China, the World’s Second Most Powerful Country, Operates in Secret

Doug Bandow wrote an excellent article regarding the need for transparency in China’s politics in Sunday’s newspaper (“China politics need transparency” P. 6, http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2017/05/14/2003670538). One cannot agree more.

However, while we may hope for such transparency, there is much to fear from China’s rise, which despite Xi Jinping’s smiling assurances, is anything but peaceful, and promises to be a full on attempt to create anti-US sentiment, sell China as a “peaceful” replacement superpower, increase China’s propaganda and blackmail, draw trade to China without offering equal opportunities to foreign business in China, and create more and more Chinese cultural, political, financial, technological and diplomatic viruses, insidious, long-term, subtle tentacles designed to slowly infect the world with China’s totalitarian form of existence, its intolerant view of the separation between government and the daily life and thoughts of common people, and its “everything with Chinese characteristics”.

As I wrote recently, the One Belt One Road project is nothing more than a Chinese noose designed to ensnare all who come to play on the new Silk Road and weave China into the fabric of every single country participating, essentially making trade (and hence diplomacy) seamless between them and one of the world’s worst serial violators of human rights, justice, and freedom, and friend to evil regimes around the world. But you will not hear much from these governments about that, because of the enormous trade potential China dangles before them, and its “conditions”, otherwise known as strings, for being allowed to feed at China’s trough. Those strings require obedience to China’s “core interests”, which mean respecting its hegemony and totalitarianism, and suppression of all freedom in China and following its instructions regarding Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong.

Mr. Bandow mentions the coming transfer of power in China and the re-election of Xi Jinping (習近平). However, it is the next transfer of power in 5 years that will be most telling. Xi is only 63 at present, which will make him 68 for the next transfer. One might ask, running the world’s second largest economy and military, why do we know the outcome of the election, even if secret? It would appear, following his consolidation of power, such that he now maintains the three most powerful positions in China, head of the Party, head of the government and head of the military, that Xi’s eye is on another 10 year term following the end of his first ten years. What happens in the next five years regarding Party high echelons will give a clue, not polls of voters or campaign speeches or promises. As Mr. Bandow notes, the process by which this would happen is completely hidden. It is the nature of Beijing’s survival all these years, squelching discussion of internal matters, and filtering discussion of external facts. Suppression is in the Chinese Communist Party’s DNA.

As Mr. Bandow observed regarding the opaqueness of this process, “It is a bad system for the PRC and the rest of the world.”

As for hoping for change, one need only look at the treatment by Beijing of Hong Kong and Taiwan to see the nature of the Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorial rule and utter refusal to allow even the slightest deviation from the CCP’s absolute power, though Taiwan, a completely independent democratic nation of 23 million requires continued support from the free world to keep out of reach of China’s claws.

China’s system of baiting foreign investors and companies to trade with China and do business there also involves unfairly treating them, targeting them, favoring local companies, watching over their theft of those foreign companies’ IP and assets, with the Party’s complete control of the outcome of any litigation, as the Courts are merely an extension of the Communist Party. The more trade with China, the more dangerous the outcome for any trade partner, as trade can be reduced as the Communist Party directs in order to squeeze any trading partner.  South Korea realized this when China cut tourism 40% when South Korea bought the THAAD system. Taiwan is also an example, where election of the opposition independence-minded DPP party resulted in China closing most avenues for benefit from doing business with China (e.g. tourism, trade, allowing Taiwan international space).

Clearly, as I have seen from watching China’s “rise”, it is willing only to imitate those foreign indicia of “freedom” without understanding them or meaning them, while quietly continuing its brutality, and making a show of liberalizing its economy and its government, while not effecting any real change at all, and having beguiled nations to try to make money from China’s trade, but forcing them to intone Beijing’s mantras, and look the other way as the price of getting their hands on Kommunist Kash. As China gets more and more international recognition as a major player in world affairs, it will become harder and harder to hold off its march against democracy and freedom.

Mr. Bandow has hit the nail on the head. China has great potential, but the lure of absolute power is very difficult to resist, and even more difficult to give up, especially for a government accustomed to simply getting and taking what it wants.

Pursue the Truth

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

Most people avoid the difficult path, but as Robert Frost wrote in the Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

The most difficult path of all is the path to truth. It is often obstructed by fear and denial, by guile and by weakness, by sloth and by bad intentions, by closed minds and by ill-intentioned open wallets.

Some truth is hard truth, some is obvious, though often ignored, some truth is obscure, having to be ferreted out, some truth is right in front of you, though at times too large to be seen. Some truth is scary, some is exciting, some is dangerous, some beguiling.

The thing is, the pursuit of truth should be one of our daily aims, to dig it out where it cannot be easily found, to illuminate it where is has been buried by doubts and lies, half-truths and propaganda, to put it on display where it has been suppressed by dogma, by stubbornness and by politics, and to teach it where it has been abandoned or obscured in the name of political correctness.

The pursuit of truth is both satisfying and exhilarating, and putting it on display can be like creating a canvas or object of light and beauty.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty – That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn.

Project Syndicate’s China Propaganda Machine – George Soros Promoting a World Led by Communist China’s Totalitarian System

A May 8, 2017 article from Project Syndicate (“Lessons of China’s industrial policy”) contains yet another fawning admiration piece on China’s rise, again suggesting the US could learn from China’s economic “success”. It reads like a Soviet era propagandist puff piece on the Party’s successes and progress, while ignoring the oppression and misery the Party visits on its people every single day.

Curiously, the piece fails to mention even once that China’s economy and markets are controlled completely by the Chinese Communist Party government, there is no competition not permitted by the government and the only reason China can have 20 year plans is because the Chinese Communist Party intends to remain in power with an iron grip on every detail of Chinese life for the “forseeable future” (which in the Chinese Communist Party Manual of Commonly Misunderstood Terms is defined as “forever”). But this apparently is not even a blip on Project Syndicate’s radar. George Soros is trying hard to remake the world in a “socialist” model, though it is hard to see how China fits into that mold, except for the totalitarianism, oppression, absence of justice or law, and a country ruled with an iron fist that is often the hallmark of socialism.

While Messrs. Kozul-Wright and Poon extol the virtues of China’s CM2025 (basically a roadmap for taking over industrial might in the world through blackmail, industrial espionage, theft of intellectual property, removal of competition with Chinese firms, and funding according to the Communist Party’s political objectives) they have completely ignored China’s animus in its quest for dominance – the victory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and the end to democracy. Yes, Soros will say that China has no such dreams, yet every day we can see how China can strangle almost any adversary economically, first offering money, then more money, then forcing the Kommunist Kash addict to intone China’s platitudes and mantras (such as the One China Policy), and with smiles and seemingly benign kindness, China will own various countries critical to its supply chain, in particular raw materials and rare earth metals

The authors marvel at China’s goal of producing 75% of domestic chipsets in ten years, where today it is just 46% – why is this a good thing? It means that China will either steal technology to accomplish that, or buy chipmakers. Woe to the world if China corners that market. Then it will be able to bring the world, addicted to smart phones and all other technological advances, to its knees, and possibly we will see most other manufacturers disappear and the Chinese smartphone emerge as the leader – except who can trust what a Chinese phone producer puts in its phones and what Beijing listens to?

You see, when democracies trade, they may beat each other up, but they are not out to kill each other. China is out to kill every single democracy on earth by economic means, until all roads lead to Beijing. The only way Beijing can accomplish this is through its own propaganda, which operates 24/7, and with the help of sycophants like Project Syndicate, the child of George Soros, who apparently despises the United States so much he is willing to love Beijing.

Beware these insidious articles by Project Syndicate that attempt to soften the totalitarian Chinese Communist regime (or fail to mention it at all) to beguile its readers into believing China has become a kinder gentler nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Beware!! Do not let Project Syndicate become a mouthpiece for the dictators in Beijing, because complicity with a regime that denies human rights and justice as a matter of course endangers the world.

When is Project Syndicate going to come clean about China and speak frankly about China’s human rights abuses and strangulation of freedom of speech?

Beijing’s Trojan Horse Strategy – foreign college campuses, Chinese non-profits, Hollywood acquisitions and influence

Stephanie Saul’s article for the NY Times Service on Sunday describes Beijing’s use of Chinese students studying abroad and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association as one method for affecting the discussion on campuses in the United States, and elsewhere of Communist China and its policies.

In truth however, Beijing has been constructing these Trojan horses for decades. They take the form of Chinese student organizations, Confucius Institutes, and other organs which offer subtle propaganda to show Beijing’s supposedly kinder, gentler side, its “peaceful rise”.

But make no mistake. China’s aim is to squelch all discussion, all mention, all free speech about its evils. These Trojan horses are in fact filled to the brim with propaganda about how benign is Beijing’s dictatorship, its denial of all freedoms to its people, its oppression of its people, denial of justice, its absolute protection of Chinese companies over foreign companies doing business in China, its anti-democratic policies, hegemony, oppression of Hong Kong, hatred and genocide in Tibet and effort to smear, destroy and replace the Dalai Lama, its murder and abuse of Falun Gong followers, its South China Sea aggression, and its attempts to sideline Taiwan, render it invisible or irrelevant, and destroy Taiwan’s democracy, and most of all its intentions for world peace with Chinese Characteristics (which means peace on its terms, in other words “no peace”, a world led by China’s totalitarian system).

Communist China has vast plans in place to affect perceptions about it around the world, to infect public discourse about its tyranny by whatever means possible. Whether it takes the form of spying through acquisition of businesses (or in the case of Australia, leasing a port in Darwin for more than three hundred million Australian dollars close to an American military installation), or trying to filter any negative mention of China, usually imposing its will on those who fear losing money (as mentioned regarding Australia recently), but certainly true in Europe, Latin America and around the world. Any time a Chinese company (every company no matter private or government run is captive of the Beijing government’s control) attempts to acquire a foreign entity, there is usually a strategic reason for it tied in some way to expanding China’s influence in that area, or infecting the industry or commerce with pro-China influence, or spying.

In Stephanie Saul’s article, when reading it, I felt I was reading not about a student organization, but more about a Communist Chinese platform, a Trojan horse designed to affect free speech on American campuses (something popular these days among the politically correct ultra-left who also seek to squelch discussion of subjects and positions with which they disagree), to basically stop any campus organization or event from even mentioning the Chinese Communist Party’s pet sensitivities, Taiwan, the Dalai Lama and Tibet and China’s longstanding cultural genocide in Tibet, strict limitations on Hong Kong’s democracy, Falun Gong mistreatment and murder in China, Xinjiang’s muslim population and China’s attempts to destroy their culture there. These taboo subjects must be avoided in order to stay within Beijing’s good graces, and disobedience may result in China pulling back students and their foreign student tuition (much as China has done in Taiwan with not just education, but tourists, and business opportunities). The commercial blackmail is one of Beijing’s favorite intrigues.

The Trojan Horse is alive and well in Hollywood as well. Those studios needy enough to take Chinese funding suddenly self-censor so that no movie would dare put Beijing in a bad light (this is ironic considering Hollywood has no problem portraying American Presidents, and government officials, the CIA and FBI, and its military in a very bad light as part of many stories). Those studios selling larger stakes, close to being taken over, well, the censorship will be more direct. As for a Chinese company purchasing a major studio (such as China’s Wanda Group, which already acquired AMC and a piece of Legendary, tried to acquire Dick Clark Productions (including the Golden Globes), and was sniffing around Paramount Pictures), this would be a disaster of tremendous magnitude. Not only would this provide enormous power to the Communist Party regime, allowing it to hobnob with the elite in Hollywood, affecting Hollywood’s discussion of China’s brutality around the world, and its hegemony (Hollywood is quick to hate American government, making it ripe for acceptance of the sales talk by Beijing of its benign intentions), it would open the door to propaganda by the studio in the form of its by then major motion pictures portraying the free world poorly, and Communist China in illusions of grandeur and peace. Also, just to make the plan more horrifying, Beijing currently limits the number of foreign films it allows to be shown in China. A major studio would therefore be better off moving its movie-making to Wanda’s gigantic studio in China, completing the theft of international movie primacy, and killing jobs in Hollywood and the US.

Beijing’s cavalry of Trojan horses is on the march, and it is marching to a college or movie theater near you soon. I ask that you beware, and hold dear our hallowed principles of free speech and constitutional protections for freedom and free speech. Without that protection we are vulnerable to Beijing’s insidious Trojan horse machinations.

Caveat Emptor – Australia Should Stay Closer to Its Longstanding US Alliance While it Dallies in China’s Illusory Honeypot

The New York Times today, in an article by Damien Cave, suggests a quandary for Australia, having to choose between its longstanding alliance with the US and increasingly deeper economic ties to Communist China, a slippery slope for most countries beguiled by China’s imaginary endless markets, which are heavily regulated and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party along political trajectories.

There is no real conflict, it is an imaginary drumbeat to create issues because of Trump’s chaotic presidency. All intelligent people know that the US democracy elects a president every four years come hell or high water, and the country continues to function as the world’s only superpower whoever is sitting in the White House.

The notion that there is a difficult decision between survival (e.g. the century old military alliance with the United States, both vibrant democratic countries) and trade with China, a totalitarian behemoth which has traditionally operated politically in foreign affairs through blackmail and propaganda is a false issue. This is not really a choice. The dangers of becoming too dependent on China’s trade only mitigates in favor of not becoming “captive” of a totalitarian nightmare, especially a nation which can be economically suffocated by too many entanglements with China.

Of course, anyone can do business with China, but obviously doing business with China comes with conditions which require diplomatic decisions and concessions (often turning reality on its head, such as the One-China fiction) favoring the hegemonic plans China has more recently become bolder to pursue. The conflict is not whether Australia will continue to ally itself with the United States, a military and political alliance essential to Australia’s safety and high profile in international affairs, but whether Australia should be cautious when doing business with China, the world’s largest and most dangerous propaganda and blackmail machine, and one of the best regimes at floating a honey-trap for overly eager and unsuspecting trade partners, who may become addicted to what China allows to be doled out to further its own hegemony.

While China may be Australia’s largest trading partner, China allows that to be the case so long as Australia adheres to the policies China requires of it (which begs the question of “independence” the detractors from US influence in Australia (such as former PM Paul Keating (a serial sinophile, who sits on the advisory board of China Development Bank and has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping) who said Australia should not “put all its chips” on its relationship with the US.) are fond to argue – is it better to be influenced by the world’s strongest democracy, or by the world’s most horrific totalitarian dictatorship (having murdered as many as 80 million of its own people throughout its history, and currently stifles even the smallest hints of freedom of expression or speech, human rights, or justice, and stomps its heavy boot on the commerce of all around the globe who do not kowtow to its hegemony and fictional “One-China Policy”)?

It doesn’t seem to be such a difficult choice, unless too much emphasis has been made on doing business with the devil, and Australia has become hopelessly entangled with (or addicted to) Communist China beyond its own control. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

Democracy with Chinese Characteristics

There are those in Taiwan who clamor for unification with Communist China, many of whom believe Taiwan is already unified with it, others who go on about the Republic of China, as though it is a breathing living thing and not the deceased remnants of the Guomindang (KMT) never to rule as the “legitimate” China.

Beijing sits on the dock dangling unification and “One Country-Two Systems” in the water as bait, expecting Taiwanese, who already live and breathe freely, as freely as any democratic system in the world, to bite. Only the delusional KMT die-hard will go for this. One need only look at Hong Kong for the truth of what One Country Two Systems really means. In Hong Kong it is almost impossible for a supporter of democracy to prevail in any election (which is ironic, considering it is supposedly a democratic election), and if a maverick manages to get elected, they face imprisonment for any number of the usual charges the Communist Party uses to get rid of annoying upstarts who go on about such things as freedom, human rights, due process, or democracy.

For an explanation of this phenomenon, one must look at the Chinese Communist Party Manual of Commonly Misunderstood Terms to see the definition of One Country Two Systems: “One country only, China, and China decides everything”. For clarification, it is important to also take note of the Manual’s definition of “Democracy”, which is primarily “the right to vote for whomever the Communist Party tells you to vote for, or else.” and secondarily, “No Democracy”.

In Hong Kong, recent events tell us that getting elected as a democrat will result in arrest because the Chinese Communist Party (“CCP”) cannot allow the Hong Kong Legislative Council to be muddied by democracy, or dissent. The only acceptable legislative body in Hong Kong is one that obeys the CCP without dissent.

One Country Two Systems, like the ROC, is a mirage, a delusion floated by the CCP as bait to catch Taiwanese who want to believe they are part of something bigger than Taiwan, without ever realizing Taiwan is enough by itself. Better to be a smaller excellent democracy than a huge totalitarian behemoth chewing up freedom and spitting out oppression. No one should aspire to be China, least of all Taiwanese, who already live in one of Asia’s most vibrant democratic systems.

Project Syndicate’s Naive China View

Yasheng Huang was born in Beijing and writes for Project Syndicate. Throughout many of his articles and books, I find an apologist for China’s rise and its hegemony. It is not unexpected. One of the themes harped on by Project Syndicate is that the “detente” between the US and China regarding Taiwan has been a successful dance avoiding “conflict”.

“Success” is a relative term of course, and a Chinese writer naturally would think that “success” means Taiwan is not an independent country (which it already is). But the ridiculous “One-China Policy”, which basically turns the truth on its head out of the expediency and political correctness of yielding to China’s hegemonic designs while making it clear simply taking Taiwan is unacceptable, is not “success” for the 23 million people of Taiwan, who only yearn to have their de facto independent and free nation recognized. In fact, the entire world, in order to appease China in exchange for Kommunist Kash and opportunities in China, have basically decided Taiwan is a part of China (which it is not), is not a country (which it is), and has no standing in the world, despite the fact that its economy is among the most successful in the world, it has a democratically elected government, offers all of the freedoms (and is officially a “free country” according to Freedom House) China does not offer to its own oppressed billions, has its own currency, military, borders, post office, government, judiciary, law, Constitution, elected President, and flag.

“Success” for Taiwanese would be when the world in one voice tells China to get over it already after almost 70 years. All that Trump did in a visceral moment before he was corrupted by the status quo hawkers was basically tell the Emperor his new clothes are not clothes and he is a naked weakling, and he called Taiwan’s leader a President, which is precisely what she is. Imagine that, the temerity to tell the truth to China’s face.

A new paradigm would involve the truth, and begin a transition in which China no longer can blackmail the world to uphold its utter fraud concerning so many things and its plans to by the slowest degrees change the world into a world order with Chinese characteristics, Xi’s personal dream. No one knows what havoc Trump may cause, but it can’t be worse than the decades of numbing political correctness ignoring the truth so Beijing’s “feelings” aren’t hurt (and that political correctness is something promoted by Project Syndicate, which I find quite odd indeed).

Taiwan is not a sacrificial lamb, it is a wonderful, amazing, free, democratic, vibrant nation of 23 million people, who have no intention of ever being part of the world’s worst tyranny. It is difficult to understand why Mr. Huang, having spent so many years benefiting from the freedoms offered where he hangs his hat, does not see this, or perhaps it is an accommodation, like so many nations are forced to adhere to, in order to continue, another of China’s requirements. Project Syndicate’s pandering to China is appalling, but, sadly, not unexpected.