Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and his emails purportedly showing business ties between his father, himself, and the Chinese regime has put China on the radar screens of many Americans.
China first came onto my political radar screen during the George H. W. Bush Administration. China, as it does now, has an atrocious human rights record. The regime was then beginning to experiment with a quasi capitalistic economic system.
At the time, the Bush Administration was urging Congress to grant the communist authoritarians in Beijing with permanent Most Favored Nation status. With MFN status, a country enjoys the best trade terms given by its trading partner. That translates into lower tariffs, fewer trade barriers, and higher import quotas.
The fallacious reasoning behind this foolish move was the belief that when people enjoy economic freedom and prosperity, they will demand personal freedom and liberties from their government. After years of having temporary MFN status, Congress finally granted China permanent MFN in 2000.
China was given this plum just eleven years after they massacred pro-democracy student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Twenty-one years after being granted permanent MFN, China has achieved the second largest economy behind ours and has become our geopolitical military rival supplanting Russia. Speaker Newt Gingrich predicts China will achieve the first manned mission to Mars and will compete vigorously with the United States for space superiority.
Since the Tiananmen Square massacre, things haven’t changed all that much when it comes to how China treats its citizens, especially its indigenous citizens like the Uighurs and Tibetans. But things have certainly changed for the good economically for the Communist regime.
“China finished 2020 with a 10th consecutive month of expansion in its manufacturing sector, capping a dramatic year that saw the country’s factories incapacitated by the pandemic, only to roar back as a growth engine for China and the world…[E]conomists both inside and outside the government projecting economic growth of 8% or more in the coming year.”
China’s Socialist Market Economy, where the government owns most state enterprises within a supposedly market economy, shares more attributes and traits with so called Progressives and the American Democratic Party than it does with free-market capitalism.
For example, the Communist regime understands that human beings must be conditioned early to accept restraints on their natural inclination towards freedom. As conservatives know all too well, liberal indoctrination in America also begins early. In an article titled “Xi’s China Crafts Campaign to Boost Youth Patriotism,” The Wall Street Journal highlights China’s efforts:
Today, China is embarked on another campaign to re-educate its young people. The message is more blatantly nationalistic than anything in recent decades, with President Xi Jinping’s image often at the center. And it is far more sophisticated than anything Beijing has attempted in the past.Under Mr. Xi, patriotic education has become sharper and more widespread. Chinese authorities learned from recent unrest among teenagers and young adults in Hong Kong that indoctrination has to start young, according to Stanley Rosen, a Chinese politics professor at the University of Southern California. “We need to seize this critical period that determines and forms teenagers’ values and guide them so they can do up life’s first buckle,” Mr. Xi explained in one August 2018 meeting.
Does the use of rock stars, national athletes, movies, and classroom instruction sound familiar?
The 9,000-word document includes instructions for government and party officials to promote movies, news and classroom lessons with Mr. Xi’s ideology and his plans for China’s rejuvenation. It calls on authorities to capitalize on teenagers’ interests in online games, animation and short videos “so that patriotism can fill the internet space.” The Military Correspondent, a news journal sponsored by the People’s Liberation Army, has said China’s military must increase use of social-media platforms, which it calls gathering places for younger users…The Youth League has tied up with celebrities, including Chinese rock stars and national athletes, to attract more eyeballs.
And it seems to be working:
The study, published in September by researchers from Shanxi University, found that Chinese teens born after 1998 are more patriotic than their predecessors. They cited an online survey of more than 580 teenagers in which more than 90% used terms such as “lucky” and “satisfied” to describe how they felt about growing up in China. Young people realize China’s power and are proud of it, the academics wrote, unlike earlier generations, who regarded China as a backward country and believed Western values could change it. Many even dreamed of moving to the West. Charlie Hong, a schoolteacher in Chongqing, said that is no longer the case. When he asked his students if they would like to immigrate to a different country, he said, all except one said no.
It’s ironic that while the American Left eschews patriotism and labels it jingoistic and racist, Chinese authorities are using patriotism to successfully indoctrinate their young people with the Party’s ideology. Sometimes, the greatest enemy is not located outside of the walls but within them.