Letters: ’A hodgepodge of anti-China propaganda’
Stacy Washington’s guest column in the July 30 Times (See “Crack down on China, but do it wisely”) is a hodgepodge of anti-China propaganda typical of establishment forces manufacturing consent to achieve regime change in China, either politically or militarily. Ms Washingon’s basic contentions are wrong.
In full disclosure, I know China well. I studied Chinese Language and Literature at Stanford (BA, 1971) as well as Chinese history, art, culture, and politics. I lived and worked in China and worked closely with fairly high-level members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) - good people on both sides. So, I have a definite pro-China outlook. Knowledge removes fear of the unknown.
First, Ms. Washington repeats the often-heard canard that China covered up the coronavirus outbreak, i.e. “China lied, people died.” Anyone can access the historical record and see that although there was a great deal of confusion in the early days of the outbreak in Dec. 2019, by January the world was fully informed and China had released the genome sequence of the virus. The Americans had full knowledge of the outbreak, President Trump was informed, and advisor Peter Navarro cautioned about the dangers of a full-blown pandemic.
In other words, that which Ms. Washington claims happened, did not happen. What Ms. Washington fails to notice is that the response to the pandemic by “our commander in chief” was unfocused, inadequate, and incompetent, a fact easily compared to many other countries whose leadership managed to contain and control the virus. Because of the Trump administration’s inactions, thousands of Americans died.
Then, Ms. Washington goes on to affairs of trade, rightfully pointing out that the US is too dependent on China for essential goods, such as medicines and PPE. I have never been much of a fan of super-long supply chains and the manufacture of goods in China that could be easily made in the US. It is hard to find American-made anything, not just in Walmart, but online. It seems everything now is “Made In China.” I suppose that Chinese agents held guns to the heads of American industrialists and forced them to move their factories to China.
What actually happened is that Western finance decided to seek cheap labor and found willing actors in China, so manufacture was outsourced, entire factories moved to China.
The CPC leadership was faced with the problem of how to reduce poverty while industrializing the country. The deal with the West solved both problems, but the CPC made one demand: technology transfer. So, Americans could move their factories to China and exploit Chinese labor, making vast profits. All they had to do in return was give up their technology. That was the deal. In essence, the CPC sacrificed the lives of generations of Chinese workers essentially to gain capital in the form of dollars, industrialize the country, and gain the knowledge to continue on their own.
At this point, China is self-contained, but happily trades for US soybeans and wheat.