Yes, I said it.
China is NOT our friend.
I covered China off and on as a foreign correspondent in the 1980s and 1990s when it was viewed primarily as a struggling Marxist-Leninist-Maoist power.
Just as it was in 1989, when it murdered thousands of students and anti-corruption demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, it remains authoritarian at home and arrogantly indifferent to the rest of the world.
But today, that view requires some recalibration.
Today, China is the source of a pandemic that is crushing world economies and killing thousands of people, and we see China for what it is.
Today’s China has transformed itself into a neo-Confucian nation in which rapid economic growth has enabled the state to dredge up ancient traditions of submission and deference to the government, its institutions, and its Mandarin overlords.
This compulsion and craving for more and more economic growth, individual wealth, and authoritarian stability not only hooked China’s people, for some perverse reason it appealed to many of the world’s political and business leaders who saw the country as a boundless source of new markets.
They were content to overlook China’s downward spiral into full-blown dictatorship headed by “President for Life” Xi Jinping, who now has total control of the country. He not only runs the government and the communist party, but he also controls the Chinese military. There are no “checks and balances” on his power, and there are no prospects of any.
Many CEO’s and political leaders from Europe, the United States, and some parts of Asia were okay with Xi’s iron-fisted rule as long as the profits kept rolling in.
So China became our largest trading partner. Most of the stuff we buy is now made in China. You can go there on vacation. There are lots of Chinese visiting and studying in the USA. But China is not like the United States. The people there are not free. While the communist states of Eastern Europe and Russia could not bring themselves to shoot their own people when they demanded more freedoms some 30 years ago, the Chinese government had no problem doing so in Tiananmen Square.
Now that the global marketplace is tanking and people are dying everywhere, that laissez-faire attitude has changed dramatically. We are now learning that China lied to the world about the severity of the COVID-19 virus, covered up its own incompetence and culpability in dealing with it, and arrested medical experts who dared tell the truth.
Most recently, it is planning to expel reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal for daring to report accurately about the Chinese government’s attempts to conceal the seriousness of the Coronavirus.
When the White House challenged China on its behavior, what did China do? It threatened to cut off all pharmaceutical shipments to the United States and then went so far as to say the virus was created and planted in China by the U. S. Army. Incredible.
And now, here we are. World economies are collapsing at a rate not seen since the Great Depression of the last century, and we are faced with a deadly pandemic.
I do not doubt that the pandemic will pass, and so will the irrational panic it has engendered. And eventually, the world’s economies will recover.
But what I hope will not be forgotten is how indifferent, irresponsible, and self-centered China was in dealing with the pandemic.
China is NOT a country that the world can depend upon for altruistic, unselfish, and dependable leadership.
China is a nation obsessed with dominating Asia and, eventually, the world economically and politically. That obsession applies particularly to the United States, which it views not only as a global economic competitor but as a viable political and military menace.
President for life Xi has laid out his strategy for world domination with a 30-year plan to transform the country and surpass the United States to become the world’s largest superpower.
God, help us!
And I will say it again.
China is NOT our friend.