Tuesday, 08 February 2011

Hu Gets Red-carpet Treatment at White House

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China ObamaItem: “Chinese leader Hu Jintao,” reported the Associated Press on January 16, “is being feted in Washington this week with a lavish state banquet at the White House and other pomp usually reserved for close friends and allies — all intended to improve the tone of relations between a risen, more assertive and prosperous China and the U.S. superpower in a tenuous economic recovery.”

And there’s that matter of face. As the AP put it: “For the protocol-obsessed Chinese leadership, a highlight of the visit will be Wednesday’s state banquet — an honor denied Hu on his last trip to the White House in 2006. President George W. Bush thought state banquets should be reserved for allies and like-minded powers and instead gave Hu a lunch. Even worse, a member of Falun Gong, the spiritual movement banned by China, disrupted Hu and Bush’s joint appearance.”

Item: Hu used a lunch address with U.S. business leaders to “underscore the theme he has sought to establish for his state visit” — namely that both countries and the world “can benefit from enhanced U.S.-China cooperation, but it must be cooperation based on mutual respect,” reported the Christian Science Monitor for January 20. “Just in case it was unclear to anyone what Mr. Hu meant, he spelled it out with two examples. The US, he said, must recognize that Taiwan and Tibet are ‘issues that concern China’s territorial integrity and China’s core interests.’”

Item: Writing in the Huffington Post on January 20 was the chairman pro tem of the Chicago China Economic Development Center. Said William Spence: “Chinese President Hu Jintao is coming to Chicago this week. As Mayor [Richard] Daley said, the visit is ‘a very, very, very, very, big deal.’ Here’s why. China’s 1.4 billion people are participating in the greatest economic surge in the history of mankind.”

Correction: It’s one thing to stretch the truth, it’s another to mutilate it. Growth statistics can be stage-managed to tell all sorts of stories when the base of comparison is so low — for instance, China’s approximate $240 per capita GDP in 1978.

To be sure, China’s gross product is much higher these days than it used to be, though even by generally accepted figures its per capita GDP is one-tenth that of the United States. Yet, an estimated 700-800 million Chinese still are only just making the equivalent of around $2,400 per annum for what amounts to slave labor in a police state.

Bulgaria’s current per capita GDP is higher than China’s, as is Angola’s. Yes, the figures that Beijing releases do show growth, but the following nations — not generally considered economic powerhouses — were among those with faster GDP growth last year: Ghana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uzbekistan (see “The World in 2011,” The Economist). Few are filled with enthusiasm over the Uzbek economic miracle.

In many ways, the relative boom in communist China has been fueled by what more accurately might be described as fascist tactics. Beijing has been harvesting foreign technology and investment for its state-directed enterprises, exploiting its captive workers, and then exporting the goods produced around the globe — even as its international trade practices have included dumping, massive subsidies, tariffs, and widespread copyright infringements.

Yet, we have elected politicians, officials, and self-anointed intelligentsia in this country seemingly in awe of China. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called Hu a “dictator,” not as an insult but seemingly in praise; as Reid gushed on national television: “He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have.” Yep. Or, as one apologist said while extolling Stalin: You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

One of the Times’ top writers, Thomas Friedman, allowed mildly in 2009 that “one-party autocracy” in China “certainly has its drawbacks.” However, he baldly insisted, “when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.”

This of the regime built and sustained on the bones of more than 60 million Chinese, which is just one horrific aspect of the human cost of communism in that country.

The associated visit of the Chinese dictator to Chicago was not a matter of happenstance. Columnist Ben Shapiro explains:

Hu is visiting Chicago because he is likely meeting with Obama’s campaign, which is located in Chicago. David Axelrod is already back in the Second City prepping Obama’s campaign. Bill Daley’s home base is in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel, a chief architect of Obama’s original victory, is running for mayor in Chicago.

During the 2008 election cycle, foreign money flooded into Obama’s campaign coffers from countries, including Thailand, France, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, Sweden, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Historically, we also know that Democratic presidents seeking to raise money for re-election have not been shy about reaching out to the Chinese. In 1996, the Democratic National Committee, desperate to recover from a shocking midterm defeat, worked with Chinese agents to funnel money into U.S. elections. In return, President Clinton declassified millions of pages of secret military technology, allowing China to dramatically accelerate its weapons capabilities.

Does all this kowtowing, to include the U.S. President’s literal bowing to the Chinese leader, even buy goodwill or good behavior? Hardly. Whether it is in matters economic or military, Beijing is becoming more assertive — which is the diplomatic term for bullying.

The Chinese, as pointed out by economist Larry Kudlow, are “stealing our technology, violating all sorts of patent-protection laws, hacking into Google, and infringing on intellectual-property rights. In fact, 80 percent of Chinese software is reportedly pirated from American companies.”

Beijing’s new requirement, he writes, “for joint ventures with the U.S. — where China gets 51 percent, and our companies only 49 percent — looks like another attempt to snake our technology. Chinese local-content prescriptions prevent our firms from doing business with China’s state and local governments. The China curb on rare-earth materials, important both for U.S. technology and defense security, is yet another free-trade violation.”

China’s ambitions in East Asia and the Western Pacific are becoming more obvious, including outrageous claims in the Yellow Sea and South China Sea — matters of no small consequence for international trade. Most recently, in what was widely interpreted as a snub to the visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, China test-flew a new fifth-generation fighter plane — with more than a passing resemblance to the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter and another U.S. proposed design, the FB-22A — while the Secretary was in China in an effort ostensibly designed to improve military relations.

Experts in this country as well as in the Balkans speculate that the Chinese have been able to detect and reverse-engineer stealth technology for their new J-20 aircraft from a U.S. F-117 Nighthawk that was downed in 1999 during bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo war.

Over the last few years, as columnist Gordon Chang summarized for National Review Online, “a strengthened Beijing has supplied small arms to the insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, transferred materials and equipment to Iran for its nuclear-weapons program, helped North Korea deliver missiles to Pakistan and Iran, supplied arms for use in Darfur, lasered American satellites to blind them, supported the biggest nuclear black-market ring in history, conducted a global campaign of industrial espionage, and launched innumerable cyberattacks against the Pentagon and American civilian targets.”

What does Washington get for its goodwill? Well, Beijing griped when the United States finally sold some long-awaited weapons to the free Chinese on Taiwan who sit under the guns of the mainland, even though (because Beijing objected) the United States withheld F-16s that Taiwan has long sought to buy. When North Korea torpedoed a South Korean ship last March, killing 46, Beijing refused even to accept the findings of an international commission against its ally. Then when the North shelled a South Korean island in November in another act of war, China didn’t even deign to criticize Pyongyang.

China, in seeming solidarity with the AP reporter above, even expresses offense over protestors who note the treatment of Falun Gong, who routinely are kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured, and/or killed.

There was no such “disruption” during the latest swanky celebration for Hu — though a few spoilsports did note that the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was hosting a state dinner for the man who has placed the 2010 Peace Prize winner under house arrest. Liu Xiaobo, this year’s Nobel recipient, thinks modest reforms are in order in Communist China. That makes him a criminal.

Obama’s dinner partner Hu was personally behind a 1989 crackdown in Tibet. China scholar Jonathan Mirsky recalled in one British publication how Hu declared martial law in Lhasa and “Chinese security officers, under orders from Party Secretary Hu, opened fire for three days, killing somewhere between 100 and 700 Tibetans.”

The human-rights record in China remains abysmal. As pointed out in a recent report by Human Rights Watch, Beijing has tightened restrictions on the media, including the Internet; placed more controls on lawyers, human-rights defenders, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); expanded restraints on Uighurs and Tibetans; and carried out even more enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions — which include keeping abductees in secret facilities known as “black jails.”

Some during Hu’s visit did publicly decry the record of China and the kindly treatment rendered him by the Obama administration. Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), for example, was among those to do so. The Congressman focused on the evils of the government’s so-called one-child policy. In the words of the U.S.-China Commission, this system is “marked by pervasive propaganda, mandatory monitoring of women[’s] reproductive cycles, mandatory contraception, mandatory birth permits, coercive fine[s] for failure to comply, and … forced sterilization and abortion.”

In practice, this is nothing short of gruesome. Smith recalled that in late 2009 he had chaired a hearing of the Lantos Human Rights Commission, hearing testimony from a woman called Wujian, a victim of forced abortion. Her account and those of others appear in a report of the House of Representatives (“An Evaluation of 30 Years of the One-Child Policy in China”).

As the woman testified, she had been abducted from a cabin where she was hiding from the population police. The testimony, brutal though it is, deserves extended quotation.

About one hour later, the van stopped in the hospital. As soon as I was [dragged] out of the van, I saw hundreds of pregnant moms there, all of them just like pigs in the slaughterhouse.

Immediately I was put into a special room without any preliminary medical examination. One nurse did Oxytocin injection intravenously. Then I was put into a room with several other moms. The room was full of moms who had just gone through a forced abortion. Some moms were crying. Some moms were mourning. Some moms were screaming, and one mom was rolling on the floor in unbearable pain....

Then I kept saying to her [the abortionist], “How could you become a killer by killing people every day?”...

She told me that there was nothing serious about this whole thing for her. She did this all year.... Finally she put the big, long needle into the head of my baby in my womb.

At the moment, it was the end of the world for me, and I felt even time had stopped.

The testimony of Wujian — her real name was withheld for her protection — went on:

Since it did not come out as expected, they decided to cut my baby into pieces in my womb with scissors and then suck it out with a special machine. I did not have any time to think as this most horrifying surgery began by force. I could hear the sound of the scissors cutting the body of my baby in the womb....

Eventually, the journey in hell, the surgery, was finished, and one nurse showed me part of a bloody foot with her tweezers.

Through my tears, the picture of the bloody foot was engraved into my eyes and into my heart, and so clearly I could see the five small bloody toes. Immediately the baby was thrown into a trashcan. The one-child policy and forced abortion policy have killed millions of innocent lives in China.

Such is the nature of the regime for which a red carpet is rolled out at the White House.

China’s oppression is all too real and its aggressiveness, economically and geopolitically, is growing. The head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has expressed concern about its new high-tech weaponry, and observed: “Many of these capabilities seem to be focused very specifically on the United States.”

While America is China’s largest trading partner, China is using its debt leverage over the United States to its own benefit. It is a sad day indeed when an apparent key foreign-policy goal in Washington is to honor bloody-handed tyrants so they will continue to underwrite even more U.S. deficit spending.

— Photo: AP Images

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