by Raymond E. Drake
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji’s recent nine-day tour of major American cities was one more shameful milestone in America’s “constructive engagement” with communist China.
Looking more like a successful CEO than a ruthless despot, English-speaking Zhu joked and quipped with his drooling admirers, drawn largely from our business community.
Zhu wanted to come across as a relaxed, straightforward, and dependable trade partner with no hidden agenda or ideological hostility. Indeed, he is a grand wizard in the magic arts of China’s “new look.” He laughed at Congressional concerns over China’s alleged pilfering of our nuclear secrets and satellite delivery technology, saying that from now on Chinese missiles would be clearly labeled, “Made in China, not in the U.S.”
He looked quite disarming when, as the No. 2 man of the world’s most populated Marxist country, he pushed a button to start the day’s trading at Wall Street’s NASDAQ, the largest stock exchange in the world. And when he presented a gift to NASDAQ officials, a red wooden bull, he sounded like a good, old-fashioned fortune cookie as he cheered them on with: “Always bull market!”
From his first stop in Los Angeles to his last in Boston, whether in his plush Waldorf-Astoria suite or wining and dining with droves of capitalist tycoons, media magnates, and politicos, Zhu worked hard to hide the cold-blooded and ruthless dictator behind an image of an accommodating liberal leader.
Does China’s “new look” correspond to reality? Is China really discarding its Marxist past, the slaughter of innocents, and hard-labor “reeducation” camps? Or is Zhu’s laughing act just the latest masquerade to further dupe a gullible West? Let’s take a hard look at some facts.
Persecution of the Church
While comrade Zhu was being feted and applauded by super-capitalists, Chinese Catholic clergy and laity are barred from practicing their Faith. They are beaten, tortured, and thrown into labor camps to be “re-educated” ...or die. Their “crime”? Being loyal to the Papacy and refusing to acknowledge the communist-run and schismatic Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
As of mid-October 1998, no less than eleven Catholic bishops were either imprisoned or under severe police surveillance in China.1
Bishop James Su Zhimin, 67, is the Bishop of Baoding. According to the Vatican’s Fides news agency, he has spent 19 years in prison since 1956. His whereabouts are unknown since his latest arrest in 1997. His Auxiliary Bishop, An Shuxin, was arrested together with him. All of the priests of the Baoding diocese are either in jail or in hiding.2
Bishop Julias Jia Zhiguo, Bishop of Zhengding, Hebei, was arrested during President Clinton’s visit to China.3
Bishop Joseph Fan Zhong Liang, S.J., Coadjutor Bishop of Shanghai, was in jail and labor camp for over 20 years as the result of his refusal to join the schismatic Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. On March 4, 1997, the police ransacked the tiny apartment where the 79-year-old bishop lived with his niece. They seized his bibles, missals, catechism, Code of Canon Law, breviaries, religious medals, other religious books and articles, and all the money he had, approximately $2,500. This amount is probably the entire treasury of the underground diocese of Shanghai. Bishop Fan remains under strict police surveillance.4
Mass must be celebrated secretly. “Under-ground” seminaries are destroyed when discovered. Police scatter the crowds that gather on Marian feast days amid the rubble of the popular Marian shrine at Donglu, which was bulldozed in 1996.
The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) reports that in the Baoding diocese, only 85 miles southwest of Beijing, the persecution is unrelenting. Last Christmas authorities went on a rampage. Fr. Peter Hu Duo, just released from hard labor, was rearrested and tortured. Police thugs beat him so badly they broke his legs. His whereabouts are still unknown. Catholic lay leaders were gagged, blindfolded, and tortured with electric batons and other implements. Catholic meeting places were set on fire. A 12-year-old girl, who wished to “adore the Lord,” was so cruelly thrashed that she required hospitalization. Catholics meeting in a vegetable shed to celebrate Christmas were arrested and fined the equivalent of a few months’ wages. According to Bishop Andrew Tsien Tchew-Choenn of Hualien, Taiwan, similar government crackdowns against the celebration of Christmas by “underground” Catholics occurred in Gansu, Hebei, Henan, and other provinces.5
Espionage like never before
While the blood of martyrs was being spilled, our military secrets were passing hands. In the wake of leaks in satellite delivery technology, a special bi-partisan House committee was set up to investigate the damage to our national security; it stumbled on more than it had imagined. Its 700-page report made 38 recommendations to the Administration and Congress. Committee Chairman Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), said, “Based on unclassified information, I can tell you today that we have found that national security harm did occur.”6
Only in late February did the Administration decide that security was a concern in the planned sale of a $450 million satellite to China and cancel the deal. Despite the political firestorm, however, a military exchange program between the United States and China was not suspended, roiling many on Capitol Hill. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) stated, “There is no country in the world that we are more likely to be at war with 10 years from now than communist China, and here we are modernizing their military. It’s insanity. I think it’s immoral to call the world’s worst human rights abuser our strategic partner, but it’s crazy to modernize a potential enemy’s ability to fight a war and that’s what we’re doing.”7
The scathing series of reports in The New York Times about the gross negligence, suspected espionage, and possible theft of our nuclear secrets from Los Alamos should be enough to outrage the Nation. When informed of the FBI’s growing concern in the summer of 1997, the White House ordered security measures to be taken. Apparently, nothing was done for more than a year, but the Administration continued its “engagement” policy with China. Paul Redmond, the CIA’s former counterintelligence chief who was briefed on aspects of the Los Alamos security investigation, stated, “this is going to be just as bad as the Rosenbergs.”8
In the ensuing uproar, national security adviser Sandy Berger said, “There’s no question that they’ve benefited from this.”9
The damage to national security may extend to more than just the reported W-88 miniature multiple warhead and the neutron bomb. On April 28, The New York Times reported that millions of lines of code on the production and simulation-testing secrets (the “legacy codes”) for virtually every weapon in America’s nuclear arsenal were improperly downloaded and subsequently improperly accessed.10
The secrets themselves are of little use to anyone who lacks the appropriate high-performance computers that can simulate nuclear explosions. Tragically, Red China has this advanced technology—thanks to our government’s engagement policy. Since 1996, we have exported around 400 high-performance computers to China, apparently everything it needs to modernize its already lethal war machine. Beijing alleges the computers are for civilian use, but it seems most of them ended up at nuclear-missile and military sites.11
Before his trip to the United States, Zhu joked about the intense furor, saying, “the so called problem of China stealing military secrets from the U.S. is like a tale from the Arabian Nights,” and that he hoped for a “warm handshake” from President Clinton to reflect “quite good relations.”12
Chinese communism flexes its muscles
Not surprisingly, China is building up and modernizing its “peaceful” military. Its DF-31 ICBMs are thought to have a range of 5,000 miles, able to reach most of California and parts of other Western states. Its DF-41, under development, will be able to reach every corner of the United States with its 8,000 mile-range. China is also reported to be aiding countries like Iran and North Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals and missiles, some of which could reach us.
In February, a Pentagon report highlighted the increased threat China poses to anticommunist Taiwan. China increased the number of its short-range missiles aimed at the island from around sixty in the early ‘90s to about double that number now, and is expected to increase them to more than 600 withint hree years.13
China has 4,500 combat aircraft (Taiwan’s, although more modern, number just 400) and is now buying newer warplanes from Russia. The buildup is such, the Pentagon said, that China could overwhelm Taiwan by 2005.14
In December 1998, the Chinese army conducted military exercises with simulated missile-firings against Taiwan, U.S. Army troops in South Korea, and Marines in Okinawa and mainland Japan.15
China is also extending its control over strategic sea-lanes in the Pacific. While its attempt to lease the American-built Subic Bay Naval Base was not welcomed by the Philippine government, China does have a station in the mid-Pacific on the island of Tarawa. It has built an 8,000-foot runway on the Paracel Islands.16
In the disputed Spratly Islands it is challenging Philippine sovereignty by building military facilities and stationing warships there, “to protect its fishermen.” Congressman Rohrabacher recently flew over the islands and stated, “They are building a fortified base on Mischief Reef.... By claiming territory at Mischief Reef, the communist Chinese are not only going to be able to control one of the most important waterways in the world, but they are also in a position to grab huge energy resources.… It strategically borders the Palawan Passage which leads directly to the Taiwan Strait and links the passage of oil and commodity transport ships from the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to Japan and Korea.”17
17 More ships pass within striking range of the Spratly Islands than through the Panama Canal.18
The Panama Canal itself, however, is of great interest to China. As a result of Panama’s Law No. 5 (which apparently violates the Panama Canal Treaty) approved by the Panamanian legislative assembly on January 16, 1997, a Chinese company, Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd., acquired a 50-year lease on the American-built ports of Balboa on Panama’s Pacific coast and Cristobal on the Atlantic. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 16, 1998, Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.) said, “My specific concern is that this company is controlled by the communist Chinese. And they have virtually accomplished, without a single shot being fired, a stronghold on the Panama Canal, something which took our country so many years to accomplish.”19
Last January, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reiterated his profound concern, saying: “Control of the anchorages is, for strategic purposes, control of the Canal.” Unfriendly control of the Canal would cripple American logistics by preventing the timely transit necessary to maintain our “forward deployment.” In these circumstances, the U.S. would have to retake the Canal by force.20
It is unclear, however, how useful the Canal will be after a military assault and the sabotage it would likely suffer at hostile hands.
Stateside, the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), one of the world’s largest cargo transport companies, with 600 ships, owned and controlled by the Chinese military/industrial complex, tried to lease abandoned naval facilities in Long Beach, California. Its efforts were fought tooth and nail by local residents and by California Republican Representatives Randy Cunningham and Duncan Hunter. Congressman Cunningham stated, “I am not going to stand by and watch a potential enemy have access and control to a former naval security base.”21
COSCO has been involved in the smuggling of 2,000 Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles, heroin, and illegal Chinese aliens.22
Red China’s ocean of serfs…
In February, The New York Times reported on the abysmal living and working conditions of China’s underclass of para-slaves. These poor people, estimated at between 80 and 130 million in number, are called China’s “floating population.” They migrate from the countryside to the large urban areas to eke out subsistence in squalor. As “urban outsiders,” they are ineligible for most good jobs and housing subsidies and are unable even to register a bicycle. Some apparently live in places averaging less than 2½ square yards per person behind the sweatshops, sharing their bunk-bed sleeping quarters with fellow workers. While one shift “rests,” the other slaves away in the work area immediately outside. Every twelve hours, seven days a week, roles reverse.23
Unscrupulous Western capitalists have no qualms benefiting from this ocean of cheap labor. …and its slaves. Disturbing as this is, it is innocent compared to Red China’s slave prison labor. People with “a bad attitude” are sentenced to “reeducation-through-labor” camps for up to three years. The international media estimates 230,000 people are currently being “reeducated,” but the real number may be much higher. Since sentences to these camps are issued in summary administrative procedures, not in regular court proceedings, the Chinese government does not call these detainees “prisoners.” Its weasel-wording allows it to bypass the 1992 prison-labor Memorandum of Under-standing signed with the United States and keeps the labor camps off-limits to any inspection. Work conditions are harsh, and there is no official figure on inmate mortality. China also winks as ordinary penal facilities flout the Memorandum, allowing them to contract with regular industries so that their products may be exported.
It seems that even the Adidas soccer balls used for the 1998 World Cup in Paris were made with penal labor.24
Freedom of the press
The State Department’s 1998 Report on human rights in China says government control of the country’s 10,000 openly distributed publications, including 2,500 newspapers, is absolute, “All media employees are under explicit, public orders to follow the Chinese Communist Party’s directives, and ‘guide public opinion’ as directed by political authorities.” Punishment for those not toeing the party line is severe. Not even Western journalists are left alone. Some are denied entry to the country, others are detained once inside, while others are deported on
Hong Kong and Macao
The United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to Beijing on June 30, 1997, under a deal known as “one country, two systems,” and Portugal intends to do the same with its territory of Macao. Not surprisingly, China is reneging on its promises. Shortly after taking possession of Hong Kong, Beijing dissolved the democratically elected legislature and appointed its own legislative body. In other words, democracy in Hong Kong today is a sham. The independence of Hong Kong’s highest court is also doubtful. It recently took the unprecedented step of “clarifying” a decision it had made as to who qualified for Hong Kong residence after Beijing voiced its displeasure.26
The world’s largest organ harvester
Communist China does not deny that it harvests the organs of executed prisoners for sale to the Western world, but claims this is done with the consent of both prisoner and family. Red China’s barbarous practice horrified the world, and rightly so, particularly considering that even habitual pickpockets qualify for the death sentence there. With its unscrupulous ethics, and helped by Western opportunists, Beijing continues its gruesome practice, scoffing at world outrage.27
Abortion and infanticide
No other country in the world has gone so far in destroying the family as China. Its one-child-per-family policy is implemented with brutal thoroughness, with forced abortion and sterilization, beatings, and crippling fines. In Shanghai, for example, the fines equal the combined salaries of both parents for three years. The parents’ “work unit” and the government officials who “allowed” the birth are also punished. This creates multiple pressures on the parents.28
Infanticide, especially of girls, is rampant and government-sanctioned. About 1.7 million children are abandoned each year, most of them girls or “unauthorized.” A cruel fate awaits children ending up in state orphanages. The government has apparently “lost track” of 80% of the orphans it acknowledges to have received. Document-ed reports on the abuses in the Shanghai Children’s Welfare (sic) Institute shed light on their probable fate. According to Dr. Zhang Shuyun, a physician who worked at the Institute between 1988 and 1993, the majority of “abandoned children” admitted to the orphanage died within a year of “third-degree malnutrition.” According to Dr. Shuyun, children were selected to die by starvation after a “summary resolution.” Protesting employees were fired or transferred, while compliant ones were often promoted. Dr. Shuyun’s documentation also proved that city authorities were aware of the abuses, condoned them, and squelched all discussion when the horrors leaked out.29 Another orphanage was reported to have a 100% mortality rate for children under 2 years.30
The yawning trade deficit
Despite the claims of our business leaders, China is not a market. It is a source of cheap labor. Cargo ships dump Chinese-made products on America’s shores and return empty. Consequently, our trade deficit increases exponentially, as the volume of cheap goods we import is far greater than the quality goods we send Beijing. Over the last nine years, the American trade deficit with China soared from $3 billion in 1989 to a staggering $56.9 billion in 1998. The jump in 1998’s deficit alone was a whopping $7.2 billion. Indeed, it is hard to imagine what we could possibly produce for the average Chinese to buy. But then the average Chinese is not the buyer of choice. Dollar-wise, most of the goods we do export—satellites, supercomputers, and heavy machinery—are not intended for use by simple people, but by government and its enterprises. In plain English, our exports help prop up the regime. What about our imports? Sure they are “made in China,” but most are produced with forced labor or in factories built and managed by Western companies in cahoots with the Red regime. These companies do not move to China to produce goods for a practically non-existent Chinese market, but to immorally take advantage of China’s vast pool of cheap and slave labor in making goods destined for the West. The obscene profits enrich Western mega-corporations and the regime, but not the enslaved population. The appropriate label for these products should be “Made in China with cheap and/or slave labor, for export only. ”The absence of a significant market among the enslaved Chinese people and their abuse by the unholy marriage of Beijing commissars and Western capitalists is the true reason for the galloping trade deficit. Red China’s “hard-nosed negotiating” and corporate America’s ongoing complaint about Beijing “not opening its markets” is a convenient smoke screen for both sides. The truth is that China’s “billion-man market” is as real as a Potemkin village.
Zhu’s push for admission into the WTO Between the smiles and the jokes, Zhu insisted with American businessmen and financiers to pressure the U.S. government to back China’s admission into the World Trade Organization. He alternately cajoled and threatened his capitalist friends: Had he not compromised and given special benefits to American telecommunications firms, agricultural giants, banks, and insurance companies? All those hard-wrung concessions and all the progress of the last thirteen years would be in vain if a deal is not closed right away. His carrot-stick approach turned some representatives of big business into hell-bent lobbyists. Their fierce pressure made President Clinton rush after smooth-talking Zhu to assure him that trade talks would resume just as soon as a negotiating team could make it to Beijing.31
Why is Zhu so adamant about WTO admission?
Zhu has reasons for insisting on a trade deal. Every year Congress must
vote on granting communist China “most favored nation” status, a vote supposedly predicated on China’s report card. If China joins the World Trade Organization, Congress would lose this possibility to slap China’s wrist, since under current WTO rules only for “national security interests” could the United States refuse to import Chinese goods. It is extremely doubtful
that WTO bureaucrats would consider increased religious persecution of Chinese Catholics or an invasion of Taiwan threats to American security.32 In such circumstances, America’s only option would be to stick to principle and withdraw from the WTO, which is not a bad option, but one unlikely to be adopted by weak-kneed administrations.
We must not take comrade Zhu at face value
The case against communist China is overwhelming. Everyone can know the facts, but many prefer to ignore them. They turn a blind eye to the enslaved conditions of a noble people, the slaughter of innocents, and the blood of martyrs. Mention China and they immediately think, “Oh, the cheapest products in the store.” The blood, sweat, and tears that go into making them so cheap are of no concern. Nor do they see the danger in building up an ideology that is America’s avowed and mortal enemy. Communism is not dead in China. It is thriving with our money!
We must not take comrade Zhu at face value. We should see his humor for what it is, namely, cheap tomfoolery to deceive us into dropping our guard against a fast-growing threat to the principles for which America stands.
What every American can and should do
Most of us are in no position to influence the decisions made at the highest levels that determine our country’s relations with communist China. And while it’s good to let our elected representatives know how we feel, we can and should do more, for ultimately we are the ones who make the decisions that really touch the bottom line.
If it takes two to pick a fight, it also takes two to make a sale. We can and should refuse, out of principle, to buy anything made in China. We should not be selfish, lamenting the loss of our money’s buying power. On the contrary, we should avail ourselves of the opportunity to vent our indignation at an atheistic and anti-natural regime’s cruel enslavement of a billion Chinese. We should tell store employees and managers why we refuse to buy their Chinese imports. And we can convince others to do the same.
Let our giant corporations continue importing from Beijing to their hearts’ content, but if none of us buy the goods, they will stack up and molder in warehouses. Eventually, word will make its way to the right desk.
In an economy built on supply and demand, we may not be able to control the supply, but we can and should shut off our demand. It is something every American is conscience-bound to do.
1. Cf. “Prisoners of religious conscience for the underground Roman Catholic Church in China,” Cardinal Kung Foundation Prisoner List 10/16/98.
2. Cf. “Did you know that…” Cardinal Kung Foundation.
3. Cf. “Arrest of an underground Catholic bishop in China,” Cardinal Kung Foundation Press Release, 6/26/98.
4. Cf. “Chinese public security agents ransacked the home of the underground Roman Catholic Coadjutor Bishop of Shanghai, and seized his religious goods and money,” Cardinal Kung Foundation Press Release, 3/23/97.
5. “China: Violence, harassment against Hebei Catholics reported,” UCAN Press Release, 1/28/99.
6. Cf. Bill Gertz, “Missile-technology transfers threaten U.S., panel warns” in The Washington Times, 12/31/98.
7. Cf. Bill Gertz, “Military exchange with Beijing raises security concerns” in The Washington Times, 2/19/99.
8. Cf. James Risen and Jeff Gerth, “China Stole Nuclear Secrets from Los Alamos, U.S. Officials Say” in The New York Times, 3/6/99.
9. Cf. David E. Sanger and Erik Eckholm, “Will Beijing’s Nuclear Arsenal Stay Small or Will it Mushroom?” in The New York Times, 3/15/99.
10. Cf. James Risen and Jeff Gerth, “U.S. Says Suspect Put Data on Bombs in Unsecure Files,” in The New York Times, 4/28/99.
11. Cf. Gary Milhollin and Jordan Richie, “What China didn’t need to steal” op-ed in The New York Times, 5/5/99.
12. Cf. Bill Savadove “China Premier Disputes China Stole Nuke Secrets,” Reuters, 3/15/99.
13. Cf. Jane Perlez “Hopes for improved ties with China fade” in The New York Times, 2/12/99.
14. Cf. Charles Aldinger, “China massing missiles against Taiwan—Pentagon,” Reuters, 2/26/99.
15. Cf. Bill Gertz, “Chinese exercise targets Taiwan” in The Washington Times, 1/26/99.
16. Cf. William F. Jasper, “Admirals sound the alarm,” The New American, 3/29/99.
17. Cf. Bill Gertz, “China makes move on Spratlys” in The Washington Times, 1/4/99.
18. Cf. Richard Halloran, “Admiral sees storm clouds over China” in The Washington Times, 2/19/99.
19. Cf. Robert Morton, “Who needs the Panama Canal” in The Washington Times—National Weekly Edition, 3/1-8/99.
20. Cf. Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, USN Ret., “Chokehold for China,” in WorldNetDaily, 1/29/99.
21. Cf. Michael White, Associated Press, “Clinton-China debate resonates at California port” in The News-Times, 6/11/98.
22. Cf. Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.), speech in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 4/15/97.
23. Cf. Elisabeth Rosenthal, “100 million restless Chinese go far from home for jobs,” in The New York Times, 2/24/99.
24. Cf. U.S. Department of State, “China Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998,” (hereafter referred to as the State Dept’s 1998 Report) released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2/26/99.
25. Cf. The State Dept.’s 1998 Report.
26. Cf. Mark Landler, “In ‘clarification’ on immigrants, Hong Kong court bows to China” in The New York Times, 2/27/98.
27. Cf. The State Dept.’s 1998 Report.
28. Cf. The State Dept.’s 1998 Report.
29. Cf. Human Rights Watch, “Death by default—a policy of fatal neglect in China’s State orphanages,” Press Release, 1/7/96.
30. Cf. The State Dept.’s 1998 Report.
31. Cf. David E. Sanger, “How a push by China and U.S. business won over Clinton” in The New York Times, 4/15/99.
32. Cf. Robert E. Lighthizer, “A deal we’d be likely to regret” op-ed in The New York Times, 4/18/99.