The Democrats had a three-year run with Russia Russia Russia. The Trump administration has four months to sell China China China, and William Barr made it clear that they don’t intend to spare anyone. As tensions rise with Beijing over trade, espionage, human rights, and COVID-19, Barr drew a line in the sand with American companies profiting from supply chains in China. Do you choose to support America, or “collaborate” with China on its “economic blitzkrieg” on the US? Barr declared that the time to choose is now:
In a sweeping address Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr blasted American tech giants Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Cisco as well as Hollywood for being “all too willing to collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party.”
“The People’s Republic of China is now engaged in an economic blitzkrieg—an aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower,” Barr said during a speech at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“All too often, for the sake of short-term profits, American companies have succumbed to that influence—even at the expense of freedom and openness in the United States,” he said, calling U.S. technology companies “pawns of Chinese influence.”
In his blistering remarks, Barr slammed U.S. tech companies like Cisco for helping the Communist Party build “the Great Firewall of China,” what he described as the world’s “most sophisticated system for Internet surveillance and censorship.”
Barr took aim at Hollywood as well for its repeated appeasement of China’s Communist Party. The attorney general singled out Disney, saying that Walt Disney would all but turn over in his grave to see how his company grovels at the feet of communists in Beijing:
Barr alleged the officials “display hammer-and-sickle insignia at their desks and attend party lectures during business hours”.
“If Disney and other American corporations continue to bow to Beijing, they risk undermining both their own future competitiveness and prosperity, as well as the classical liberal order that has allowed them to thrive,” Barr said.
The Disney company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.
The attorney general also criticised Hollywood studios for bowing to Chinese pressure to tweak scripts in return for Chinese distribution, citing two cases in which the nationalities of characters were allegedly changed so as not to irritate Beijing.
The history of Hollywood’s cave to China’s censors is long and inglorious indeed. However craven that has been, and it’s been at least craven, it’s still not as bad as Big Tech’s partnership with Beijing on oppression. Google and Microsoft didn’t just tweak scripts to avoid offending the Xi regime, after all; they helped Xi build systems that suppressed dissent. And they weren’t alone in that assistance among US corporations, either.
This is actually a perfect time to draw a line in the sand on China, and not just because of the election. These same corporate entities, and the entire entertainment industry for that matter, has been lecturing Americans for years about social justice and wokery. In the wake of this summer’s unrest, they are about to escalate that messaging. If they want to be taken seriously, then they should be showing some sacrifice along those lines by cutting their ties to the murderously repressive and deeply supremacist regime in Beijing. If their pocketbook means more to them than “justice,” then the rest of us should continually point out that hypocrisy — and apply public policy to those choices, starting with taxes on those supply chains in the name of social justice.
Put up or shut up. That’s the choice consumers can force on these corporations.