In 1950 the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet, a peaceful, independent, neutral nation. Using modern arms including artillery and aircraft, the Chinese crushed the Tibetan opposition and seized control of the country. The Chinese then brutally extinguished a series of armed uprisings in what can only be described as a genocidal war on the Tibetan people.
The world did largely nothing. The United States via the Central Intelligence Agency provided training, arms, and support to Tibetan independence fighters for a number of years, but even this effort was ultimately abandoned. Henry Kissinger – bent on accommodating Communism and managing America’s “decline” – saw to that.
We, all of us, have lived with the shame of this refusal to support the Tibetans in their fight for liberty for seventy years now. Not until Lhasa is free will we be relieved of the burden of that mistake.
That doesn’t mean we have to repeat it.
Communist China, a nation that harvests organs from live political prisoners on an industrial scale and produces goods for world consumption using slave labor, is now menacing Hong Kong. The Communist Chinese Party (CCP) has indicated its intent to make fundamental changes to Hong Kong’s Basic Law – specifically the addition of the National Security Law that would “prohibit any activity that would seriously endanger national security.” This will mean the
end of any ability on the part of the people of Hong Kong to engage in political discourse. All such discourse, just as it is in mainland China now will be characterized by Beijing as “endangering national security.”
When Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control by the British the people of that enclave were explicitly promised a “high degree of autonomy.” That autonomy has been threatened for many years now. It is about to be snuffed out forever.
A number of measures have been recommended to the Trump Administration in response. They include:
- 1. Revocation of Hong Kong’s Most Favored Nation status.
- 2. The imposition of sanctions on China and Hong Kong that prohibit them from having access to the international SWIFT banking system.
- 3. Immediate termination of the 2013 agreement that exempts Chinese corporations from U.S. laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley that mandate accepted accounting standards and other auditing requirements.
- 4. Deregistration of all Chinese corporations raising capital in the United States until such time as they have conformed to U.S. securities laws, regulations, and accounting standards.
- 5. Enhancement of our support to the people of Taiwan.
- 6. A prohibition on the purchase or sale of Chinese sovereign debt instruments.
- 7. Support for efforts to penetrate China’s “Great Firewall” and to assist the Chinese people in gaining access to information free of state censorship and control.
- 8. Sanctions against the individuals and entities involved in oppression in Hong Kong.
- 9. International action against the horrifying Chinese organ harvesting industry, which slaughters untold thousands of political prisoners annually and sells their organs for hard currency.
All of these things and many more need to be done. The Chinese Communist Party needs to pay a heavy price for its actions. Still, something much greater and much more fundamental needs to happen as well.
We need to stop lying to ourselves about the nature of the Chinese regime. We need to remember who we are and what we stand for. We need to remember that being American means something special and unique.
We say we don’t have a state religion. That’s not entirely true. We do. It’s called democracy.
We built this nation on principles of liberty and justice. We struggle even today to make them a reality sometimes. That does not mean those ideals are not real and that they are not worth defending.
We started down a road decades ago on which we never should have embarked. The Chinese Communist Party is a thuggish, evil entity that brutalizes its own people and threatens world peace. We ought never have pretended otherwise. We ought never have done business with it or legitimized it.
The misguided policies of the last several decades have not brought us greater peace or security. They have not brought justice or freedom to the long-suffering Chinese people. They have served only to enhance the power and greed of an evil totalitarian regime aimed at becoming this planet’s leading power.
In the streets of Hong Kong demonstrators often wave American flags and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” They mean it as a plea for our help. It also ought to serve as a wake-up call.
Our response to the Chinese oppression of the people of Hong Kong should be swift and powerful. What comes afterward ought to be even more profound. We need a fundamental shift in our policy toward Communist China, not just a “decoupling” but a “walking away.”
We stood toe to toe with the Soviet Union for seventy years until we consigned that evil empire to the dustbin of history. There is no reason now we must shrink from the challenge of defeating another Communist monstrosity. We need not simply accept that 1.4 billion Chinese must live forever in a totalitarian nightmare.
We are Americans. Let’s remember what that means. Let’s do the right thing and stand not just with Hong Kong but with all the free peoples of the world who refuse to bow, to scrape, to be slaves.