Hong Kong, China and Making the World Safer for Authoritarianism: Remembering the Wisdom of Solomon

By Ed Timperlake

As we watch the Chinese Communist leadership working their global agenda to make the world safe for authoritarianism, the protestors in Hong Kong are presenting an unpleased roadblock with their current activities.

We shall watch with interest as the Chinese leaders deal with what they have already described as “deranged” acts of opposition to the Chinese authoritarian rule.

This is hardly an anomaly — but will we be seeing a 2019 version of Tiananmen Square?

As we watch with interest. we should remember the wisdom of Solomon.

In this case, not King Solomon, but Representative Gerald Solomon, when as Chairman of the Rules Committee. he delivered a clear warning about the nature of the Chinese Communist leadership in comments made in the House of Representatives on June 26, 1996.

On the resolutions themselves, I would urge support for both of them, for one simple reason, and let me say this loud and clear: The policy of engagement with Communist China has failed, failed, failed.

Despite what some proponents of business as usual will say today, all one needs to do is read the papers every single day to know that Communist China is a rogue dictatorship that is running amok and is absolutely contemptuous of our weak-kneed policy of appeasement. The examples of abhorrent and dangerous behaviors by this dictatorship are too numerous to even list.

Here are just a few. First, as we speak there is a vicious crackdown on dissent taking place in Tibet, and we all ought to keep this in mind as we deliberate this issue. It is pathetic, Mr. Speaker, It is so sad.

We must remember that we are talking about a Communist dictatorship that commits crimes against its own people every single day.

Mr. Speaker, we also must remember that Communist China represents a growing threat to the national security interests of this country, and that will be brought out during the next 4 hours of debate. Backed by its rapidly growing military power, Communist China has begun to throw its weight around in East Asia, bullying our democratic friends in Taiwan and acting very aggressively in the Spratly Islands.

Most of all, we should be very concerned about recent attempts by China to acquire SS-18 intercontinental nuclear missiles from Russia which could directly threaten the American people.

Now, Mr. Speaker, turning to proliferation matters, well, here the proponents of appeasement have really got some explaining to do. Hardly a day goes by when we do not read about things like Chinese nuclear ring magnet shipments to places like Pakistan, chemical weapons technology transfers to Iran, cruise missile shipments to Iran, uranium processing technology to Iran, plutonium processing technology to Pakistan, and the list goes on and on and on. I could stand here for 20 minutes and continue reading these kind of rogue activities by this government.

Mr. Speaker, the real issue here today, though, is jobs, jobs, jobs, issues that our China policy really hits home on. Once again, our trade deficit with Communist China has surged, and now stand at $34 billion.

I wish every one of the men here in this body would take off their shirts and show me the label in the collar on their shirts. I bet them dollars to doughnuts there is not one made in the United States of America.

Mr. Speaker, Communist China does not grant fair access to our goods, period. Meanwhile, we continue to give China carte blanche in our markets with most-favored-nation trading status.

Mr. Speaker, this so-called relationship with Communist China that some people are obsessed with maintaining destroys American jobs, and this has got to stop. We have the power, especially the economic power, with 250 million Americans with the highest standard of living in the world and that buying power to bring pressure to bear on these tyrants, and we ought to use that, without firing a shot. We do it economically.

Terminating MFN is the 2 by 4 we need to get their attention. When the vast American market for Communist Chinese goods is shut off, even temporarily, these greedy dictators will start to show a little bit of flexibility. That is the only kind of language they understand.

The Congressman made these comments with regard to China during the debate about China’s trade status with the United States.

Sadly this entire effort by the House eventually ended when the Peoples Republic of China was given full and permanent World Trade Organization status.

All public debates in Congress on putting breaks on the military and economic warfare were then gone.

What then occurred after granting them WTO status was highlighted by a 2018 article in The Atlantic:

In 2000, Congress made the fateful decision to extend “permanent normal trade relations,” or PNTR, to China.

As the economists Justin Pierce and Peter Schott have argued, the permanence of PNTR status made an enormous difference: Without PNTR, there was always a danger that China’s favorable access to the U.S. market would be revoked, which in turn deterred U.S. firms from increasing their reliance on Chinese suppliers.

With PNTR in hand, the floodgates of investment were opened, and U.S. multinationals worked hand in glove with Beijing to create new China-centric supply chains. The age of “Chimerica” had begun.

There is no going back.

We can’t rewrite history.

A bipartisan coalition promised Americans that granting China PNTR would help ensure our prosperity and that China would soon be transformed from foe to friend, and we were foolish enough to believe them. The question is what we should do now.

For starters, I propose admitting that we made a grave mistake.

And now the world watches events in Hong Kong, with the potential for a repeat of Tiananmen Square massacre with the concurrent putting down of the quest for freedom in 450 other PRC cities that occurred  in 1989.