China Communism Truth

China’s Facial Recognition AI Targeting Uighurs IS The Gestapo

By Rod Thomson

We’re hearing Gestapo thrown around a lot lately. It’s almost as though the legions of easily-propagandized ignorants wore out the constant mis-use of Nazi, Fascist and Hitler. Most of the Gestapo iterations of this are complete nonsense. 

Most. Not all. The Chinese Communist government’s police state apparatus is the modern day equivalent of the Gestapo. A report leaked to the Washington Post shows that the Chinese Communist government has tested, and is presumably using, AI facial recognition software developed by Huawei to identify the Muslim ethnic minority of Uighurs and alert police — read, Gestapo. The Post story reports:

“The Chinese tech giant Huawei has tested facial recognition software that could send automated “Uighur alarms” to government authorities when its camera systems identify members of the oppressed minority group, according to an internal document that provides further details about China’s artificial-intelligence surveillance regime.

“A document signed by Huawei representatives — discovered by the research organization IPVM and shared exclusively with The Washington Post — shows that the telecommunications firm worked in 2018 with the facial recognition start-up Megvii to test an artificial-intelligence camera system that could scan faces in a crowd and estimate each person’s age, sex and ethnicity. If the system detected the face of a member of the mostly Muslim minority group, the test report said, it could trigger a ‘Uighur alarm’ — potentially flagging them for police in China, where members of the group have been detained en masse as part of a brutal government crackdown.”

Make no mistake. This is a high-tech yellow star, except instead of being physically pinned on Jews, it is digitally affixed to Uighurs — or those unfortunate enough to look Uighur. The Chinese government is on a determined genocidal mission to exterminate this minority as it continues to boot stomp other minorities and dissenters. The Chinese government is, at this point, the largest source of organized evil actions in the world.

President Trump broke with 40 years of American acquiescence to Chinese cruelty, expansionism, technology and patent theft, trade cheating and spying on U.S. companies and governments, all in return for cheap manufacturing labor. It had been a Faustian bargain for the U.S., particularly middle class, blue collar workers, innovators and patent-holders. Americans and the rest of the world had been paying for it.

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Trump was right to call out China, launch the trade wars that were bearing the fruit of better deals, push back on the expansionism and cut Huawei out of providing the U.S. 5G hardware. This latest revelation could hardly have made it more clear. He also unapologetically referred to them as Communists, which they are in repressive actions on a par with the Soviets.

But it looks like Trump will be leaving the White House and his successor, Joe Biden, has a frighteningly comfortable history dealing with the Chinese and quite possibly personally profiting from doing it. Biden has said he believes that a stronger China is good for the world — a mind-numbingly naive, or corrupt, take on this tyranny — and intends to roll back many of Trump’s policies dealing with this international scourge.

You can almost picture a mildly clueless Joe Biden standing in for another mildy clueless Western leader, Neville Chamberlain. After meeting with Herr Hitler in 1939, Chamberlain/Biden waive a piece of paper declaring peace in our times. It was a rueful mistake then, and it is a rueful one now. The devil’s due is frightful to consider.

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There had been some bipartisan support developing for stronger dealings with China than pre-Trump, but given the level of Trump animosity that has left much of American progressivism incapable of rational thought, and Biden’s predilection to go soft on the Beijing killers, there is a real threat that once again they will be loosed.

An aggressively expansionist, spying everywhere China and a nuclearized Iran — another distinct possibility under Biden unless Israel militarily intervenes — would create a much more dangerous world than Biden is inheriting from Trump.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Like Rod on Facebook.

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China Coronavirus Courts

Launching An Economic Cold War With China

Rod Thomson

The time for civil behavior regarding Communist China is past. An Economic Cold War is required or someday, a terrible hot war will be. And such an Economic Cold War is both doable and winnable. But not cost-free.

First, before getting to how we fire the first salvo in such a Cold War, we have to briefly document what a dangerous government runs China. It is now well-known around the globe (if not to the Chinese people) that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is directly and completely responsible for loosing COVID-19 on the world. 

The CCP in Wuhan and Beijing covered up and lied, with the support of the World Health Organization, for a month after determining that this new coronavirus spread between humans, allowing about five million people from Wuhan and Hubei Province to travel around the world, including direct flights from Wuhan to the United States and Europe. The Chinese Communists also ordered the destruction of evidence, including early samples and research, “disappeared” doctors who were trying to alert the world to the new danger, expelled journalists, blocked the CDC from visiting and helping, lied to the World Health Organization and imprisoned “rumor-mongers” trying to blow the whistle on the epidemic. To this day, the CCP continues to lie about the number of infections and deaths; by some estimates, as many as a million Chinese have died from COVID-19.

Epidemiologists now believe that if Wuhan had been isolated just three to four weeks earlier and the world knew to enact travel restrictions and quarantines, the virus likely would have been contained to a sharp but local outbreak in Hubei Province. And none of the rest of the world would be threatened as it is today. Hundreds of thousands would not have died from it. Perhaps millions would not have died from the ill-conceived total shutdowns of western economies, largely the U.S., that feed subsistence level people in Third-World countries. In fact, the shutdown was predicated on bad models with corrupted information from China.

None of it would have happened if it were not for a venal, brutal dictatorship in Beijing.

All of these deaths are not on President Trump or Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Italy (which had direct flights from Wuhan to Northern Italy). They are on Communist China. 

But this is just the final nail in the coffin of the failed policy — which I was warm to early on — that China could be wooed into the fraternity of civilized nations through increased economic integration and more open trade. Many conservative thought leaders who once subscribed to this concept, such as William McGurn, Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and many others — now recognize it largely failed and that a sea change is needed. It’s not clear where liberal/progressive thought leaders are on this because their entire intellectual processes are consumed with removing Trump from the White House.

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Communist China may be the biggest threat to its own people, as one of the worst human rights violators on the planet. They have shipped more than a million Uyghurs to concentration camps for the crime of being Muslims. The Uyghur men are separated from the women, including husbands and wives, with the goal of essentially eliminating the ethnic minority in a generation by being unable to procreate, except those Uyghur women who are given to Chinese Communist Party members.

The Chinese Communists also imprison Christians, other Muslims, Hindus, journalists, and literally — by law — anyone who says something critical of the Communist regime. This is a terrible, repressive government.

And a terrible neighbor. China has illegally built islands in the South China Sea and fortified them militarily with air bases and army units. They have turned loans to impoverished or foolish countries into blackmail projects through their Belt and Road project, economically subjugating some Third World nations to gain access to their resources and ports.

And right now, China is using the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic to crackdown on Hong Kong and eliminate the citizens’ rights it agreed to retain when England returned the prosperous island city to China. Hong Kong freedoms are going to be erased, as will many Chinese in Hong Kong.

Communist China has stolen U.S. military technology, interfered with elections, infiltrated high-ranking American officials such as U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat. They have hacked the U.S. government and major American corporations. They have cheated on trade agreements and blackmailed U.S. companies. And they enable the unthinkably brutal and dangerous North Korean regime.

They are building a strong navy and air force to go with their giant army, often using pilfered technology from the U.S. and occasionally Europe.

China’s ambitions are for world domination, and there is no other way to read it. They are playing the long game and have played the United States from Nixon to Obama. We need a President with the backing of Congress who will stand up to China before it is too late. And that means now.

That sure isn’t Joe Biden, whose son Hunter was given more than a billion dollars by the Chinese Communists for his “investment” fund after flying in with his then Vice President father on Air Force Two. 

According to the New York Post: “In 2013, then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two to China. Less than two weeks later, Hunter Biden’s firm inked a $1 billion private equity deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China. The deal was later expanded to $1.5 billion. In short, the Chinese government funded a business that it co-owned along with the son of a sitting vice president.”

That was the first of a couple of rounds of investments in Hunter Biden’s firm that greatly enriched him and could well be part of the reason that Joe Biden is so soft on the Chinese Communists. That, and being perennially wrong on foreign affairs.

If China is the true existential threat to the United States as we know it, then Joe Biden is the exact wrong person in the White House to be dealing with them.

This has to end and it seems to me there is only one person willing to stand up to the Communist thugs in Beijing — the only President in two generations that has.

Firing the first salvo in the Economic Cold War

The Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party are one and the same. And that means that nations such as the United States can sue the CCP without running into sovereign immunity protections that apply to governments but not organizations or companies. Missouri already has already done so. Nations suing other nations, national governments suing other national governments, is a go-nowhere prospect because of sovereign immunity. But suing individuals, companies and organizations is an accepted practice.

The lawsuits would be for economic damages due to the CCP’s mischief in covering up the dangers of the new virus. A German newspaper has estimated that the Chinese government owes Germany about $155 billion for damages due to their malfeasance.

So lawsuits could be brought against the CCP by the United States or by individual states in federal court. If the courts rule in favor of Missouri or other states, or the federal government if it launched a lawsuit, collection is not as hopeless as it sounds because China has huge investments in the U.S. That’s a legal point of leverage. A court or even the federal government could put a freeze on certain investments, as we have done with Iran and others, which of course would invite China to retaliate against American investments there. That would be painful in the short term, but in the long term it would expedite the necessary shift out from China.

Italy, England, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and dozens of others could also sue China in their national courts  — or the European Union courts for the European countries. Who knows how successful these might be, but they would keep the Chinese Communists on their heels and some would probably have success. We saw how the European Union ruled against Apple and Google in cases and that required payment from both U.S. companies as well as a change in how they operated in Europe. The CCP’s actions have been much more deleterious than anything Apple and Google did.

Again, it’s not suing the country of China, but the Communist Party, a non-sovereign organization. The lawsuits can also name individuals in China, which would include multiple leaders in the CCP.

This is just one path for holding China accountable, but one that would hit the CCP hard. 

Congress can and should hold investigatory hearings that would form the basis for a radical shift in our relationship, policies and trade with China. This has to happen, and could mean a significant paradigm shift from how we have done business since Nixon. 

The very worst result would be that there ends up being no accountability for the Chinese Communists, and the world just goes back to business as normal. That would embolden the tyrants in Beijing. They would take from this that they can get away with anything. And the entire world would pay the price.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Like Rod on Facebook.

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China Trade Truth

Coronavirus Highlights The Importance Of The Trump Doctrine Succeeding

Rod Thomson

We are seeing the folly of past administrations of both parties playing out in real time, illuminated by a deadly virus out of the heart of China. And it is making something abundantly clear.

President Trump was more right on trade and border security than even I thought — and those were the two areas I considered him strongest in 2016. In fact, no one else was even talking about trade agreements. 

The underlying thesis of Donald Trump’s push to re-do trade agreements with China and our North American neighbors — which might be called the Trump Doctrine — was to restore manufacturing at every level. The idea is that the world’s industrial democracies, led by the U.S.,  should not be beholden to the world’s largest Communist tyrants in order to simply have the basics required for their economies to operate.

This is literally the supply chain that is now threatening to crater the world economy because lousy, weak, vision-less American leadership has left us vulnerable. We should have understood that trade agreements favoring countries with cheap labor and allowing them to cheat endlessly and blackmail U.S. companies was not only wrong, it was dangerous. Trump saw that.

National security and now, obviously, health security are inextricably tied to better trade deals and more border security. I’m not saying Trump foresaw the coronavirus issue. There’s no evidence of that. But he saw American workers being hurt and he saw America and our allies being made vulnerable.

And boy was he ever right. 

This clarity of vision, absent among his opponents to this day, is why he ordered the shutdown of most flights from China to America in late January, more than a month ago. At the time, Democrats, including Joe Biden, rattled out on their rickety carts the same old tired, hackneyed dogmas: This is xenophobic! It’s racist! Discrimination! Ugh. It’s exhibit 4,871 why they should not be in charge of anything.

Trump’s quick, bold actions are likely why our reported cases of coronavirus are so relatively small, even though of course they will rise like everyone else’s for a period of time. We are China’s biggest trading partner, with enormous amounts of travel between the nations. But his quick actions shutting that down undoubtedly slowed it. Democrats paralyzed by intersectionality and grievances, would have been much slower to act and we would be seeing many more cases in the U.S.

Notice how some countries are beginning to close their borders to stop the spread of a pandemic, including the Europeans. But we are unable to do that effectively on our southern border until we have some sort of wall that turns floods of people into trickles, and funnels them to legal ports of entry. Everyone is safer then.

The new North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is fortunately in place, laying the groundwork for a more vibrant manufacturing base and safer supply chain as Western companies begin seriously re-thinking using China for all their cheapo manufacturing needs. This third world virus in a row emanating from China, and its mishandling, is making clear to the private sector that China is just too risky.

This will not be a quick change, and companies will always be looking for cheap labor, but they will have to factor in much more now. And with the improved trade agreements, the highly productive American labor force will be much more competitive and attractive.

Down the road, we will be less at the mercy of China and other unscrupulous countries, and more in charge of our own destiny, just as we are now with energy independence — thanks to innovative American fracking that Democrats vow to ban.

This better future will be largely due to the clarity of vision of one man: Donald Trump.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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China Trump Truth

With China Reeling, A Strategic Opportunity With North Korea

By Thomas Hudson

So much has been happening recently in the world that North Korea has all but disappeared from the front pages. The elimination of Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, the impeachment inquiry farce, the Iowa circus, the COVID-19 threat of a pandemic, have monopolized public attention for weeks.

However, North Korea is not going away and President Trump has certainly not forgotten the issue, especially since China, of late, has never been weaker. Hong Kong’s yearlong demonstrations, triggered by an ill-conceived extradition bill, hit China’s “one country, two systems” principle at its heart and the result was immediately reflected by the elections in Taiwan where the incumbent pro-independence candidate Tsai Ing-Wen won in a landslide. The news of the coronavirus epidemic, long denied and badly suppressed, could yet become a dangerous “Chernobyl” moment for the regime who is now struggling not only to contain the virus, but also to save its international reputation and perhaps fighting for its very survival.

Some people have criticized recent U.S. North Korea policy, others have praised it. Both parties assume that America’s policy is to get Kim Jong Un to abandon its nuclear program. Both are wrong.

One of the many fallouts of having waged war in Libya to depose Muammar Qaddafi to score cheap political points was that it sent a warning to all wannabe dictators: “Renounce your nuclear program and it will be the end of you.” And so it was for Qaddafi: a few years after abandoning terrorism and giving up its nuclear weapons, he was hunted down and killed like a dog (destabilizing Europe and creating an immigration crisis, among other things). 

Kim Jong Un is smart, ruthless, and knows very well his own weaknesses and strengths. He will never renounce his nuclear program which is his only deterrent against the West and of course, China.

All Trump can do after decades of U.S. presidents kicking the can down the road, is try to bring North Korea into the fold of U.S. litigious but loyal allies in the Pacific, such as South Korea and Japan (wouldn’t the video of a North Korea booming with tourism and resorts and investments which Trump showed Kim during their first meeting then make perfect sense?). 

North Korea, and Kim Jong Un in particular, seems squeezed between China and its own Army. What better moment then this for the West and in particular for the Pacific nations to apply pressure on the regime while China is struggling with problems of its own, its economy declining, Xi Jinping is under siege by his own party and an angry population that is finally losing its fear of the regime? Surely it will be less inclined to interfere directly into its neighbor’s affairs.

Despite Kim’s protestations of self-reliance to appease critics of the regime’s past and present mistakes, he must realize that no country can survive and prosper without external help and support. Furthermore, its isolation is inevitably crumbling and getting more and more difficult to enforce in an increasingly technological world. America and its Pacific allies should therefore increase communications with North Korea’s population by any means available so that more and more people (including low and medium level Army officers) are informed and aware of the alternative world out there. Aid should be delivered directly to people as much as possible to deprive the regime of claiming phony successes, while at the same time letting it be known that prosperity, thanks to an industrious and disciplined population, would be easily achievable. Obviously, most of the above would weigh on South Korea’s shoulders who the U.S. should support in full. 

Is this the path to a One Korea? Too early to say, although there have been various tentative approaches to the unification process between North and South, often disrupted by incidents, provocations or unacceptable pre-conditions. However, recent developments and more proactive attitudes from all stakeholders as indicated above might in the medium-term lead to overcoming the bottlenecks hindering a reconciliation.

While North Korea could bring to the table its nuclear armament as deterrent in a dangerous neighborhood, South Korea would contribute with its technology and an economy fifty times that of the North. Both would benefit greatly.

Denuclearize North Korea? Too late for that. But there is an opportunity right now.

Thomas Hudson has worked as Manager and Head of Corporate Support Services for private and international organizations, including the UN, in many countries. (Thomas Hudson is a pseudonym.)

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China Freedom

The American People’s Moral Pulse Is Stronger Than American Elites’

Rod Thomson

The American people have a stronger moral pulse than America’s leaders in government, business, media, universities and entertainment — often clumped together as “elites.”

And I think this is true in a bi-partisan nature if talking politics: Basic registered Democrats have a stronger moral pulse than Democratic leaders and ditto for basic registered Republicans and Republican leaders. Exceptions abound, but in a broad sense, this seems to be true and demonstrated regularly.

Let’s take the latest item in the news that adds to the evidence pile.

The NBA’s craven, knee-jerk reaction to the Houston Rockets’ General Manager tweeting out his support for the freedom-minded protesters in Hong Kong was embarrassing, at the least. The GM quickly took it down and the NBA groveled before Chinese dictators because China is a growing market for the NBA and a place for future franchises. So you know, mo’ money.

This is pretty black and white. China is a brutal dictatorship that imprisons and enslaves millions of its citizens — particularly ethnic and religious minorities — and is an increasing military threat in the region and eventually the world. It squashes free speech, free religion, free association, etc. The Beijing tyrants are perfecting the Orwellian Big Brother state (with help from American companies, which we will get to) and they mercilessly crush any dissent.

Hong Kong has a long history under British control of enjoying western freedoms. Great Britain turned Hong Kong over to the Chinese in 1999, but with an agreement that Hong Kong would retain her freedoms and a degree of independence. The Chinese dictators have been steadily working to erode those freedoms and the latest push finally sparked the ongoing demonstrations.

The Hong Kong demonstrators have been holding up the Stars and Stripes because the American flag more than anything else globally represents freedom. At heart, Hong Kong residents probably have more in common with Americans than with the Chinese mainland. With average Americans, that is.

Who is right and who is wrong in this dispute is crystal clear — to the American people.

The public reaction to the NBA’s cowering was swift and broad. The media and the “elites” as defined by the above were more muted, and talked about the complexity of the issue, stroking their chins as they considered weighty factors. But NBA fans, of which I am one, knew exactly the right moral position — the one the Houston GM originally took. We support freedom-loving people everywhere against their oppressors. That’s American.

The NBA has now backpedaled and said it will not offer an apology, or discipline the GM. But that is only because the average American cuffed them upside the head for their initial response.

Meanwhile, China is cutting ties with the NBA and ending agreements with all Chinese companies. All because the NBA would not officially apologize for the GM’s tweet. The Chinese government also banned the TV show South Park for mocking them. That is verboten! This is China. They’re a bad player.

Before you say that it is not the NBA’s role to make moral decisions, remember how quickly they pulled the All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina after that state passed the “horrific” law saying that biological men had to use men’s rooms and biological women use women’s rooms. They were very fast and morally clear on that issue.

But it’s hardly just the NBA that can’t see morally straight even when it is smacking them in the face.

Apple bowed low to Chinese censors recently and removed the Taiwan flag emoji from Apple phones in Taiwan and Macau. Apple will do whatever the killers in Beijing say so that the company’s supply lines in China are not disrupted.

Google is probably the worst offender. Google actively built in the censoring software for the search engine when used in China, giving the Chinese the ability to erase anything related to, say, the Tianamen Square massacre in 1989, or anything else that does not fit Big Brother’s line. Google has since pulled out of that, but the Chinese have the ability to continue their Memory Hole.

Microsoft’s LinkedIn agreed to censor anti-Chinese government material so they could continue to be used in China. ESPN executives are muzzling their on-air talent from speaking out in support for Hong Kong, though they certainly talk about other political and cultural issues pretty freely.

And the Philadelphia 76ers removed two fans from a game last night for chanting “Free Hong Kong.” The irony of this happening in the birthplace of liberty — the 76ers comes from 1776! — is just amazing. Really? Acting as the hands of the Chinese Communist dictators…in Philadelphia?

You get the picture.

Here’s what I’d love to see: Fans at NBA games around the country chanting “Free Hong Kong!” Let’s see if the American authorities bowing to Chinese dictatorial demands will start removing fans en masse.

The American people, however, support the Hong Kong demonstrators, showing again that your average Americans of all political stripes have a much stronger moral pulse than American leaders in politics, business, media, entertainment and so on.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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China Trump Truth

Stopping China’s March To World Dominance

Rod Thomson

The Hong Kong demonstrations reveal that President Trump was right in many ways to identify China early on as a threat to the United States. He saw them as an economic threat and dishonest trading partner. To a lesser degree, he saw them as a military threat.

He was right, although ultimately, their military — including space and cyber warfare — are probably the largest threat.

To be clear, China is a bigger, long-term threat economically and militarily than anyone else, including Russia which has aging nukes but otherwise is a virtual third-world economy and a vastly weakened military. Modern militaries cannot be created and maintained in modern warfare without strong economies underwriting them.

Russia does not have such an economy. China increasingly does. And anyone who thinks China does not have as much — or more — of a goal of world domination, knows nothing of Chinese history and the current goals and philosophies that align with that history.

They continue to think of themselves as the Middle Kingdom — that is, the center of the world — and are intent on reconstituting the world so that is the case in a very real sense. Despite being an atheist Communist regime that oppress religions from Christianity to Islam to Buddhism to hundreds of sects, the Chinese still see the Middle Kingdom as a sort of spiritual destiny.

From the ambitious Belt and Road initiative, with China at the center, to exporting opioids to the U.S. through Mexico, to stealing U.S. technology and intellectual property, to building ports with 100-year leases around the world, to embedding spyware into Huawei products and its global 5G network, to dramatically improving its military capabilities in the air, sea, land and space, China confronts and affronts the U.S. everywhere.

Even presidential candidate Joe Biden has finally seen the danger of China and flipped.  (Although he flips a lot.) According to the New York Post:

Former Vice President Joe Biden toughened up his language on China Tuesday, saying the Asian nation represented a “serious challenge” and sometimes a “real threat” to the United States — just a month after saying “they’re not competition for us.”

“We are in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China. They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat,” Biden told an Iowa audience while out campaigning for president.

It’s not readily understood, but China like Russia enjoyed a pushover of a president in Barack Obama, but are getting significant pushback in the form of President Trump.

What’s well publicized is the trade war Trump has responded to. It’s so important to remember, and the media either is ignorant or just being willful partisans as usual, but Trump did not start the trade war. China has been cheating and stealing for decades, and getting more bold in recent years. They’ve been at war with us on trade for a long time. Trump has merely returned fire. Finally. But it won’t be easy.

The tariffs and trade war show how stubborn and tough the Chinese leadership can be. They take the long view toward the Middle Kingdom. And they don’t have to answer to their people at the ballot box as American presidents must. It’s one of the dynamics that makes it more difficult for American leadership, yet Trump is doing it anyway. It’s almost like he’s not your typical politician who makes decisions based on his re-election needs.

This goes to his genuineness. He’s authentically who he is. You get what you see. You shouldn’t need to agree with him on all issues to find that refreshing.

In addition to his responding to China’s trade agressions, Trump has responded militarily with naval movements and, maybe most importantly, with treating Taiwan like the democratic ally they are — instead of quivering before the Chinese Communists like previous presidents and distancing ourselves from our Chinese ally.

As the South China Morning Post points out: “Washington has been approving arms deals with Taipei at a much faster pace than under Barack Obama and George W Bush, while the self-ruled island has been making public US military movements near the Taiwan Strait – information that would not have been released under previous US administrations.”

In trying to close the southern U.S. border to stop the waves of illegal immigrants, the Trump administration would also be cutting deeply into the supply trough of illegal opioids that are developed in China, shipped to Mexico and smuggled into the U.S. There are many drivers of the awful opioid crisis, but ready availability is certainly one of them.

And Trump has begun the long journey of rebuilding the U.S. military, including the Navy that is critically important to projecting U.S. power in important regions such as the Middle East, but in the future, perhaps even the near future, the Asian Pacific where U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines are all potential victims of Chinese military aggression one day.

There are many pieces to what China is doing. And they have vulnerabilities in all of them. What’s required is American leadership with the vision and chutzpah to push back on those vulnerabilities. Trump is doing so on trade and in Taiwan military sales and closeness.

President Trump may not understand all of the associated history ancient and recent of China, but he rightly identified the primary threat to American leadership in the world. And that is a dictatorial China. And that is not a better world.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

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China Mexico Trade Trump Truth

Trump Will Get Deals With Both China And Mexico

Rod Thomson

Most of the media won’t get it, probably even when it happens, but all of the signals are pointing to President Trump getting deals with both China and Mexico — and they will be better deals than what the United States has or has had.

Mexico is actually the easier nut to crack here. The government is corrupt, weak and totally reliant on the United States for both its legal economy and its black market economy. A full-out trade-war with the U.S. would of course cause some harm to the U.S., but would be catastrophic for Mexico. And more importantly, for Mexico’s government.

If the current political leadership wants to stay in power, and if future political leadership wants to attain power, they need a decent relationship with the U.S. And given the millions of Mexicans sending billions of dollars back to Mexico in remittances, running on an anti-American plank is not likely to be popular or successful — at least for long.

The tariffs on all Mexican imports began at 5 percent and rise by 5 percentage points each month before reaching 25 percent in October — unless Mexico takes serious steps to stop the flow of Central American migrants now swamping the southern American border. These 25 percent tariffs would crush the Mexican economy, and possibly have the perverse effect of strengthening the deadly cartels even more.

Mexico’s leadership is fully attuned to this dynamic, and that is why Mexican leaders are moving quickly to respond to Trump’s punitive tariffs launched Friday, with escalations coming, by agreeing to meet in Washington today.

President Trump tweeted Sunday: “Mexico is sending a big delegation to talk about the Border. Problem is, they’ve been ‘talking’ for 25 years. We want action, not talk.”

They’ve been “talking” and American leaders have been “talking” and everyone was fine with the arrangement as long as nothing was ever done. It’s obvious this President expects something to be done or those tariffs will just keep increasing.

So Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez will arrive in Washington today (Monday) to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. On Wednesday, delegations led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexico Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard will meet in Washington.

That was fast.

China is a tougher nut, but some of the same dynamics are in place as with Mexico.

As with Mexico, China is far more reliant on the U.S. than the U.S. is on China. Their economy is built on selling to the giant and prosperous U.S. consumer market. If that is cut off or diminished through tariffs, their much smaller secondary markets leave them in an economic tailspin, particularly considering that they are facing other economic headwinds, such as an aging and soon declining population, a fluctuating currency and increased competition from India (an ally that Trump should look to for a friendlier trade deal.)

One of the ways the Chinese Communist Party has maintained its iron fist of control is by not being communist, or socialist, but by freeing up its markets and allowing a form of capitalism to operate. That has created huge wealth gains, a growing economy and an emerging middle class.

Chinese who lived in generational poverty seeing the opportunity for a better life for themselves and their children have been willing to live with the totalitarianism of the Communist Party. But they may be much less willing to put up with the iron rule if the economy tanks.

One of the last things the Chinese government wants as it pursues its global ambitions is unrest at home. A trade war with the U.S. would risk that, and could begin to threaten their hold on power.

But the Chinese’ global ambitions based on their historic view of themselves as the Middle Kingdom — the center of the world — also drive them to be much more intransigent negotiators than the Mexicans. And patient negotiators as they take the long view. Newt Gingrich does a terrific job spelling this out in writing and on his podcast.

These are China’s competing interests in the negotiations: showing strength at home and abroad while actually being strong at home and abroad.

In the end though, their Middle Kingdom aspirations and desire for long-term control will mean that a new trade agreement is the lesser bitter pill to swallow. The Chinese are ultimately very pragmatic, and would likely view a new trade deal — even one that was not tilted in their favor — to be worth the trade-off for their ultimate vision.

That is why we’ve seen China moderating its original harsh rhetoric to Trump pulling out of negotiations after the Chinese deleted most of what they had agreed to. They had pulled this trick on previous administrations, counting on American president’s willingness to take a fake victory, if you will, and they were right.

However, they miscalculated with Trump. He’s just not a typical politician in so many ways.

So Beijing released a government policy paper on trade issues Sunday which as usual blamed the U.S. for the negotiations breakdown, but also turned much more conciliatory. They’ve realized Trump won’t come back to the table without real movement and so throughout the paper and at the briefing at which it was released, the Chinese government said repeatedly that they are willing to return to negotiations.

“We’re willing to adopt a cooperative approach to find a solution,” Vice Commerce Secretary Wang Shouwen said.

No talks are scheduled, but U.S. and Chinese trade officials will be at meetings of the Group of 20 major economies this weekend in Japan. A possible meeting between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China at the G-20 summit is seen as an opportunity to re-start trade talks. Don’t be surprised if that happens.

China “is expressing its wish to work together,” said Zhang Yansheng, a researcher at the state-backed think tank China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Wall Street Journal.

China will come back to the table that Mexico is already at. And Trump and Americans will ultimately get a better trade deal with China and better security on our southern border with Mexico — unless China holds out until November 2020 and we elect a new president that falls back to the status quo of China picking our pockets and stealing our tech.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

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China Tariffs Trade Truth

Trump Won’t Kick The Can Down The Road On China’s Cheating

Rod Thomson

To listen to media pundits, President Trump has created the trade-war crises with China. They say he is economically illiterate. Or he’s a dolt. Or he’s a xenophobe. Or a jingoist. And his impetuous actions are “roiling” markets and making businesses nervous and could tank the economy.

It’s all Trump’s fault. This is not just wrong, it is 180 degrees wrong and demonstrably so. In fact, Trump is the only American leader actually trying to right a substantial wrong.

The truth is that the China problem has been ignored or avoided by multiple presidents and Congresses from both parties, and certainly from the media and D.C. establishment, as far back as the late 1980s, but overtly since China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization. And it has always been a rightable wrong by United States leaders with some backbone and intestinal fortitude. So it has not happened.

Here’s what China has been doing.

The United States and many allies thought when China joined the WTO in 2001, the country would open its economy for more full trade. Until then, it had been utterly closed off to foreign companies even while it market-ized its formerly socialist economy. That’s actually part of the deal of being in the WTO — member nations are supposed to abide by free market trading principles to some extent. There was also the thinking that perhaps the Chinese Communist Party would allow more political and religious freedom as the country became more enlightened through trade relationships with the world’s industrialized democracies.

That, it turns out, was a bit of a pipe dream.

China has merely used its WTO membership to flood its trading “partners” with state-subsidized exports while throwing up numerous walls to continue blocking access to the country’s burgeoning middle class — including tariffs. They obviously continue their protectionist, controlling ways. And they continue to crush dissent and religious freedoms, including Chinese Christians.

“China has effectively used the multilateral trading system to its own advantage, enjoying the benefits of those rules of engagement while not always following those rules in spirit,” Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University economist and former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund, told the Associated Press.

Or following the rules at all. But the comment shows how even the milquetoast IMF acknowledges China’s bad behavior, even if it soft-pedals it.

Because the reality is that it is much worse. From blackmailing U.S. companies and other foreign companies to gain entrance to the Chinese market, to secretly embedding spyware on the hardware they export, to stealing patents and creating cheap knock-offs, to product-dumping for market control to outright espionage and more.

This has meant the loss of likely hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of American jobs and wages over decades. That is a straightforward theft of prosperity. The same, though less, for Europeans who China also treats this way — although the Europeans are not quite the free-trade purists the U.S. attempts to be

Everyone knew. China is one of the worst trade actors on the world stage, not to mention a growing military threat beyond just their region. But no American leaders made the effort to do anything other than kick the can down the road — just as they did with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program and with our European allies in NATO paying their fair share for defense.

Economically, the result is a badly lopsided trading relationship: The U.S. trade deficit with China last year hit a record $379 billion. And their economic growth in part at our expense is funding a huge military buildup that does not rely on the traditional numbers superiority of the Chinese but on high-tech weaponry, including in space.

The trade deficit itself is not the end of the world, although it does transfer wealth, it does so in return for goods. I have a trade deficit so to speak with Walmart, Publix grocery store and Race Trac, to name a few. But that is because I don’t create goods or services I am trying to sell to them. U.S. companies want to sell to the Chinese people, but the government doesn’t allow it or cheats on it, and that is what is creating a lot of the trade deficit. The trade balance doesn’t have to be even. The trading market does.

Donald Trump the man has been harping on this problem for years, even decades. He was a lone voice because no one else wanted to poke the dragon. It was his initial issue when entering the presidential race. When he spoke to Florida Republicans about a week before coming down the elevator at Trump Tower to announce his bid, China was the focal point. It was not until he gauged the American people’s frustration at illegal immigration and the open southern border that he shifted focus, while still including China.

So this is the actual background for Trump beginning last year with tariffing some Chinese goods to get them to the table. They responded and talks went on for months, supposedly making progress and getting closer. Then the Chinese did what they always do, the week before the final negotiations and expected deal were to be announced, they reneged on every major commitment they had made. This worked with the likes of Barack Obama and other American leaders, who just backed down and got some gosh-awful deal that they misled the public about.

Not with President Trump, though. Trump tweeted two days later he was slapping tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, which went into effect last Friday. Again, the media spun wildly at Trump’s actions, because of course they assume the worse and did not know or care about China reneging. Further, Trump spelled out plans for tariffs on another $300 billion. In response to tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese imports, China responded with tariffs on $60 billion.

And this belies the reality that we always had the vast upper hand if we would just wield it. The Chinese will have to come back to the table and they will have to give the U.S. a lot of what we want. Because the reality is that while both sides get damaged in a trade war, the Chinese are far more damaged than the U.S. To be blunt, they need us more than we need them.

“The United States has legitimate grounds to be upset with the Chinese,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This has been building for almost 20 years.”

Exactly. And nobody would do anything about it until now.

Rod Thomson is an author, radio and TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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China Trade Trump Truth

China’s Exposed Hacking Strengthens U.S. Negotiating Hand

By Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

For many, the thought of a hacker attacking American companies conjures up images of a bespectacled, chain smoker sitting in some dark room in a nondescript warehouse figuring out ways to bypass passwords and security blocks. It seems, though, that China bypassing that process altogether.

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting today that China has been hacking American computer programs, companies, individuals and perhaps governments by implanting tiny microchips into the computer’s hardware, allowing for access into the computer’s brain from the moment it is manufactured.

It’s not a Trojan horse, its a secret door to the castle that only the enemy knows about. It’s dangerous for everyone who uses China for manufacturing computer components — which is about everyone. World opinion will be universal on this issue.

The implantation of hacking facilitating equipment at the time of its production, a process known as seeding, is a significant development in the world of cyberwars. The danger of such activity are monumental as secretly installing these types of components into motherboards designed for security, intelligence, and military applications would be tantamount to gaining access to America’s next steps before they can be brought to fruition.

The Bloomberg Businessweek story tells of an experience by Amazon and Elemental Technologies. In providing its services, Elemental needed specialized servers manufactured for them. The manufacturer was Super Micro Computer, Inc., a company out of San Jose, but whose workforce is mostly Chinese. It appears, according to the report, that China was able to infiltrate Super Micro Computer, Inc. and implant the microchips there. 

Although both Amazon and Element are denying the allegations, anonymous FBI and CIA investigators have laid out meticulous details of the ploy and the ensuing investigation. Officially, the CIA and the FBI are refusing to comment, but potentially up to 30 U.S. companies may have been affected.

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This development means that foreign entities may have devised a way through which they may directly interfere with American elections, regardless of how isolated the polling devices may be. That is real cause for concern.

If true, then this type of activity will support President Donald Trump’s contention that China is actively involved in cyber-activity against the United States.

A silver lining: With the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement replacing NAFTA, and improvements on trade with Europe, China is fairly isolated in its trade negotiating position with the United States. This development may further strengthen Trump’s already strong hand in negotiating with the Chinese, perhaps gaining an even better deal for America and American workers as world opinion will, for once, be on his side. No one wants the Chinese imbedding hacking hardware in their equipment.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through to arrange a lecture or book signing.

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China Elections Media Tariffs Truth

China Is Meddling In U.S. Midterm Elections — Right Now

Rod Thomson

We are treated to a daily recitation of Russia’s attempts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. We are lectured about how there are few things worse than a foreign power trying to influence U.S. elections. We are told this threatens the very being of our democracy.

If so, then what China is doing right now with its targeted tariffs aimed at weakening the GOP in November midterms and President Trump going forward is just as egregious a violation of the sanctity of our democracy. Remember, Russia is not suspected of hacking in and changing votes, just changing public opinion. That is precisely what China is doing. And it’s happening in real-time flashing neon right in front of us.

And yet neither the hyper self-righteous Democrats nor the chest-thumping defenders of all that is good and right media can be bothered with anything more than a long, droll yawn. All they can see every day is the Russia-Trump collusion that apparently never happened. In fact, coverage of China meddling in the U.S elections is virtually non-existent. And yet it is laid right in front of us.

The Chinese have made it clear they are targeting their tariffs on major American agriculture exports to China to create maximum pain in the agricultural Midwest states that are a strong part of the Republican base and the Trump coalition.

For anyone who doesn’t get it from the targeting itself, they are slow-walking Americans through it by using animated cartoons in social media, via CGTN, the English language news channel of the Chinese government, to make the threat as explicit as possible to the Midwest voters: If President Trump doesn’t drop the tariffs on Chinese manufacturers, China will destroy agricultural markets in the Midwest — thus ruining GOP attempts to retain its majorities in Congress.

And in early July, a leaked memo from Chinese Vice Premier Liu to Chinese propaganda outlets made it abundantly clear that China is using its targeted tariffs as a wedge issue designed to split “apart different domestic groups in the US.” This is full-fledged policy and actions of the Chinese government to meddle in U.S. elections by overtly trying to shift American opinion away from one political party.

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The media cannot possibly be unaware of the states being targeted, and the CGTN efforts to explain the targeting; that it is to paint Trump in a negative light among voters in those states. But then again, recall that President Obama publicly tried to defeat the Brexit vote in the U.K., and defeat the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So he was meddling in the elections of democratic allies — as a foreign power — and yet the media purred contentedly on his lap.

But an inquiring mind could reasonably ask the next question: What is the point of that? What is China’s end game?

One purpose could be to try to blackmail Trump into backing down from his tariffs on China by threatening the outcome of U.S. elections. That is a form of meddling on the policy side. But the bigger, long-range goal, and one much more in line with the alleged Russian-style meddling, would be to defeat Republicans in those states in tight races, to give control of Congress to trade-deal compliant Democrats in the 2018 midterms. Further, the strategy would weaken the Trump presidency and separate those voters from Trump in 2020.

That’s a pretty direct and forthright assault on U.S. elections by a foreign power. And it is sitting on the table right in front of us.

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Yet it’s not clear that one Democrat or mainstream media member gives a fig about this obvious meddling that would hurt Trump and Republicans, while at the same time hyperventilating over the alleged meddling by Russia that might have helped Trump.

All of which makes their righteous indignation over possible Russian interference in 2016 look a little contrived, one could even say, fake.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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