The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was refreshingly blunt. At a face to face Alaska meeting with Chinese officials Friday, Blinken denounced China’s attack on democracy in Hong Kong, China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China’s aggressive threats towards Taiwan, China’s expansionist provocations in the South China Sea and China’s concerted cyberattacks against the West.
“We wanted to share with them the significant concerns that we have about a number of the actions that China has taken and concerns shared by our allies and partners,” Blinken said , according to the Financial Times. (You can read the entire article here: https://www.ft.com/content/c99c4fd5-059b-40f7-aaae-70e776cb71a4.
“Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” Blinken added, while cameras rolled and the Chinese delegation fumed.
Also on Friday, in Washington at a US State Department briefing, American officials again publicly raised the issue of the two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, calling their imprisonment in China “arbitrary and unacceptable”. The two were arrested in China in retaliation for Canada fulfilling an American extradition request for Huawei executive Meng Wenzhou, facing criminal charges of violating US sanctions against Iran..
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also talked tough about the case of the two Michaels.
“China needs to understand that it is not just about two Canadians, it is about the respect for the rule of law, and relationships with a broad range of Western countries, that is at play with the arbitrary detention and the coercive diplomacy, they have engaged in,” Trudeau said, as reported in The National Post.
In fact, diplomats from eight other countries reportedly joined Canadian officials in solidarity outside the Courthouse in China where Spavor’s two-hour secret closed-door fake trial took place Friday: verdict withheld, but presupposed.
China is openly displaying the brutal dictatorship it has become under President Xi Jinping.
It’s cruelty to its own people, the lack of rule of law, its disrespect for the Hong Kong agreement, the arbitrary construction of military-occupied islands in disputed waters of the South China Sea, its outright aggression along its borders with India, Vietnam; and now, even hostage-taking are ALL carried out openly for the whole world to see.
And when the history of the Covid-19 virus is written, and the true scope of the suffering, ruin and deaths China has wrought on the whole world will be fully tallied, including China’s delays in stopping international travel out of Wuhan when officials KNEW there was a problem, a BIG problem; its failure to share full information/access with the World Health Organization as early as it could; its use of agents around the world to round up and ship back to China ALL personal protection gear they could find; and, its sudden decision to pull out of a joint vaccine-research-development program with Canada, totally abandoning us.
And despite all this, the new China couldn’t care less!
Under President for Life Xi, China is waging an undeclared WAR aimed at achieving world domination … nothing less … using its economic power, intimidation, bullying and even military violence against others it feels it can bully: Canada, India, Australia; Taiwan, Japan, Tibet, Vietnam.
There have been several articles written about Chan’s growing bullying tactics: https://www.economist.com/asia/2021/02/27/asian-countries-are-learning-to-cope-with-chinese-bullying. Or there’s this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/australia-is-standing-up-to-chinas-bullying-it-needs-us-support/2020/12/04/666475fa-3656-11eb-8d38-6aea1adb3839_story.html.
No surprise then that China has supported the Myanmar military coup that has so far claimed 249 lives; China has increasingly militarized the South China Sea; China has brutally suppressed its own citizens, human rights activists, writers, bloggers, artists, Internet access; and, China is even carrying out cultural genocide against its own Uyghur Muslim citizens, using discrimination, repression, imprisonment, forced labour camps, coerced sterilizations and worker relocations, under pressure, to other parts of the country to disperse and assimilate the population.
So WHY does China believe it can get away with its ugly actions?
Because we have allowed it to do so.
Despite all the rhetoric, China has gambled Western nations worship SALES/MONEY/BUSINESS/PROFITS more than principles … and will DO little or nothing concrete to actually STOP their aggressions.
So far, they are right.
China’s investment in the US tops $1.5 trillion; China is the TOP importer of US goods/services $125 Billion in 2020; just days ago, the European Union just days ago signed a new huge Market Access deal with China, aiming to increase it’s current $245 Billion annual exports to China; and in 2019, China’s investments in Canada top $80 Billion and Canadian exports to China hit $24.4 billion in 2019, making China Canada’s second largest trading partner.
Get the picture?
China has seen Western nations huff and puff about all its abuses, aggressions and transgressions … but then do very little and impose only minor, niggling sanctions, if any at all.
That’s why/how China is winning its WAR against the West … expanding its power, its influence, its financial control worldwide … and increasingly advancing its expansionist land and sea ambitions too, all the while abusing human rights more and more, not less.
The ONLY way to stop China’s aggression and force China back to normal standards of civilized behaviour is by hurting it where it would really feel pain: economically.
With a population of 1.4 Billion to support … China NEEDS us and our consumer markets much more than it really needs to expand its control over the Uyghurs, the South China Sea, Tibet, Taiwan or any future embarrassing cases like the two Michaels.
But first, the Western nations must stand together and be willing to pay the price: substantially cutting our imports from China (yes, at the cost of losing exports too), banning Chinese investment, breaking off cultural/business alliances, barring China’s students from our intuitions, severely limiting travel visits to/from China and excluding ANY China-based or owned technology companies from our high tech and/or communications sectors, including 5-G networks.
Canada cannot do this alone.
Freedom-supporting nations MUST unite and say to China: Enough is enough! Either act like a civilized nation, operating under the rule of law, respecting human rights inside and outside China … or be treated like a dangerous, uncivilized foe, undeserving of doing business with us.
China’s aggression MUST be stopped.
Take China on now economically … before they develop a stranglehold on our economies or we will have to take them on later, militarily.
(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.)