Trade with China didn’t change China, it changed us – Washington Examiner

Ever since Congress extended permanent normal trade relations to China nearly 20 years ago, pro-China pundits have argued that increased trade and engagement with Beijing would cause the communist regime to open up and embrace Democratic values.

But China’s behavior hasn’t changed at all. To the contrary, Beijing has become more authoritarian and more adversarial. In fact, doing business with China has changed us more than it’s changed them.

The communists who control China’s government are not our friends. And yet, many American CEOs sound like lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party. I see these corporate chieftains on the financial networks every day, attacking President Trump nonstop and taking China’s side in the current trade dispute.

On CNBC recently, a spokesman for the national Chamber of Commerce criticized Trump’s efforts to confront China over its unfair trade practices.

The national Chamber of Commerce effectively supports open borders to get cheap labor, while at the same time advocating policies that have resulted in the closure of thousands of American factories and the hollowing out of America’s middle class.

Many of these companies closed their American plants years ago and rebuilt them in China using cheap Chinese labor. Other U.S. companies are dreaming of great riches by selling into China.

The pundits and the talking heads are terrified that we are offending our Chinese trading partner. They are fretting about a “trade war.” But China has been at war economically with us for many years. Only now, finally, are we fighting back.

Unlike the last four presidents, Trump is engaged in a major effort to confront the rising threat of communist China.

It’s a very difficult battle, with two major fronts. The first is economic. China has been ripping off American intellectual property and manipulating their currency for decades. Trump is fighting to stop this rip off of American workers and consumers, and to revive the American economy, particularly in the Heartland.

But there’s another front in this battle that involves our national security.

China is challenging us militarily all over the world. China has announced a 20-year plan to control the world’s trade routes. They’ve been relentlessly launching devastating cyberattacks against the U.S. for years.

During the Obama administration, they hacked into our government databases and stole information on more than 20 million government employees. Our Navy worries they may have hacked our Naval computers.

China has also placed scores of propaganda centers on U.S. colleges known as Confucius Institutes that are funded by the Chinese Communist Party. The government is so concerned about spying that the Pentagon is cutting funding to universities that host these Confucius Institutes.

These financial and national security crimes come on top of the communist regime’s long record of human rights abuses, including its stifling of religious freedom. China is in a class by itself as a violator of human rights.

As I have written before, Chinese Dictator Xi Jinping is in the midst of an increasingly brutal campaign to exert control over religious life in China. Christian churches are being shuttered, pastors are being jailed, and the Bible itself is even being rewritten to make it more communist friendly. Meanwhile, Beijing has effectively been at war with Chinese Uighur Muslims. An estimated 1 million Uighurs have been imprisoned in “re-education” camps and subjected to prolonged physical and psychological abuse.

Unbelievingly, many American politicians insist that China is not our adversary, but our partner. You have to be in deep denial of reality to think that the communist Chinese government is our friend.

Interestingly, the financial and national security battlefronts are converging around a Chinese telecom company called Huawei. Its tentacles are all over the world. Its products are embedded in your cell phone, computer, and other electronic devices.

One reason Huawei has been so successful is that it can sell its products more cheaply than American companies can because China refuses to play by the trade rules that every other country must comply with.

The Trump administration understands that in a future showdown with China, Huawei’s technology and software can be used as a modern day Trojan Horse to thwart our military in a way that causes us to lose a future conflict.

When it comes to taking on China, every American politician ought to be standing with the president, and so should Wall Street. Sadly, they’re not.

China is not just a trading partner. China is also our adversary. Make no mistake about that. More American businesses and political leaders should start recognizing that, and they should start putting our workers and America’s interests first.

Maybe the corporate CEOs and financial titans who praise China and attack the U.S. should put the following quote on their mirrors to read every morning: “The capitalist will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

That’s a quote from Vladimir Lenin, one of communism’s founders.

America’s CEOs should feel a debt of gratitude to the country that has allowed them to flourish. They should remember that they will not succeed unless America succeeds.

Gary Bauer is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is president of American Values and chairman of Campaign for Working Families. He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.

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