In the early 2000s, I and other like-minded people would warn congressional colleagues incessantly of the strategic threat of Communist China and its rival model of government to the United States and all free nations.
Granted, when measured by the Herculean efforts of individuals like Gordon Chang and the late Harry Wu, we Cassandras were late to the party. But better late than never when alerting the free world to the dangers posed by this nuclear-armed, now genocidal communist regime. Unfortunately, our stark assessment of Communist China’s actions and intentions was either dismissed, ignored, or actively rejected by the political class and the corporate community.
This was at the height of the GWOT (Global War on Terror). Asymmetrical warfare was the threat to be stopped; and the two rogue nation-states most occupying the thoughts of policy makers were Afghanistan and Iraq—not China. If there was a nation-state in Asia which constituted a menace, the thinking was that it was North Korea. (That North Korea was Communist China’s junkyard dog, barking at the West upon command, was too much for the nuanced minds of the foreign policy elitists to fathom.)
One could understand, though not excuse, why many principled policy makers were chary about focusing on another, more long-term danger to our nation. At least these individuals never rejected our assessment and abetted the rise of the nuclear-armed, now genocidal Communist China; and, although it is belatedly, many of them now wholeheartedly concur with our earlier assessment.
What can also be understood yet not excused is how some policy makers and their corporate benefactors actively rejected our assessment of Communist China and worked to abet the regime’s rise. After all, you had an American secretary of state arguing it was the job of the United States to escort China onto the world stage, rather than ushering it into the dustbin of history.
These policy makers were largely from the “end of history” foreign policy school of thought, still vainly hoping to salvage a shard of their reputations for buying into that intellectual swill. They amended their siren song, arguing that international terrorism was a last gasp of history and, once eradicated through materialistic means, everyone would resume their long march toward democratic capitalism. As for their corporate benefactors and Wall Street financiers, meanwhile, the Beijing regime’s version of Communist Romania’s operation “Red Horizons” weaponized Western elitists’ greed against them—and the rest of us.
Thus, despite all the evidence supporting our assessment that the regime constituted a strategic threat and rival model of governance—such as the entire barbarous history and reality of the Chinese Communist Party, including the (then more recent) Tiananmen Square massacre—our illustriously credentialled policy makers and corporate elitists obstinately believed that they could unleash a “rain of riches” upon the regime and magically convert it into a liberal democracy. This strategy decimated American jobs and enriched the corporate elite and Wall Street, while we were told, rather condescendingly, that sacrifices had to be made for the greater good.
Flash forward to 2021. A white paper has been issued by the one entity that never doubted our assessment of the threat—the Chinese Communist Party itself.
Authored by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, and issued by the regime’s mouthpiece, China Daily, the white paper’s title says it all—“China: Democracy That Works.” (One doubts the Uyghurs, Peng Shuai, Liu Xiaobo, and hundreds of millions of others would agree.)
It is genocidal, Communist China’s riff on the defunct Soviet Union’s propaganda trope (circa 1956) that totalitarian governments are actually “democratic.” Premised upon the totalitarian conflation that a tiny party is the embodiment of an entire people, its pretexts that state-government is superior to self-government, and that liberty is state-granted not self-evident and God-given, it is more of the same “liberty is the enemy of security and prosperity” hogwash.
Nonetheless, the Beijing regime’s risible white paper is both an invitation and a declaration. The invitation is to aspiring totalitarian and authoritarian butchers seeking to emulate the genocidal communist regime. The declaration is to the United States and the free world that China is a strategic threat and rival model of governance. For those obdurate and/or personally vested policy makers and corporate elitists still unconvinced, take a gander in China Daily at this less-than-nuanced communique.
Though rejecting indiscriminate nation-building, American Greatness’ Mackubin Owens provides a timely reminder why our nation needs to engage the intellectual struggle presented by this latest rival model of governance, genocidal Communist China’s “democracy that works”:
. . . prudent American realism recognizes that the internal character of regimes matters for U.S. foreign policy, a principle that also can be found in Thucydides, who noted that an important goal of both Athens and Sparta was to establish and support regimes similar to their own, democracies in the case of Athens and oligarchies for Sparta. The inference one can draw is that the security of a state is enhanced when it is surrounded by others that share its principles and interests.
The totalitarian Beijing regime recognizes this, too. It is why they prop up the Hellscape that is North Korea. Now, garbage picking in the dustbin of history, genocidal Communist China has spit polished and thrown down the rusting gauntlet of socialist “democracy” at the feet of the West. While the vast majority of free people are repulsed, some in the United States insanely want to drink deep from this cup of totalitarian hemlock. And it isn’t just domestic communists or the Democratic Socialists of America who want to emulate the political pathologies of this hideous regime’s “democracy that works.”
In a deeply bitter irony, after the Soviet Union collapsed, a new totalitarian communist regime arose to form a strategic threat and rival model of government to the United States and the entire community of free nations. In the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre of students whose only crime was seeking freedom, we have Western elites who, rather than speeding the demise of this barbarous regime, would offer it succor as it becomes an existential threat to human freedom. Today, with a perverse pride of parentage in their communist Frankenstein’s monster, Western elitists are not horrified by the genocidal Chinese regime they’ve nurtured.
Indeed, they envy it.
These individuals have forgotten and/or forsaken the verity that true democracy “that works” understands liberty is the foundation of a free people’s security and prosperity and subordinates the state to the individual. Hence, it allows for the full flowering of each and every individual’s potential, for society itself to reach its full creative zenith.
Consequently, engaging our rival model of governance that is genocidal Communist China in the intellectual and diplomatic struggle for the protection and promotion of free nations and peoples will, sadly, be a “bitter twilight struggle” on two fronts: abroad and at home.
But, once more, it will be won.