Gary Bauer September 3, 2019

The New York Times and the Washington Post have featured opinion pieces by Chinese dissidents warning that China under Xi Jinping must be confronted. The Post op-ed was published with this title:  “Trump Has The Right Strategy On Beijing.”

The column was written by Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights activist who spent years in prison for protesting China’s human rights abuses, including its brutal one-child policy and forced abortions.  Here are some excerpts of his column:

“Trump is regularly criticized for being unpredictable and erratic . . . for ignoring diplomatic conventions, and for upending a tense but supposedly workable economic relationship.  But as someone who has spent years with the knife edge of the Chinese Communist Party bearing down on my throat. . . I know that the president is on to something. . .

“Presidents before Trump naively believed that China would abide by international standards of behavior if it were granted access to [global] institutions . . . and generally treated as a ‘normal’ country.  But that path proved mistaken, and Beijing ignored Western pressure on matters from human rights to the widespread theft of intellectual property.  Trump, whatever his flaws, grasps this reality. . .

“Trump is the first president in recent memory to seriously say to this communist dictatorship: If you want to keep doing business with us, you have to change.”

Writing in the New York Times, pro-democracy leaders Joshua Wong and Alex Chow declared that the people of Hong Kong won’t be cowed by China’s Communist Party.  They wrote:

“World leaders cannot keep mistaking their wish for the peaceful rise of China . . . with the reality of the Chinese Communist dictatorship today.  Any act or policy that sustains the lifeblood of the Communist dictatorship in Beijing is an offense to the people whom that dictatorship persecutes and oppresses. . .

“We understand that some critics of American interventionism may be inclined to have sympathy for China as a still-developing country bullied by an over-dominant West.  

“But please listen to us here in Hong Kong:  Communist China is no alternative to the interventionism you hate or contest — that is an inconvenient truth that the world must reckon with.” 

American Values