The China Syndrome was a 1979 movie that received much acclaim and attention as it was coincidentally released a mere twelve days before the Three Mile Island nuclear incident in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It is a movie about a nuclear meltdown. The dictionary describes a syndrome as a group of symptoms or actions which consistently occur together. It can also refer to a characteristic combination of policies, intentions, or actions.
There is a new type of China “syndrome” that involves the Communist People’s Republic of China and its policies, intentions, and actions. In this case, it is a group of behaviors that should worry all nations in the Western world—as well as all people who value freedom, democracy, and human rights. The Chinese government represents an aspiring global power which is enigmatic, while also possessing global ambitions that are not checked by international norms. It is China’s goal to not only become a superpower, but to replace the United States as the only superpower in the world.
China’s goals were apparent at a recent first meeting between senior Chinese officials and representatives of the Biden Administration which took place in Alaska. China blasted the United States for its racism and other societal woes, attempting to establish a moral equivalency between issues in the U.S. and China’s blatant human rights abuses. There is no equivalency. But China’s true colors were on full display in Alaska.
Today China has imprisoned over a million people in its “re-education camps”; read that gulags, Soviet-style—only larger. China is in violation of international laws on human rights, as it imprisons and persecutes innocent people routinely if they do not tow the Communist Party line. This year the U.S. State Department (under the leadership of former Secretary of State and ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs Mike Pompeo) classified China’s treatment of Muslim Uyghurs as genocide. China also arrests and imprisons Christians routinely.
China is violating the terms of the agreement with Great Britain regarding Hong Kong as it squelches democracy demonstrations there and is forcing Chinese law on the people of this heretofore free city. China continues to claim Taiwan as its territory and has threatened military action to claim it. The United States continues to arm Taiwan and guarantee its freedom and security. It is a volatile situation. China annexed Tibet years ago and now claims portions of that region that actually belong to India. President Xi has directed Chinese military incursions into India along the Tibetan border. Violating international law, China has built man-made islands in international waters in the South China Sea and established military bases there.
China has the largest standing military in the world. While the United States has a more advanced military and more powerful weapons systems, China has more troops and more navy ships. They intend to grow their military even more and already have the largest military budget in the world.
All of this does not even begin to adequately address China’s theft of intellectual property and trade secrets (there is an obvious reason China’s new stealth fighter plane looks like a twin to America’s F-35), currency manipulation, and more. China’s currency practices ensure that its exports to the United States sell cheaply here compared to products made in the USA, creating an unfair trade imbalance. Of course, much of the debt of the United States (an increase from 10 trillion dollars to almost 20 trillion dollars during the 8 years of the Obama presidency—and even more with the Left’s recently enacted “COVID-19” relief bill) has been bought by China, meaning the United States actually owes China a lot of money. We are literally indebted to China.
Health experts the world over have concluded that the COVID-19 virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China. However, China has undue control and influence over the World Health Organization (WHO)—with its financial support and by essentially hand-selecting the head of this organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian who is not a medical doctor but who has a long-standing relationship with senior leaders in the Chinese government. The WHO delayed revealing the initial outbreak of the virus last year at China’s request.
During this interim period, China purchased most of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from all over the world, while thousands began to become ill and die. China still refuses to let international medical teams have access to the lab in Wuhan or to the Chinese research data about the Coronavirus. It was unfortunately not surprising that the WHO, just last month, reported that the COVID-19 virus did not start in Wuhan, China, after all. China continues to claim the virus came from somewhere else, often with outrageous conspiracy theories. Over the last year, China has punished journalists and Chinese doctors who dared to speak out about the virus and its Chinese origins. China also expelled eighteen foreign journalists. An Associated Press investigation found that the Chinese government put limits on research into the outbreak and still prevents their scientists from speaking to reporters.
What do we do with this globally disruptive China syndrome? Last Monday the United States, Canada, Britain, and the European Union announced sanctions on several Chinese officials. To his credit, President Biden has also kept in place the numerous sanctions imposed on China by the Trump Administration. But more must be done.
So many of the goods and products used by the United States and other countries come from China. Alarmingly, this includes many medicines, medical equipment and supplies, and other items critical to the health and well-being of people around the world. The motivation for this is the financial bottom line. The communist system allows for cheap labor and often forced labor. Thus, Chinese items can be purchased cheaply. The Chinese economy thrives. But at what cost morally and politically?
This is a wake-up call. Manufacturers must take the bold and moral step of bringing the production of goods back to the United States. Items will cost more. The American people (and citizens of other Western nations) must take an honest look at the facts and be willing to pay more for items that are critical to life in order to not continue facilitating the behavior of the Chinese government.
We are locked into a dependent relationship with China. Changing this will take time. But the time has come. We must take the initial steps of changing the dynamics of the world’s relationship with China. It must be a concerted effort, and it requires a willingness to pay the price (literally and figuratively) to stand up to what is essentially an abusive outlaw regime.
Political leaders must lead the way. Sanctions are good, but more is required. At every step China must be confronted and made to pay a price—with sanctions, with trade restrictions, and with political and economic isolation until China stops the acts that are illegal, immoral, and unethical. The world must unite, as it is the health, safety, and welfare of the world that is at stake. The financial bottom line must yield to what is right and moral. It will require courage, commitment, and a willingness to make sacrifices because that is the right thing to do.
Our unbalanced relationship with this oppressive regime is also why Congress and the White House must stop printing and spending money with no thought as to how our massive debt impacts not only the economy—but our national security as well. We must decrease our national debt, and this will require reducing spending. The reckless fiscal acts of Congress must be brought under control; for example a recent COVID-19 relief bill that contained only 9% related to the virus and hundreds of millions of dollars for pet projects and social programs championed by the Left.
There are no quick answers. There are no easy answers. But there must be answers, and we must find them and follow them.
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