Monday, 25 July 2011

National Governors Conference: China Sellout Begins With First Amendment

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The National Governors Association Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15-17, was a smashing success — at least from the viewpoint of China's Communist Party officials and its state-controlled mega-corporations. A major component of this year's annual NGA confab was the first-ever U.S.-China Governors Forum, which brought the U.S. governors together with four of their Chinese counterparts, the governors of Zhejiang, Anhui, Yunnan, and Qinghai  provinces. Leading the official Chinese delegation was Zhao Hongzhu, Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang Province.

Secretary Hongzhu told China Daily that the summit exchange was "direct, practical and effective." According to China Daily, billions of dollars in trade deals were signed:

In the past, I could only meet one governor at a time, and now I have met so many of them here," [Zhao Hongzhu] told reporters on the sidelines of the forum. "Most importantly, the forum will help enhance exchanges with private companies.

Most of the members of the Zhejiang delegation were from the business community and they were expected to make about 40 deals — worth around $4.2 billion — during this visit to the US, the official said. On Monday, Zhejiang businesses signed at least 12 deals worth $364 million with companies in Indiana, a sister state of Zhejiang.

And that was just the start, as the same China Daily report noted more deals were inked with the Chinese delegations that fanned out after the summit to visit various states:

Following the Utah gathering, Chinese officials headed to US states including Texas, Maryland, Indiana and New Jersey.
The Anhui province delegation visited Maryland on Monday as the two celebrated the 31st anniversary of their sister state relationship.
Anhui Governor Wang Sanyun and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed a joint statement on intensifying their strategic cooperation and inked a number of economic contracts and agreements worth $1.54 billion.

All of this is wonderful, yes? After all, as Utah Governor Gary Herbert put it, the point of boosting trade with China is to boost his state's economy and to create "jobs and jobs and more jobs." But at what price — economically, politically, and socially? And isn't that the same promise that politicians and business moguls have been making for decades? But the reality is that "jobs and jobs and more jobs" have been shifted from the United States to China with almost every ballyhooed new deal with the People's Republic.

What are the details of the new deals struck at the governors' conference and in the meetings afterward? That's all still very murky. Journalist Vince Wade, in a YouTube video ("U.S. Governors Selling Us To China") posted before the National Governors Association (NGA) summit asked some important questions that, apparently, never entered the minds of the journalist herd attending the event. Among other things, Mr. Wade suggested the governors should be asked if the deals they were brokering included special tax breaks for the Chinese corporations that are investing here. Likewise, do the deals include special upgrades and infrastructure development that will be footed by the state and/or local taxpayers? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then the agreements may indeed provide political coups for the governors involved -— as well as sweetheart bonuses for the Chinese and American corporate elites — but at a heavy price to be paid by taxpayers. However, these price tags are usually hidden under the layers of hoopla and glitter.

Access Denied — Unless You Spout the Party Line
This reporter would have liked to ask some similar questions of the assembled governors, but I was denied access. Specifically, I was denied press credentials for the NGA Annual Meeting, which effectively barred me from attending and reporting on any of the official proceedings. As far as we have been able to ascertain, I and my colleague Sam Antonio, of Liberty News Network, were the only reporters to be excluded from the program.

However, that did not stop us from filing stories from Salt Lake City, as this accompanying video commentary shows.

As reported previously (here and here), the NGA's media bureaucrats Krista Zaharias and Jodie Omear pointedly and absolutely refused to reconsider their decision to deny us accreditation for the summit, based upon their opinion that The New American and Liberty News Network do not produce "unbiased" and "objective" reporting.

However, the same NGA apparatchiks apparently had no problem with approving media credentials for the gaggle of Chinese "journalists" that descended on Salt Lake from various Chinese news bureaus from across the United States. These U.S.-based Red Chinese propagandists were joined by scores of additional Chinese reporters and photographers that comprised a major part of the official retinue traveling with the Chinese provincial governors.  Presumably, the NGA considers them to be unbiased and objective reporters.

Referring to the Chinese journalists as propagandists is not to engage in polemical hyperbole; it is merely stating objective fact. All of Communist China's journalists are trained, licensed, monitored, and disciplined by the Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and/or the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). In her 2009 book, Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China, Professor Anne-Marie Brady has admirably documented the structures and mechanisms through which China's Communist Party overlords control news, information, communication, thought, and opinion in the land that Mao built. Additional important background on the ubiquitous brainwashing and thought control exercised by China's rulers can be found in the Freedom House report, Speak No Evil: Mass Media Control in Contemporary China by Ashley Esarey, or Richard McGregor's new book, The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers, or on the web sites of the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

In January of this year Reporters Without Borders reported that the PRC's Central Propaganda Department had issued new directives requiring all Chinese journalists to go through a new six-month program aimed at stamping out deviationist thought, i.e., thought that is not in sync with the Party line. Presumably, all of the Chinese "journalists" accredited by the NGA for the governors' summit are graduates of the Central Propaganda Department's program. The reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers from China Daily, CCTV, Phoenix TV, Xinhua News Agency and other state-run media outlets represented at the NGA are no more journalists than were Joseph Goebbels' Nazi propagandists in Hitler's Reich. Yet the Chinese Goebbels brigades were treated as bonafide reporters by the NGA and welcomed by the Obama administration for a post-summit briefing on July 19 by Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C.

How slavishly sycophantic are the Chinese media? Check out for yourself two recent blatant examples (out of literally hundreds that could be cited): the 60th anniversary of the Communist China's brutal conquest and on-going genocidal oppression of the tiny nation of Tibet, in June, and the 90th anniversary of the founding of of the Communist Party of China, in July. The print and broadcast stories in China Daily, Xinhua News, CCTV, et al, are laughable in their over-the-top glorification of the Communist Party, Chairman Mao, and other Party leaders, and their rhapsodic hymns of the wonderful peace and prosperity in Tibet today. See, for instance, here, here, and here.

Even the liberal-left Los Angeles Times, which ordinarily shills for the Beijing regime, felt compelled to chide the PRC Party officials for their Hitlerian-style excesses of song-and-dance agitprop.

When it comes to Tibet, again, the heavy-handed propaganda is so pathetically risible that only the willfully stupid and terminally gullible can fall for it, but that seems to encompass a fairly large audience of American "intellectuals."

"Tibet celebrates 60th anniversary of peaceful liberation"
was the title of  a Xinhua News story published on July 19. According to Xinhua:

A grand ceremony was held Tuesday in Lhasa to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet. More than 20,000 people rallied at the Potala Palace Square as Vice President Xi Jinping delivered a speech, pledging to lead Tibet into a prosperous future under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)....

The Potala Palace was decorated with flowerbeds, balloons, and banners with both Chinese and Tibetan slogans. At the back of the square, people sitting on a temporary spectatorium used cardboards to display two rotating slogans - "Thank you, CPC central committe" and "Tibet's future will be better." Nearby, banks and government buildings displayed the slogan "without the CPC, there could not be a new socialist Tibet" on LED screens ...

CCTV, Phoenix TV, China Daily, and People's Daily all likewise carried similar stories originating in Propaganda Central celebrating the "60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet." (See here, here and here.

Of course, these same PRC media organs did not report that on July 12, 2011, eight Buddhist monks were arrested from Surmang Monastery, Nangchen, Yushul, in Qinghai Province — for the "crime" of refusing to  participate in the 90th anniversary celebration that Communist Party officials were organizing in their area. Neither did they report that on July, 2011 three nuns of Kardze Gyemadrak Nunnery were each sentenced to three years imprisonment. Their crime? They protested peacefully in the Kardze County market, chanting "Free Tibet," "Return the Dalai Lama to Tibet," and "Long live the Dalai Lama."
Communist China does not permit its citizens (i.e., its prisoners) to engage in genuine, independent journalism. In China, there is no First Amendment protection of freedom of the press. The National Governors Association, by shamefully keeping genuine independent journalists out of their public, taxpayer-supported conference, while opening it to the official propagandists of a totalitarian power, have shown that they have no commitment to liberty and no respect for the U.S. Constitution they have sworn to uphold and defend.

Photo: The New American magazine's Senior Editor, William F. Jasper, outside the U.S.-China Governors Forum, in Salt Lake City.

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