Via the Free Beacon, one of the most tone-deaf things said by a major politician outside the walls of the White House in recent memory. On Planet DiFi, our partners in peace in Beijing are becoming more and more of a mature power every day.
In reality, between their malfeasance in covering up the early COVID outbreak, their crackdown on Hong Kong, and their horrendous Nazi-like abuses of Uighurs in Xinjiang province, not since Tiananmen Square has China been less respectable than it is right now.
Not just here but everywhere. It speaks volumes about how poorly China is viewed throughout the west right now that its relations with Europe continue to worsen at a moment when America’s allies, dismayed by Trump, might otherwise be wooed by a rising superpower. The frostiness between the U.S. and Europe would have been a perfect moment for a Chinese charm offensive presenting itself as a more reliable and “responsible” long-term partner than the feckless Americans. The first step would have been contrition over COVID, including an admission of wrongdoing. Instead they’ve bared their fangs at everyone and showed their contempt for western models of government in the starkest way with Hong Kong’s new security law. They’re not the quasi-respectable “business-class authoritarians” they pass themselves off as. They’re the communist goons we thought they were. The masks are off. Watch, then read on:
The Atlantic has a more granular look at just how unrespectable China’s been lately:
The list of what China has done to raise doubts and suspicions is long. Last month, Beijing pursued a deadly border standoff with India, crossing the Line of Actual Control and killing some 20 Indian soldiers. It passed a national-security law that effectively ended Hong Kong’s political freedom, violating internationally agreed-upon commitments. When the Australian government expressed mild support for an international inquiry into COVID-19’s origins, China barred and taxed key agricultural imports. Tokyo says that armed Chinese coast-guard vessels have sailed near the Senkaku Islands every day since April, and Beijing warned its citizens against travel to Canada, citing “frequent violent actions” purportedly carried out by law enforcement. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu recently reported an “unprecedented” number of sea and air exercises near the island, and the Chinese air force this month conducted live-fire drills in the South China Sea. No perceived transgression seems too small to elicit a hostile Chinese response: When the Dutch renamed its representative office in Taiwan—from the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office to the Netherlands Office Taipei—China threatened to stop sending medical supplies and to boycott Dutch goods…
[Governments] are not just worrying and complaining, but acting—and risking Beijing’s further wrath. Britain has offered a path to citizenship for nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents and suspended its extradition treaty. London reversed itself on Huawei’s role in building the British 5G network by barring the Chinese company entirely. After the border skirmish, India—one of the most important markets for Chinese tech companies—banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat. Calls in New Delhi are rising to deny China key infrastructure contracts and even to boycott Chinese products. Japan established a $2.2 billion fund to help manufacturers shift production out of China, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces diminishing resistance to his efforts at strengthening Japan’s military posture. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying that his region is now facing the “most consequential strategic realignment since the Second World War,” announced nearly $190 billion in defense spending over the next decade, focused on high-tech programs that can counter Chinese capabilities. The Trump administration has been busy not just closing consulates but announcing its formal opposition to Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, rescinding Hong Kong’s special economic status, and sanctioning Chinese companies over human-rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Author Richard Fontaine quotes one of India’s former national security advisors: “[I]t is hard to think of a time since the Cultural Revolution when China’s international prestige and reputation have been lower.” Indeed. So what’s Feinstein on about in the clip? Did the Chinese spy who used to work for her write this dreck for her?
Here’s what Chinese respectability looks like if you’re unfortunate enough to end up in one of their “reeducation centers” for Uighurs:
The fate of the women in the camp was particularly harsh, Sauytbay notes: “On an everyday basis the policemen took the pretty girls with them, and they didn’t come back to the rooms all night. The police had unlimited power. They could take whoever they wanted. There were also cases of gang rape. In one of the classes I taught, one of those victims entered half an hour after the start of the lesson. The police ordered her to sit down, but she just couldn’t do it, so they took her to the black room for punishment.”
Tears stream down Sauytbay’s face when she tells the grimmest story from her time in the camp. “One day, the police told us they were going to check to see whether our reeducation was succeeding, whether we were developing properly. They took 200 inmates outside, men and women, and told one of the women to confess her sins. She stood before us and declared that she had been a bad person, but now that she had learned Chinese she had become a better person. When she was done speaking, the policemen ordered her to disrobe and simply raped her one after the other, in front of everyone. While they were raping her they checked to see how we were reacting. People who turned their head or closed their eyes, and those who looked angry or shocked, were taken away and we never saw them again. It was awful. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to help her. After that happened, it was hard for me to sleep at night.”
Where you land on the sovereign-immunity issue she’s discussing in the clip is a separate issue. The question isn’t whether it’s a net loss or gain to the United States to let American citizens sue China. The question is why the “net loss” position comes packaged with casual Chinese propaganda about them being members in good standing in the community of nations or whatever. We’re going to be dealing with threats from them for decades, through Republican and Democratic presidencies. It’d be nice if we did better this time than we did with the Soviets by having our internationalist left-wing party view that threat with clear eyes at all times.
In the meantime, I hope Feinstein’s husband at least drums up some extra business in China from this valentine. It’d be weirdly assuring to know that she’s getting rich(er) off garbage like this rather than that she’s saying it because she means it.