No, Senator Feinstein: China Isn’t a ‘Respectable’ Country

August 3, 2020 Updated: August 9, 2020

Commentary

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) doesn’t want the Trump administration to be mean to China.

She said at a Judiciary Committee hearing last week, “We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that.”

“Respectable?” Are you kidding me? The communist regime is not only wholly unworthy of respect, but it has built the most vicious and powerful tyranny seen in the world since the fall of Nazi Germany.

We don’t have to go back decades to the brutal leadership of Mao, perhaps history’s most prolific mass murderer responsible for the deaths of tens of millions. Nor do we need to focus on the country’s disastrous Cultural Revolution, which shredded Chinese culture. We can see the vivid evil here and now, in contemporary headlines.

Communist Party leaders insist on total loyalty to the state—meaning to them. The government deploys economic carrots and lethal cudgels to attain that fealty. Unlike in the early days of communism, today’s China allows some economic freedom, which has improved the standard of living.

But that loosening wasn’t matched by any political freedom. If anything, the country is going in the opposite direction, with the Party suppressing all heterodox thinking, particularly targeting people of faith or believers in heterodox philosophies for vicious persecution.

The first contemporary victims of this oppression were—and are—the Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), a spiritual practice that describes itself as “an advanced self-cultivation practice of the Buddha School.” Starting in 1999, Falun Gong adherents have been the victims of a particularly ferocious pogrom, the most notable attribute of which is forced organ harvesting.

The depth of this depravity was first exposed in an explosive report issued by Canadian former member of Parliament David Kilgour and prominent human-rights attorney David Matas. Their 2006 “Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China,” shocked the consciences of all decent people. Over 46 grueling pages, the activists systematically constructed a compelling case of “large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.”

For example, several surviving family members of Falun Gong who died in detention reported seeing their loved ones’ bodies with “surgical incisions and body parts missing.” One witness—not a Falun Gong member—told investigators that her surgeon husband “told her that he personally removed the corneas from approximately 2,000 anesthetized Falun Gong prisoners.” None survived, and all were cremated.

The communist regime denied the charge, but also promised to squelch the black market in organs. Surprise! It didn’t. A 2014 book by China expert and author Ethan Gutmann estimated that between 2001 and 2008, some 65,000 organs were harvested from Falun Gong.

As evidence of the veracity of these allegations, liver or kidney transplant patients who might have to wait years in the United States to receive an organ can often obtain one for cash in just a few weeks in China. There’s a term for such a brutal policy: mass murder.

Feinstein also seems to have missed the news about western China’s Uyghur Muslims, who have been forcibly imprisoned in Soviet-style gulags for reeducation, where they are beaten, raped, their women sterilized, and their children stolen.

A recent video leaked to the West from China depicts blindfolded Uyghurs being herded into railway cars (!!!) for transportation to forced labor factories.

Chinese repression is growing even more sophisticated than that kind of blunt force. A “social credit” system is being developed that will deploy cutting-edge technologies such as AI and facial recognition programs to erect a surveillance system that targets Christians and others to track individual behaviors and social associations.

Not yet complete, here is how the system will work: Computer algorithms analyze the compiled data and compute the person’s “social score.” Enter an unapproved church and lose points. Have a conversation with a person already denigrated with a low credit score, and your own score is lowered. Speak to foreigners, and risk demerits.

Complying with the government’s diktats leads to a high social credit score, the benefits of which can include lowered rent. But the consequences of being graded with a low social credit score is societal excommunication—with sanctions such as job loss, the inability to rent an abode, even blackballing from riding the downtown bus or receiving medical care.

More insidiously, the social sins of the parents are borne by the children, who may be kicked out of a university or stripped of their own ability to work, effectively destroying their future lives.

We have all suffered from China’s “respectable” handling of the Wuhan coronavirus. Not only did the country lie about the outbreak, but even though it shut down domestic travel from Wuhan, it allowed residents to take international journeys that spread COVID to the world. I guess we could say that the number of deaths caused is perversely “respectable,” nearly 700,000 worldwide to date, with more than 150,000 in the United States.

China’s suppression of Hong Kong is also “respectable” authoritarianism. Breaking its agreement to allow the city to remain semi-autonomous, like the old movie monster “The Blob,” communists passed laws that absorbed Hong Kong into the greater communist system, removing all freedoms the city’s citizens enjoyed. Many fear that Taiwan will be next.

Here are a few other examples of China “growing into a respectable nation”:

  • China has illegally occupied Tibet since the 1950s and is systematically destroying the Buddhist culture in that oppressed country.
  • China engages in mass theft of intellectual property around the world.
  • China has placed spies into our best universities.
  • The Chinese regime controls the country’s largest commercial firms and deploys these companies as fronts for spying and intelligence gathering. For example, the video-sharing app TikTok uploads user data and sends it to China. The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei—which sells more cell phones than any other company in the world except Apple—has been banned from the United States and the UK after being credibly accused of allowing Chinese security to spy on users via its 5G systems.
  • Many international observers depict China as the world’s most voracious loan shark, loaning money to the developing world at high interest rates to exploit resources or build infrastructure, and when the country can’t repay, Chinese concerns take over the facilities.
  • A huge Chinese fishing fleet of 260 trawlers has appeared off the pristine Galapagos Islands, just outside the pristine area’s protected zone where they are presumably vacuuming up all fish life, threatening the area’s balance of species.
  • For those worried about climate change, China is the world’s most serious belcher of greenhouse gases. Anyone who has visited Beijing or Shanghai will tell you tales of unbreathable coal soot in the air.

Enough.

The people of China are wonderful and industrious. But the country as governed by the communists is the antithesis of “respectable.” To the contrary, China is the greatest subverter of international stability and threat to universal human rights in the world today.

Most of us know that now. It’s particularly disheartening that a senator as prominent, experienced, and influential as Feinstein is oblivious to the substantial danger that China poses.

Wesley J. Smith is the chairman of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.