forces, and with a threat of sanctions against related U.S. companies.
Those related companies include Sikorsky Aircraft Corp (United Technologies), Lockheed Martin; Raytheon; and McDonnell Douglas (Boeing).
On Monday, February 1, talks broke off between Beijing and envoys of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama (temporal and spiritual leader of Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhism), with no progress nor agreement on the Tibet issue. On Tuesday, February 2, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama. This occasioned another blustery day from Beijing's propaganda department.
Also Tuesday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said that recent cyber attacks on Google were "a wake up call." And U.S. Senator Dick Durbin raised the issue, noting that he has asked 30 companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Skype, about their human rights practices in China. "Google sets a strong example in standing up to the Chinese government's continued failure to respect the fundamental human rights of free expression and privacy," Durbin said.
Frustrated Communist leaders may be thinking, "But wait! These are all of our hot buttons!" CSN would note that these are long simmering issues, which were kept invisible by U.S. cheerleaders for China during the warmer period of Sino-U.S. relations. Pendulums also swing back, and the now-boiling issues are precisely the reason why the Sino-U.S. honeymoon may now be over.
Strength with Beijing will generally be applauded among exiled pro-democracy Chinese dissidents. For a decade, we have lamented with horror and dismay that the U.S. seemed to abandon its anti-communist back bone, giving commercial service priority atop such matters as freedom, democracy, human rights, and national security. For Chinese dissidents and human rights campaigners, the new climate may seem electrifying -- attention is going to issues that we have long fought to raise!
The wake up call was long overdue, and we are now treated to the interesting sight of the U.S. establishment, waking up on the China issue. It seems that prevailing editorial winds shifted to now blow against China, around the same time that arms sales to Taiwan were announced on January 29. On February 2, Foreign Affairs -- published by the Council on Foreign Relations -- posted an article by Yang Yao, headlined 'The End of the Beijing Consensus' and subtitled, 'Can China's Model of Authoritarian Growth Survive?'
It is also true that the Taiwan arms sales and the Dalai Lama meeting were "as expected." The U.S. does this routinely, and did so under the previous Bush administration. Chinese leaders cannot credibly claim to be shocked and surprised, unless one looks at the reaction of Google and the Internet freedom issue that has been kicked up as a consequence of Chinese cyber attacks. --Really, Google is the new element in the mix of issues that we are seeing at present. Google marked the tipping point.
On Wednesday, February 3, Barack Obama met with Democratic Senators. He was confronted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who asked:
"We have lost 2.3 million jobs as a result of the trade imbalance with China between 2001 and 2007. The remedies to save those jobs are very ineffective -- long delays, proceedings before the International Trade Commission, subject to being overruled by the President. We have China violating international law with subsidies and dumping -- really, a form of international banditry. They take our money and then they lend it back to us and own now a big part of the United States.
"The first part of my question is, would you support more effective remedies to allow injured parties -- unions which lose jobs, companies which lose profits -- by endorsing a judicial remedy, if not in U.S. courts perhaps in an international court, and eliminate the aspect of having the ITC decisions overruled by the President -- done four times in 2003 to 2005, at a cost of a tremendous number of jobs on the basis of the national interest. And if we have an issue on the national interest, let the nation pay for it, as opposed to the steel industry or the United Steel Workers.
"And the second part of the question, related, is when China got into the World Trade Organization, a matter that 15 of us in this body opposed, there were bilateral treaties. And China has not lived up to its obligations to have its markets open to us, but take our markets and take our jobs. Would you support an effort to revise, perhaps even revoke, those -- that bilateral treaty, which gives China such an unfair trade advantage?"
The President answered Senator Specter, saying:
"Arlen, I would not be in favor of revoking the trade relationships that we've established with China. I have shown myself during the course of this year more than willing to enforce our trade agreements in a much more serious way. And at times I've been criticized for it. There was a case involving foreign tires that were being sent in here, and I said this was an example of where we've got to put our foot down and show that we're serious about enforcement. And it caused the usual fuss at the international level, but it was the right thing to do.
"Having said that, I also believe that our future is going to be tied up with our ability to sell products all around the world, and China is going to be one of our biggest markets, and Asia is going to be one of our biggest markets. And for us to close ourselves off from that market would be a mistake.
"The point you're making, Arlen, which is the right one, is it's got to be reciprocal. So if we have established agreements in which both sides are supposed to open up their markets, we do so and then the other side is imposing a whole set of non-tariff barriers in place, that's a problem. And it has to be squarely confronted.
"So the approach that we're taking is to try to get much tougher about enforcement of existing rules, putting constant pressure on China and other countries to open up their markets in reciprocal ways.
"One of the challenges that we've got to address internationally is currency rates and how they match up to make sure that our goods are not artificially inflated in price and their goods are artificially deflated in price. That puts us at a huge competitive disadvantage.
"But what I don't want to do is for us as a country, or as a party, to shy away from the prospects of international competition, because I think we've got the best workers on Earth, we've got the most innovative products on Earth, and if we are able to compete on an even playing field, nobody can beat us. And by the way, that will create jobs here in the United States.
"If we just increased our exports to Asia by a percentage point, by a fraction, it would mean hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of jobs here in the United States. And it's easily doable.
"And that's why we are going to be putting a much bigger emphasis on export promotion over the next several years. And that includes, by the way, export promotion not just for large companies but also for medium-size and small companies, because one of the challenges -- I was up in New Hampshire yesterday, and you saw this terrific new company that had just been started up -- it's only got 13, 14 employees at this point. But it has a new manufacturing technique for the component parts in LED light bulbs, potentially could lower the price of LED light bulbs, cut them in half.
"And these folks, they potentially could market not just here in the United States, but this is a technology that could end up being sent all around the world. But they don't have the money to set up their own foreign office in Beijing to navigate through the bureaucracy. They've got to have some help being over there. And so that's one of the things that we really want to focus on in this coming year, is making sure that our export-import banks, our trade offices, that we are assisting not just the big guys, although we do want to help them, but also the medium-sized and small businesses that have innovative products that could be marketed if they just got a little bit of help and a little bit of push from the United States government."
Later in the day, CNBC debunked the President's claim about how many jobs would be added if the U.S. increased its exports by 1%. The numbers fall short and do not come out at the level suggested by the President. Meanwhile, U.S. China trade has been a net minus of at least 2.3 million jobs, and the trade deficit is a net minus in the ballpark of a quarter-trillion dollars yearly.
In fact, the China trade policy means that stimulus in Washington stimulates the economy of China, where they also enjoy the multiplier effect as a quarter trillion dollars recirculate in the Chinese economy. China trade is a net minus for U.S. jobs, wealth, and taxpayer dollars (and weakens the dollar and adds inflation pressure and weakens U.S. wages / incomes).
Dated February 4 in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development "has added to the pressure on Beijing to revalue its currency."
A story by Tom Gjelten posted by NPR on February 3 concludes,
"As politicians, both Democrat and Republican, take greater note of conflicts with China, U.S.-China policy could become a hot election issue.
"'[In 2008], we voted for Obama or McCain with no interest in their positions on China,' Bremmer notes. [Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group] 'I believe that that will never happen again. This relationship is going to become politicized, and going forward it is going to be key in determining how we think about candidates, how we think about U.S. policy.'"
Right now, your author at the China Support Network is suppressing an urge to order a lawn sign for political campaigning: "* * Duncan Hunter 2012 * *". America's highest office should have a China hawk, not a China wimp. I suppress that urge in the interest of being constructive here and now.
As ever, the China Support Network is standing by with suggestions for Washington and demands for Beijing. The suggestion is to be a China hawk, not a China wimp. Consider these demands for Beijing (and, more advice for Washington will follow below):
China must abolish slave labor, and the systems of Laogai and Laojiao. (For newbies, Laogai is the Chinese gulag of slave labor camps. Laojiao is the procedure of administrative detention, by which people are sent to the labor camps with no due process of law.)
Persecution of Falun Gong is not a simmering issue; it is a boiling issue, and it must stop.
For that matter, all Maoism must cease immediately. The China Support Network demands the full implementation of all 19 points in Charter 08:
1. Amending the Constitution.
2. Separation of powers.
3. Legislative democracy.
4. An independent judiciary.
5. Public control of public servants.
6. Guarantee of human rights.
7. Election of public officials.
8. Rural–urban equality.
9. Freedom of association.
10. Freedom of assembly.
11. Freedom of expression.
12. Freedom of religion.
13. Civic education.
14. Protection of private property.
15. Financial and tax reform.
16. Social security.
17. Protection of the environment.
18. A federated republic.
19. Truth in reconciliation.
About Tibet, CSN has demanded that Beijing "stop the killing, release the prisoners, and talk to the Dalai Lama."
Beijing should likewise reverse its 2009 crackdown against Uighur Muslims in East Turkestan, which it calls Xinjiang province.
The taboo against discussing 1989's Tiananmen massacre must be lifted. The government must provide a full accounting to the families of victims, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. All remaining Tiananmen-era prisoners must be freed, together with Wang Bingzhang, Gao Zhisheng, and co-founders of the China Democracy Party. China should also release any jailed journalists and bloggers, religious practitioners, and prisoners of conscience of any kind (including the ethnic minority "separatists").
As I consider advice for Washington, I'd note that for all the many crises and problems that are now faced by the Obama administration, that those are known quantities. Between Washington and Beijing, Beijing is standing on more egg shells, or faces a more daunting minefield of challenges.
Beijing was looking forward to playing a new hand of cards, perhaps thinking that the United States was crippled by its crises while China enjoys rising stature in the world. They tipped that hand, or they played those cards too soon. Beijing cannot withstand a shoving match with the United States at this time.
Hence, my advice to Washington is, stand strong. Support the demands above, and be willing to sanction China for currency manipulation and slave labor, both of which amount to "economic dirty pool," a way in which Beijing has taken advantage of Washington's largesse.
Support the Global Online Freedom Act, and feel free to sell Taiwan the F-16s that it wants to replace older fighters. Meet with Chinese dissidents and [Uighur leader] Rebiya Kadeer, not just the Dalai Lama. Get ready for a second Cold War, because even if we don't have that with China, we will need that with Iran. Remember that free trade is for the free world. Cut out the communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs.
Word from here.