Trade with China: Laboring to prepare our own suicide
By Steve Montgomery
China recently demanded permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) with the United States. Formerly known as Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, NTR permits China to export goods to the United States without interference from possible high tariffs, while granting her access to low interest, often US taxpayer guaranteed and subsidized loans.
President Clinton, recently promised to renew this privilege for yet another year. But China deserves no such privilege. Here are a few of the many reasons why.
And, we shouldn't expect them to change, though some free trade advocates persistently believe they will. The argument goes, the more the enemy is tightly involved as a trading partner, the more he will be convinced your ways are better than his. Free intercourse breaks down nationalistic barriers, they say. And this is in some cases true.
But we make a big mistake analyzing China from our way of thinking. To paraphrase Charles Marshall, "in the language of game theory, China and the United States are like opponents playing different games by different rules on the same board." Their rules, unlike ours, are extremely complex and flexible, or as Churchill once observed, "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Thus understanding their ideology is critical if one hopes to comprehend their behavior. Without this knowledge we are destined to become victims.
China is governed by the ideology of Marx, Lenin and Mao. All government entities, and most, if not all, "private" companies in the People's Republic of China are subservient to that ideology. In the preamble to China's Constitution it declares that China will be governed "Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought."
That being true, the basic doctrine of Marxism-Leninism is that a state of war exists and the Communist Party was created to win this war. The ultimate enemy in that war is the United States, and "free" trade has always been recognized as an important tactic to be used against the United States.
First of all, this is so, because China has long understood what some free trade advocates fail to understand, and that is free trade as interpreted by internationalists is not the same system favored by libertarians, but a system of planned economies and partial rules and regulations which favor underdeveloped and communist states like China and disfavor free and rich states like the United States.
Second, all advantages accrued as result of that trade, are in the words of the China dissident Harry Wu "used to build the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) . . . every penny . . . is used to build up the military." Or as Lenin's strategy suggests, "[the West--lead by the United States--would["labor to prepare their own suicide" by "furnish[ing]credits . . . [which] would rebuild our war industry, which is essential for our future attacks on our suppliers." Plain enough, and their failure of an economic system needs such aid.
China, admits in their own official White Paper that it, "suffers from capital constraint And relatively under-developed scientific and technological development." All it exports are "labor-intensive (slave labor) products such as textiles, garments, shoes, toys, electric home appliances and luggage." Thus, China is dependent upon the sale of those goods to acquire hard cash so that they may then purchase "capital and technology intensive Products such as aircraft, power generation equipment, machinery, electronics, telecommunications equipment and machinery." Should the United States and a few other major consumers exercise true freedom and refuse to make purchases or at least put a more reasonable tariff on these tainted goods, China's military would stand dead in the water. But free trade isn't free, and China needs then, that's not the kind of free trade we are talking about, we are talking about NTR type free trade.
Third, while enhancing the infrastructure and industrial base of a determined adversary, NTR or free trade for China is a key to maintaining and expanding the international corporate welfare system. Loans to China and businesses investing in China are guaranteed and often subsidized by the U.S. Government--the taxpayer. Thus, it socializes the enemy (the United States), helping make international capitalists (the big corporations) dependent and in bed with the state, which makes it all the easier to later make those corporations part of the state. Something Lenin predicted would happen.
Fourth, "Free" Trade hastens the long sought Marxist revolution by intentionally aggravating economic and class conflict. As noted by Engels in an 1848 speech, free trade would break "up old nationalities and push the antagonism of the Proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point."
That is, US corporations, under this scheme, freely cross national borders motivated by US government sponsored economic incentives, offer wages to the poor masses in those countries not that far removed from slave labor wages, flood the goods into US markets (since the average Chinese citizen could never buy the goods and because the said corporation has the protected status to so do), drive American businesses who can't compete with this government created advantage out of business, and in turn foster dependency from a rich country capitalist country on a poor communist country.
Meanwhile the poor become poorer as the rich become richer. It all leads to even more "free" trade to solve the inequalities and exploitation, and in some cases to violent change, as the poor realized more and more how much they are being exploited.
Fifth, as stated above, NTR would exacerbate the loss of independence and National Sovereignty. Once a self-reliant Nation with trade surpluses we now have run trade deficits for the last 28 years. Since the interdependence of nations is a communist design, this is a very favorable development for communists in China and elsewhere.
In the Unites States our foreign policy is guided by intellectual confusion and moral lethargy because we fail to understand the Chinese Marxist worldview. We make deals with communist agents and officials as if they represent their peoples. We engage in diplomacy as if it were an old fashioned power struggle. We sign treaties and agreements, accept promises and declarations as if the Chinese were receptive to our values. We trade with China as if we were exchanging goods and services with London merchants. And while our State Department and business officials fraternize with Chinese officials in political, economic, social and cultural matters, thousands of individuals linger in the LaoGai Slave labor camps.
China needs us more than we need them. When China abandons (or overthrows) their ideology and allows free elections and basic human rights, then we should grant them equal status at the trade table. In the meantime let us labor to prepare China's ideological suicide by refusing to grant them privileges which take aim not at their but our suicide.
Steve Montgomery is a freelance journalist and resides in Southern Utah. E-mail Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
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