Thursday, August 18, 2005

China Arrests / Tortures Christian Leaders

Five American church leaders and dozens of Christian worshipers were arrested in China, according to the China Aid Association. (Voice of America: China Reportedly Arrests Five American Church Leaders, Tortures Christians). The CAA also reports that 40 Christians were tortured in Hubei Provence earlier this month.

Let's keep in mind that China continues to enjoy "most favored nation" status. China is one of the third-world countries being used as a primary outsource location for technology infrastructure jobs coming out of the US. Despite all our hollow protests about human rights violations, we still continue to pad China's pockets because they provide cheap labor and cheap products.

China is the primary reason the US rejected the Kyoto treaty. Under that agreement, they would have been largely exempt from all of the provisions in the treaty, generating an even greater imbalance in the cost of doing business. China's consumption of petroleum resources is a major factor in the current surge in oil prices. Despite the tremendous growth in consumption, China has refused all requests for cooperation in controlling polluting emissions, demanding payment from the west before they'll implement any controls.

Why would anyone believe China is either a US ally or a good US trade partner? In practice, they have been neither. There are several steps that must be taken when it comes to China:
  • Economic pressure must be brought to bear against any US company using China for outsourced technology or cheap labor. Simply put, we need to make it more costly for US companies to outsource our technology to China than to actually perform the same function here.
  • The US must revoke "most favored nation" status from China. They've done nothing to earn that status and it works only to their advantage, not ours.
  • Pressure must be placed on OPEC to control the flow of petroleum resources to China. Simply put, we cannot afford to allow China to consume the resources we need. I'm not looking to be "fair" here, I'm looking to control resources that we need ourselves. Yes, that's harsh, but in my view our requirements come first.
  • Economic and political sanctions must be implemented against China to bring their pollution emissions under control and to address their continued human rights violations. As long as China continues to arrest American clergy and Christians for doing nothing more than practicing their religion, China should not receive a dime in aid from the US or US allies.

The problem with China continues to grow. They want the economic benefits of a huge trade imbalance with the US, but they want none of the responsibilities associated with being a US ally. To bring the problem under control, we need to hit them in the pocketbook. They need trade with the west far more than we need trade with China. It's time we leveraged that advantage.

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1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

The Christians are practicing THEIR religion and that would be ok if it were China's religion but China has made it pretty clear that it's not.