Recent news reports reveal that communist authorities are demolishing Catholic churches and shrines in China. All this is happening despite communist propaganda assuring outsiders that religion can be freely practiced in China.
Western observers thought that if they could just wish hard enough and offer concessions, the Chinese leadership would change for the better. Red Chinese autocrats would embrace the free market. The government would abandon its horrible communist ideology. Open markets would open minds, hearts, and perspectives. Catholics might worship freely.
Instead, China keeps doing what it has always done—dynamiting churches and enforcing its communist ideology. The West also keeps doing what it has always done—offering concessions and hoping China’s leadership will change.
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Somewhere there should be a proverb of ancient Chinese wisdom that says: Do not trade with those who hate God.
Trade Policy Must Respect God’s Moral Law
The dynamiting of churches offers insight into the Chinese trade policy. Those who do not respect God do not respect the moral law either. Thus, the U.S.-China trade dispute is much simpler than ancient wisdom. Even a child can understand it. One of the first lessons children learn is that those who lie, cheat, and steal are not to be trusted in any matter. To believe otherwise is an illusion.
The present trade dispute with China deals with this wishful thinking. China is now taking the next major step forward toward greater world ascendency and hegemony by directly challenging America.
Now America must decide which way it must go. Will she learn from her mistakes or continue to follow the West’s discredited wishful thinking?
Establishing a New Platform
From the moment of Richard Nixon’s ill-fated trip to China in February of 1972, China began opening up to the West. In exchange for becoming the world’s sweatshop manufacturer, the West agreed to look with a blind eye on human rights violations, horrific labor practices, and brutal religious persecution.
In 2001, communist China joined the World Trade Organization and received the privileges normally conceded to developing economies. Chinese goods flooded the markets and became intertwined with most global production. In general, the rule was that China provided America and the world with cheap stuff while buying agricultural products, meat, and high-profile, high-tech items like planes from America. In addition, China said it would try to better its human rights record.
The deal never worked well, although some Western companies managed to make money because of cheap Chinese labor and even by trafficking in goods produced with slave labor.
Instead, the deal merely served as a catapult, allowing China to transform itself into a menacing world power. China disregarded the World Trade Organization’s rulings. It protected its industries through tariffs and subsidies. Chinese companies coerced the transfer of proprietary technology secrets from outside firms. Despite empty promises to remedy the problem, Chinese industry continues its long pattern of stealing intellectual property. The West turned China into the world’s second economy, with little to show for it in return, save cheap goods at retail outlets and abandoned, rusting manufacturing plants.
An Aggressive New Offensive
Now China is stepping on to the world stage seeking outright domination. It has also progressed to another level of dishonesty. The Chinese communist leadership has announced a series of initiatives that will launch it into superpower status.
The “Made in China 2025” modernization plan calls for government subsidies so that Chinese industry can control and set the standards for new generations of technological advances now being introduced in artificial intelligence, supercomputing, 3-D printing, robotics, facial recognition software, 5G wireless, and advanced microchips. Of particular concern is the 5G equipment of China’s highly protected Huawei company. If this network is installed with its equipment, it could double as an espionage platform.
Furthermore, the Belt and Road Initiative is an aggressive infrastructure development program stretching from East Asia to Europe, Africa, and South America. The Chinese aim to build a vast network of energy pipelines, highways, railways, ports, and other facilities in what is dubbed the most ambitious infrastructure investment effort conceived in history.
The projects will also strengthen economic, trade, and military dependency with the participating nations. The plan expands the use of the renminbi as an international currency. Such goodwill comes with plenty of strings attached. Everything is conveniently carried out in the form of loans that ensure Chinese control and direction.
Participants are already complaining that skyrocketing costs of the projects have overburdened their economies and forced long-term concessions such as the control and use of ports and facilities. The strategy is to enmesh the participating economies inextricably.
Finally, China is expanding militarily through the occupation of natural islands and atolls in the South China Sea and the construction of artificial ones. The Chinese military stole the plans for the F-35 stealth fighter and now produces its own J-31 carbon copy.
Doubts From Free Traders
Even free trade enthusiasts like Thomas Friedman are alarmed by the new Chinese policies. He notes that China’s subsidies, protectionism, technology transfers, and other measures have made it “a much greater threat. If the U.S. and Europe allowed China to continue operating by the same formula that it had used to grow from poverty to compete for all the industries of the future, we’d be crazy.”
Their past dishonesty seems to bear no lessons for Friedman as he adds “We could look the other way when trade was just about toys and solar panels, but when it’s about F-35s and 5G telecommunications, that’s not smart.”
Trading with those who are dishonest is never smart. That is why American remedial action about trade with China is urgently needed, considering the great changes that will soon be shaking economies around the world. The tariff war is not only about unfair practices but a decades-long history of cheating, stealing, and deceiving that is about to have catastrophic consequences worldwide as Communist China shifts into high gear.
More Totalitarian Not Less
In the meantime, China’s opening up continues to be a pipe dream. China is becoming more totalitarian, not less.
The present regime is using its facial recognition software to regiment and control its population. A vast Orwellian database assigns social credit scores that punish and reward compliant citizens according to their affinity with party standards. The regime is carrying out the systematic repression of ethnic minorities, including the massive arbitrary detention of Chinese Uighurs.
The whole system rests upon a $34 trillion mountain of private and public debt that corrupt officials have amassed to keep the economy humming.
Can We Trust Anyone Who Hates the Mother of God?
The dishonesty of trade translates back into the hatred for God and his moral law. In September 2018, the Vatican and the Chinese government signed a secret agreement believed to allow the Chinese communist government a major role in the choice of bishops. The goal was supposed to relieve the plight of millions of Catholic Chinese suffering persecution for remaining loyal to Rome.
The agreement, like so many others signed by the Chinese communists, has resulted in increased persecution, not less. The government is leveraging the secrecy of its terms, saying the deal authorizes things that Catholics have no way of verifying. More Church buildings are now being destroyed than before.
A month after the signing, Chinese officials tore down two popular Marian shrines because they contained “too many crosses” and religious pictures. One shrine was Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Dongergou and the other was Our Lady of Bliss, also called Our Lady of the Mountain, in Anlong.
In this way, the government manifested a refined hatred that shows its true face. How can the communist Chinese be trusted in any matter when they target not only God but his Blessed Mother?
Such considerations should orient American trade policy toward China. America cannot trust those who hate God and especially those who hate his Mother.
Editor’s note: Pictured above is an altar with a crucifix and a painting with Joseph and Jesus inside St. Joseph’s church, also known as Wangfujing church, in Beijing on January 25, 2018. (Photo credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)