Wednesday, February 28, 2007

19MM resignations from the Chinese Communist Party!

On Feb. 27, '07 while the U.S. stock market was on its roller coaster plunge, and different numerical milestone was reached -- the reported number of people, resigning from the Chinese Communist Party, reached and passed 19 million.

This pertains to a campaign, known as "jiuping / tuidang," that began at the end of 2004. Throughout 2005, seven million people quit from the CCP; throughout 2006, ten million more quit, so that 17 million is where we were at the start of this year. Yesterday, that counter flipped past 19 million, which suggests that the pace in 2007 is yet faster, for the second year in a row.

If the CCP is a vehicle, the wheels are flying off of the CCP! :-)

If anybody wants to see that counter, it's at the Epoch Times newspaper, ET is being more than a newspaper -- it is the publisher of the "jiuping" [Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party], and sponsor of this "tuidang" [Quit the CCP] campaign!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Recent repartee

An earlier post from the CSN blog, 'Nuances for media savvy types,' became an article, published at two web sites, one 'left-leaning' and one 'right-leaning.'

It's here--
News Media Protects Bad Guys

At the Conservative Voice, there were two questions asked of me in comments -- I replied with brief blurbs that I'll repost to preserve here.

The first concerned my take on the prospects for Chinese democracy. I wrote my reply--
Someone here asked about my take on Chinese democracy.

The future course of events is of course a matter of speculation. Future aside, China's government finds itself in an untenable position. I recommend my article, 'Why We Can't Dismiss the China Threat.' That argues back against apologists for China who ballyhoo the "peaceful rise" theory about China as a world power. It is unwise to bank on a peaceful rise FOR THE SAME REASON: China's government finds itself in an untenable position.

That article, of Mar.'05, reviewed the situation and referred to "the train wreck of Chinese government."

I also recommend my speech of Dec.'05, 'China, you got duped!' It reflects another credibility problem for that government, after the Shanwei massacre, an event of Dec.'05.

Those two tracts, when given credence, establish the "train wreck" and the "credibility problem" of Chinese government.

I think that 85-95% of the pressure for Chinese democracy is inside China; it is internal, domestic. Do we want pressure from the outside world? Yes. Should the Olympics be withdrawn? Yes. Should America have a stiffer China policy? Yes. (And, would that likely mean higher tariff rates? Yes -- so, it crosses the "free trade" policy.)

But really, I think that most of the pressure for reform is inside China, and that if the outside world added pressure, it would only be 5-15% of the picture. There are chances that China will be pushed to democracy even without outside intervention.

But, so long as it is still despotic, the outside intervention might be like "the straw that breaks the camel's back." That is to say, the pressure might make all the difference in the world.

If the Chinese leadership saw that we were about to pull the legs out from under their economy, well -- they're smart people. It might take them about three weeks to dust off their own plans for democratic reform. I think they might do it, in preference to having an economic melt down.

So in my view, the potential for Western pressure to make the difference is very real. And, where I know that it is a matter of life and death -- people are losing their lives right now -- I think the West should act, rather than crossing its fingers.

In a crossed-fingers approach, as I say China may tip of its own accord, but it is irresponsible of the West to be "genocidally correct," and to cotton to tyranny, while China is building up its military and threatening Taiwan.

See, I've suggested that there are two ways (internal and external pressure) that China can achieve a good result, but while it is despotic, we have the chance of a bad result -- the war to conquer Taiwan. China has the potential to make such military trouble, and they even have the incentive because the regime can try the old tyrant's playbook of using nationalism and patriotism and crisis to distract the population from domestic problems. The regime might see war as the way to avoid collapse or civil war.

Violent outcomes remain possible; it is too soon to count on democracy, by whatever route it may appear.
The second question and blurb reply was about free trade with Communist China. My answer (drumroll)--
If somebody gave you $200 billion per year, you too could have your own army, navy, air force, and space program.

$200 billion is the size of the U.S. trade deficit with China, and it is a mistaken myth of some in our establishment, to say that a trade deficit can be safely ignored. (A large measure of the problem in this debate is the overhang of ignorance about trade deficits, due to the aforementioned myth of the establishment.)

Upon more discerning analysis, the trade deficit is wealth transfer. It is money added into the economy of China, and it is subtracted from the U.S. economy. It's a fire hose of money going from here to there, and the U.S. economy is the loser being looted.

At the Chinese end of matters, it is like giving them $200 billion per year, and WE have picked up the tab for their army, navy, air force, and space program.

That's disgusting on the face of it, and it's building up a nuclear-armed, communist superpower while it continues to persecute its people--genocidally so--and it thumbs its nose at every Western blandishment that urges respect for human rights.

The U.S. policy of "free trade" leads to the ENLARGEMENT of the trade deficit, at a time when better management of the economy would demand DIMINISHMENT of the trade deficit.

It's gravy for dictators. It enriches communists, dictators, tyrants, and thugs. If Washington, DC had truth in labelling, --

The Communist Enrichment Act of 2000 was a more true label for China's PNTR (trade status deal that passed Congress in 2000); and,

The Communist Enrichment Act of 2006 was a more true label for Vietnam's PNTR (it just passed in December 2006).

Communists should be laughing all the way to the bank. And surely, nothing is fair about this. "Free trade" also entails a bastardized use of the word "free." It really isn't.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Good Morning. Your world is now less safe.

The United States of America, arguably the most powerful nation on Earth, just caved to Stalinist North Korea. There is no other way to describe today's "agreement," besides surrender or betrayal.

We will all see and hear a lot of false praise for the Bush Administration's ability to get SNK to agree to "shut down" its nuclear power plant in exchange for fuel oil; none of it is deserved. The President began these negotiations almost four years ago insisting the Stalinists' entire nuclear weapons program be dismantled before they received one cent of aid. Now, not once cent has become one million barrels of fuel oil.

First, let us focus on what this deal will not do: the Stalinists do not have to destroy the nuclear weapons they already have; they will not have to dismantle their uranium nuclear program; they will not have to make any amends to Japan for the numerous Japanese abducted by SNK in the 1970s and 1980s. All of these issues have been "left for later discussion" (BBC), i.e., future opportunities for the Stalinists to extract more bribes.

Now, let's see what the Stalinists will get: the aforementioned fuel oil, talks on "normalizing relations" with both the U.S. and Japan with no strings attached, and - get this - a pledge from the Administration to take SNK off its list of international terrorists, this less than one month after reports of Stalinist aid to the Iranian mullahcracy on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

This might very well be worse than the 1994 Agreed Framework fiasco. At least back then, the Stalinist North had neither nuclear weapons nor a partially developed ballistic missile. Now they have both - and they get off the terrorist list.

How could the Bush Administration, which has shown such resolve and toughness in the Middle East and Central Asia, completely wilt in Eastern Asia? The answer reveals the one flaw that has damaged this Administration from the beginning (and, to be fair, both of its immediate predecessors): its support for "engagement" with Communist China.

Like his father and his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush apparently believes Communist China is a potential American ally, rather than the enemy it really is. That was evident throughout this incredibly sorry episode, in which the Communist regime was given complete trust to "pressure" its de facto colony. Said "pressure" never came to Pyongyang, but Beijing applied plenty of pressure to Washington, and it worked.

Communist China had and has no interest in making Stalinist North Korea a decent member of the world community; it instead used the Stalinists as a tool to wear down American resolve. The result is a deal that enables the Stalinist North to keep its nuclear weapons and receive international aid, all while getting off the terrorist list.

Does anyone think that the Iranian mullahcracy, Communist China's best friend in the Middle East, isn't paying attention? John Bolton believes the mullahs are, saying the deal "sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world." Exactly.

I've talked about how to deal with the new, post-non-proliferation world before, but the correct policies flow from one simple premise: Communist China is the enemy the free world, and has proven it by aiding the enemies we fight even now in the Wahhabist-Ba'athist-Khomeinist War.

We must work with our allies (Japan, Taiwan, India, Georgia, Afghanistan, etc.) - including providing them with nuclear weapons if they wish - to make clear to the Beijing-Tehran-Pyongyang alliance that we will not tolerate its presence, let alone its increasing power. We must economically isolate them as much as possible. We must make it abundantly clear to the Communist regime that we will hold it (along with the perpetrators, of course) responsible for every future act of nuclear terrorism against the free world.

Finally, we must make clear that our policy is liberation (preferably without military force, but with force if necessary) for Iran, North Korea, and China. We will never be secure until the peoples suffering under these regimes can take their respective countries back from the tyrants. Until we do these things, the Second Cold War will never be won, and the W-B-K war itself will be in doubt.

It hurts to write these words, especially since this Administration has worked so hard - and endured so much undeserved criticism - in its attempt to make America safe in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the fact is, its pusillanimity in Beijing has made the world less safe, and the fact that its political opponents would have done little different is no comfort. America will never be secure until Iran, North Korea, and China are free.

Cross-posted to China e-Lobby

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nuances for media savvy types

The Chinese democracy movement is well described as a "highly nuanced situation." That means it's a head scratcher and a challenge for distanced observers, e.g. American news reporters, bloggers, analysts, etc.

I am reminded of the story of multiple blind men encountering an elephant. Each gets a different idea about the elephant by encountering a different part of it. For example, one man checks out the elephant's leg, and says, "It's like a tree!" Another man checks out the elephant's tail, and says "It's like a rope!" Likewise, the Chinese democracy movement has many different people who experienced things from many different parts of the story. I can't tell you what it was like to be a Chinese student in Tiananmen Square. I can't tell you what it's like to be a political prisoner. But, I can tell you things witnessed from the top of CSN, where I've been throughout its history. My view includes matters both inside the organization, and out my window, where I've seen some of the nuanced history, in the overseas / exile Chinese democracy movement.

So for example, when I read the Wikipedia entry on the Chinese democracy movement, I was able to spot some flaws and inaccuracies, about some matters where I flatly know it better than whomever turned in the previous draft of that article. The whole idea of Wikipedia is to invite community editing, so I clicked 'Edit.'

The (reported) history of the democracy movement has thus changed, and yet not fancifully nor radically. My edits were a tune-up to the pre-existing article and preponderance of information.

I feel like I have clocked (hit) the MSM (mainstream news media) with a rhetorical brick.

That was not my original purpose for peforming the edit. (The earlier piece made it seem like CSN was Chinese-founded, and riven by the same internecine fights as other Chinese democracy groups. To the contrary, CSN was American-founded, and we never fought internally like as reported for other groups.) I guess that my editing expanded from there. As long as I had the piece open for surgery, I added two paragraphs into the History section.

One can imagine that when working with the news media, sometimes you would want to have a meeting behind closed doors, and to say things 'off the record.' Does today's state of affairs reflect a massive exception, and gulf of distance, between CSN and the MSM? Yes. Media people who review CSN material would notice that we have a brick for the media all the time around here. At one time or another, I've decried the "corrupt cabal" that slants the news, spins the issues, and flacks for the Chinese Communist regime. I've indicated that the American spin class has been bent, craven, and depraved on a routine basis (with the trade issue). I've referred to "ersatz journalists."

Why all those bricks, and could this be resolved in a closed-door meeting? Well, I don't see this as a person-to-person issue, nor as an org-to-org issue. On the one side, I see the movement. On the other side, I see the media. Each side is hundreds of groups or organizations. Because the issue is of that nature, it is unlikely that much can be done in a closed-door meeting. Simply to get the parties into one place, it would be more like a convention.

It therefore becomes fitting and appropriate that CSN escalates its concerns into public advocacy. The media criticism is justified, based on the two paragraphs that I put into Wikipedia's history of the Chinese democracy movement. Let me excerpt the prior paragraph, and then lay out the two paragraphs here:
[T]he Tiananmen Square protests...were put down by government troops on June 4, 1989. In response, a number of pro-democracy organizations were formed by overseas Chinese student activists, and there was considerable sympathy for the movement among Westerners, who formed the China Support Network (CSN).

While the CSN was initially a go-to organization for U.S. news media (MSM) to cite, CSN and MSM parted company in a dispute over the casualty count from the June 4 massacre. MSM originally reported 3,000 dead. Here is a citation from the Agence France Press newswire. On June 22, 1989, AFP referred to "the Chinese army's assault on the demonstrators in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an operation in which U.S. intelligence sources estimated 3,000 people were killed..." That casualty count, originally reported as above, was subsequently changed by the news media. CSN repoorted that it was the interest of China's propaganda minister to reduce the casualty count by an order of magnitude, resulting in later reports that "hundreds" were killed at Tiananmen Square. Here is a citation from the November, 1989 CSN news. Editor James W. Hawkins MD wrote, "It appears as if Mr. Yuan Mu [propaganda minister] has gotten his way and when we read reports on the AP wire we are told exactly what Mr. Mu wants us to read."

The rift between CSN and MSM plays into the history of the movement. The principle of estoppel was violated by the MSM, which changed its story. Meanwhile, the CSN held its estimate steady at 3,000, not violating estoppel and maintaining the credibility of consistency. (In January, 2005 upon the death of ousted Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, CSN raised its estimate to 3,001 dead in the Tiananmen crackdown.) CSN proceeded to be critical of the MSM, and MSM proceeded to minimize, downplay, ignore, or underreport movement news and China's human rights abuse.

What we have above is two things: (1.) dispute; (2.) upshot.

In the dispute, we see that there's MSM on the one hand, and CSN on the other hand. In that paragraph above, "CSN held its estimate steady...maintaining the credibility of consistency." That's laudable on the part of CSN, but what did MSM forget to do? MSM forgot to maintain its own credibility of consistency. The climb down (on the casualty count) was shenanigans on the part of MSM, not CSN.

And then there's the upshot. As it says, "MSM proceeded to minimize, downplay, ignore, or underreport movement news and China's human rights abuse."

To be fair, that is the upshot on the side of MSM. On the CSN side, it also says "CSN proceeded to be critical of the MSM," and indeed we see that here and now--18 years later--today's state of affairs still supports my reference to "ersatz journalists." In this light, it's not even a wisecrack -- it's a justified, if cutting, remark.

CSN is standing with better credibility on the casualty count, for having not violated estoppel, which the MSM actually did. (Our web site has more documentation of the AP's climb down on the casualty numbers. They really did change their story, at a time when the propaganda minister in China was pulling strings to "spin down" an atrocity and crime against humanity.) I can look at the MSM, or consider the network anchor men, and I can say that ever since then, "you have been wrong, and you have been wrong, and you have been wrong."

The thing is that the news media didn't stop at verb (1.), lowering the casualty count. As my paragraph notes, we can refer to verbs (2.) minimize; (3.) downplay; (4.) ignore; and, (5.) underreport. It's a pattern where the media generally fell into line with "flacking for the Chinese Communist regime."

I believe that a REAL journalist exposes the truth. Meanwhile, an ersatz journalist may shrug off the truth, and play along with "keeping the regime happy." So, which job is your job? The China Support Network could fill you in on a lot of pro-democracy movement news in the past 18 years, and that's about how far behind the MSM is, on this issue. Also, the whole point of the cause is FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. In the land of the free, this should be mainstream. That this cause "went dark" to the public was not because Westerners lost their considerable sympathy -- I sure saw American enthusiasm for this, when we first started CSN. I don't think that audiences lost sympathy; rather instead, it was MEDIA that "lost sympathy," through a process that I have now chronicled, above.