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.
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.