China

China's Dark Turn

A country that was once making strides toward freedom slides further into oppression and authoritarianism.

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"I'm more anti-China than you!" 

That's a new theme of this election.

Joe Biden says, "We will never again be at the mercy of China!" Donald Trump replies, "China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected!"

It's strange to hear competition, because just a few administrations ago, presidents were eager to celebrate China. "A future of greater trade and growth and human dignity is possible!" said George W. Bush. Bill Clinton praised China's "positive change" and "great progress." 

What changed? That's the subject of my new video.

Presidents Clinton and Bush were excited about China because its dictators had finally opened up China's economy. They got rid of price controls, broke up collective farms, allowed foreign investment and privatized state-run business. China, suddenly, prospered.

"People were so happy to finally see China being set on this path," says Melissa Chen, who reports on China for the Spectator. The reforms "lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty for the very first time."

Then, three years ago, Xi Jinping got himself named president for life. 

He cracked down on speech, even jokes. After someone noted his resemblance to Winnie the Pooh, all mentions of the character were deleted from China's internet.

I had thought the internet couldn't be censored. Bill Clinton said it would be like "trying to nail Jell-O to the wall."

"The Chinese figured out how to nail Jell-O to the wall," says Chen. "They built an almost perfectly walled-in internet."

China does this by employing a million censors. They block Google, Facebook, Twitter and most Western news media. A few computer-savvy Chinese citizens use forbidden apps to get around the censorship, but most don't get to see the same internet that we see.

People caught accessing banned sites are punished. Police may barge into your home, threaten your family or just restrict your choices. 

"You can't make doctor's appointments," explains Chen. "You can't travel… they'll block you from buying a train ticket or a plane ticket."

Life is far worse for religious minorities such as the Muslim Uighurs. The government is waging cultural genocide against them. 

About a million Uighurs are locked up in "reeducation" camps, "sometimes for years," says Chen. "Their family never hears back from them."

China won't allow reporters near the camps, but drone footage shows rows of blindfolded people with their heads shaved and their hands tied behind their backs. 

Radio Free Asia adds that China's "reeducation" methods even include having Chinese men replace the Uighur men in families. They "come in and live with a family (and) sleep in the same bed as the wife," says Chen.

In short, today's China is, once again, a vicious communist dictatorship.

So, I'm amazed to watch American protesters and hear them say, "America is the world's biggest problem."

Even a recent New York Times editorial board member wrote that it was difficult to know whether the United States is "better, worse, or the same" as China.

That equivalence is "bonkers," replies Chen. "There should be no doubt about the moral equivalence between the two countries."

For one thing, we Americans are free to criticize our government.

"You can hold up a sign at a protest, saying, 'Screw Donald Trump; the United States sucks!'" explains Chen. "You cannot do anything remotely similar in China."

People in Hong Kong tried. Millions attended protests, often waving American flags. Chen says it shows they "have a hankering for American values. They crave this freedom that we take for granted."

Now they, too, have been silenced by China's government.

The American protesters who carry "democratic socialism" banners and wave Communist flags (Soviet Communists used to call people like them "useful idiots") should know what people in Hong Kong know: Socialism leads to real government oppression.

"Why would Americans want this?" asks Chen. "Why would they be waving these Communist flags, wanting socialism?"

COPYRIGHT 2020 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Stossel has got to be the dumbest writer for Reason. Remember, this is the moron who fell for the alar scare and passed it along to the rest of America.

    While there is some false equivalence about Chinese and American authoritarianism, and Chinese is much worse, this article is a joke. We have witnessed protesters snatched into vans by unauthorized federal forces in Portland – a test run for Pinochet-style disappearances – by the same agency that “lost” all those Mexican kids now watched by child molesters.

    We have seen Trump repeatedly encourage his brownshirt followers to initiate violence against peaceful protesters. Clinton and Sanders didn’t offer to pay people who beat up protesters at their rallies. Nancy Pelosi didn’t call ANTIFA “very fine people” – she’s issued press releases condemning them.

    You have this alar idiot trying to distract people from creeping American authoritarianism. A simpleton then and a simpleton now.

    Reason is a fucking joke.

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    2. You’ve witnessed that, huh? Was that personally witnessed or witnessed by way of some blogger who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another? [Got to be a song in there somewhere]

      I heard Costco has a sale on their commercial size roll of tin foil.

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    3. “We have witnessed protesters snatched into vans by unauthorized federal forces in Portland…”
      Now, that is weapons-grade stupid, right there.

      1. And it was starting out so promising, too. I don’t recall what Stossel wrote about Alar, but, o.k., I can see that he might have initially overreacted.

        Then the crazy started in earnest….

        It’s amazing how much projection the American Far Left indulges in. You can learn so much about what they do and are planning, just by listening to what they accuse their enemies of doing.

    4. You have this alar idiot trying to distract people from creeping American authoritarianism.

      Yup, authoritarian Trump for the most part refusing to intervene in state affairs.

      We have witnessed protesters snatched into vans by unauthorized federal forces in Portland

      By failing to enforce law and order, the city and state have failed to protect basic civil rights of Americans. If you think that the federal government needs “authorization” from anyone to intervene, half a century of federal interference in state matters over voting and civil rights go out the window.

      a test run for Pinochet-style disappearances

      Not a single Portland protester has disappeared. They were questioned and either charged or released. In other words, you are delusional.

    5. You have got to be a fucking parody. This is full on Poe’s Law. Can’t tell if you really are this fucking stupid or if it is just an act. Here is a clue, if you posted what you just posted in China, you’d be in prison by now.

      1. Could be a paid propagandist. Clinton paid tens of millions for them last go around – their job to go out to social media and comment sections of newspapers and push the narrative.

        This is so utterly unrelated to Stossel’s article, it is plausible that this nonsense is one of those.

        1. Or Chinese. They created a whole media, print and on line, to push back against any foreign criticism of their regime.

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    7. Get up off of your damn knees.

    8. “Reason is a fucking joke.”

      Projection.

    9. For a parody I have to tell you, that you lack the funny part.

    10. “You can hold up a sign at a protest, saying, ‘Screw Donald Trump; the United States sucks!'” explains Chen. “You cannot do anything remotely similar in China.”

      That’s bullshit. You can totally hold up a sign saying the US sucks in China.

    11. Stossel has a dozen times your brain power, progtard. We’re definitely a lot freer under a Trump than we ever were under Obama, and if that drooling, senile idiot Biden gets elected, we will be MCGA (Making China Great Again).

      So go back to Salon, or whatever progtarded rock you slithered from.

    12. There’s one correct thing in your post, that the article is a joke. It’s a joke because the idea that China ever turned away from a dark path in the first place is hilariously wrong. Authoritarian ratfucks who allow limited state controlled mercantilism instead of complete top down control are not suddenly taking steps towards freedom. They are merely tired of running headfirst into the reality of complex systems and that a single central authority cannot even remotely efficiently control the delivery and production of goods.

    13. “…We have witnessed protesters snatched into vans by unauthorized federal forces in Portland – a test run for Pinochet-style disappearances – by the same agency that “lost” all those Mexican kids now watched by child molesters…”

      Troll or abysmally stupid.

    14. Well, we have spammers, so we might as well have a wumao, too.

  2. Well, few American socialists can even give a definition of socialism though, so there’s that. They just know that it supposedly includes ‘free shit’, and who would argue with free shit?

    Most of those that can define it presume that they would be considered the elite and therefore excluded from any substantial participation in it, or figure that they would be net takers instead of net givers.

    The handful that fall into neither category have already accomplished their elite status, and certainly have no intention of having it affect their current assets. I’ve yet to meet the American socialist who will happily downsize his own life. The definition of “rich” generally starts with “some figure that’s more than I make or can dream of making”.

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  4. The idea that China “was once making strides toward freedom” was a delusion of progressives, Democrats, big-L Libertarians, and other fools.

    The fundamental world view of the Chinese leadership is what it has always been: that China is the empire at the center of the world and that the rest of the world is inferior and should adopt the Chinese model, a model based on collectivism and obedience to wise authority.

    China has been strategically using Western principles of democracy, free speech, free trade, etc. towards that end; the Chinese leadership never honestly planned on adopting those principles domestically, and in the long run, they want to destroy them abroad as well.

    1. Bizarre you think China did NOT make strides towards freedom. Even now, under Xi, they have more freedom than under Mao.

      Makes me wonder what else you can’t imagine gradations in.

      1. Right? Under Mao, Uighurs were just exterminated instead of locked in concentration camps while their family was given to another man. I’m not sure exactly what Mao would have done with Wuhan virus, but it would definitely have been worse than bolting sick people’s doors shut with them inside.

        1. They have welded people inside their houses. When they have floods, millions of people die. Uighars. They have changed nothing from the time of Mao except to give their innovators an illusion of freedom to encourage them. 1.4 billion slaves of the state.

        2. “Uighurs were just exterminated instead of locked in concentration camps while their family was given to another man. ”

          According to the accounts I’m hearing the Uighur genocide is your standard “they kill you” genocide, only with an added helping of organ harvesting. And the Chinese would LIKE people to believe it’s just cultural genocide.

      2. In the words of a man – currently running to be President – who had some nice corruption connections to China: Come on man.

      3. Bizarre you think China did NOT make strides towards freedom. Even now, under Xi, they have more freedom than under Mao.

        China went from a murderous inward focused totalitarian regime to a slightly less murderous totalitarian regime bent on world domination. In the process, they have become a global threat to freedom.

        Makes me wonder what else you can’t imagine gradations in.

        Everything is one dimensional to you, isn’t it? I don’t have to wonder what other infantile misconceptions you have about politics.

    2. It’s one of the flaws of classical liberalism. Given the choice, large groups of people would rather punish those they hate than seek freedom for all.

      It doesn’t apply to everyone, but one of the best ways to ratchet up government power is to promise to rein in those troublemakers. People will sacrifice their own rights if it means that group they really dislike might get punished. It takes clearheadedness to recognize that any coercive power granted to the government can eventually be turned onto your own loved ones.

      1. Example: banning an innocent video-posting app so an American politician can’t whip up his base with anti-Chinese sentiment. Pretty much pure expansion of government power and surrender of a freedom with no compelling reason to do so.

        1. “can whip up”

        2. “……..so an American politician can’t whip up his base…….”

          With Cool Hwhip?

      2. It doesn’t apply to everyone, but one of the best ways to ratchet up government power is to promise to rein in those troublemakers.

        One of the best ways to ratchet up government power is to create a problem, prohibit private solutions, and make government the only solution to the problem for law abiding citizens.

        People will sacrifice their own rights if it means that group they really dislike might get punished.

        You got it backwards. The rights are taken away first, like freedom of association and the right to self defense. Wanting people like illegal aliens deported or rioters locked up isn’t about punishment, it’s about survival.

        It takes clearheadedness to recognize that any coercive power granted to the government can eventually be turned onto your own loved ones.

        It takes profound ignorance to think that that’s how authoritarian states come into being.

  5. GWB invaded Iraq on the premise that turning Iraq into a democracy would cause freedom to spread throughout the Middle East because freedom is what they wanted. While it arguably helped cause the Arab Spring, we saw that many people would vote for totalitarian oppressive governments if given a chance (see Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood)

    So, no, turns out people didn’t want freedom, they wanted security.

    On a similar note, there was always this idea that trading with someone will make that country freer, because as people got richer they’d demand more freedom from their government. This goes back to Poul Anderson’s SF Technic series.

    But nope, China shows that people can get richer and still prefer an oppressive society, and that government can use technology to keep its people in check.

    1. The long term trend towards freedom, induced by trade, remains. Long term trends don’t prevent short term bubbles. All current China shows is that nothing is perfect or linear. Current China does not overturn centuries of real experience.

      1. Yeah, and the “want freedom” folks are in a place that already had freedom – Hong Kong. Well, sort of freedom. I mean, they were a British colony, but they had personal freedoms.

      2. China never wanted freedom. They want to dominate by communist rule. They’re never going to ‘liberalize’. They will ‘liberalize’ to fool useful idiots into doing their dirty work.

      3. The long term trend towards freedom, induced by trade, remains.

        Yeah, you echo the delusions of progressives and neocons. In the real world, freedom is rare and only exists under specific social and economic circumstances. And one thing that is crystal clear is that the more the world integrates economically and politically, as progressives desire, the harder freedom will be to achieve, since it will have to be achieved globally.

        The world progressives and neocons bring about is the world China wants: a world run by bureaucrats and a political elite.

    2. “ On a similar note, there was always this idea that trading with someone will make that country freer, because as people got richer they’d demand more freedom from their government.”

      I do not agree that idea has been disproven.

  6. “You can hold up a sign at a protest, saying, ‘Screw Donald Trump; the United States sucks!'” explains Chen. “You cannot do anything remotely similar in China.”

    I bet you could do EXACTLY that almost anywhere in China. What you can’t do is hold up a protest sign saying ‘Screw Xi the Pooh; China sucks!’

    1. I don’t think you could get away with “I disagree with the local district’s water use policies”.

    2. And, yet, there are several commenters here who would ban people from protesting holding up a “Black lives matter!” sign because there ha been _other_ people holding up “Black lives matter!” signs who have been violent or obnoxious.

      Viewing people collectively rather than as individuals is the foundation of the oppressive nature of socialism.

      1. there are several commenters here who would

        Viewing people collectively rather than as individuals

        There goes WK, contradicting himself in a single post again. What a maroon!

        1. How did I contradict myself? Please explain.

      2. Has anyone actually called to ban BLM or is this hyperbolic reaction to people saying BLM is causing the rioting? From my perspective it seems more the latter than the former.

        1. They didn’t say ban precisely. More things like all the protestors should be violently suppressed because even the “non-violent” ones are providing cover for the violent ones.

          If I have time, I’ll hunt up examples for you.

          1. They didn’t say ban precisely. More things like all the protestors should be violently suppressed because even the “non-violent” ones are providing cover for the violent ones.

            Yes, you are legally and morally responsible for the actions of people in a group that you voluntarily choose and declare your membership in. That includes groups of violent street protesters.

            1. So, if you happen to be peacefully protesting and someone within 10 yards of you throws a rock at a window, do you transform into a member of that same group?

              If you peacefully protest wearing a shirt that reads BLACK LIVES MATTER and a couple of days later some other person wearing the same shirt harasses a bunch of outdoor diners are you a member of the same group?

              1. So, if you happen to be peacefully protesting and someone within 10 yards of you throws a rock at a window, do you transform into a member of that same group?

                You should leave. If you stay, you’ll be held responsible as a member of the group, as you should be. That is true for any group and has nothing to do with the ideology of that group.

                If you peacefully protest wearing a shirt that reads BLACK LIVES MATTER and a couple of days later some other person wearing the same shirt harasses a bunch of outdoor diners are you a member of the same group?

                Legally, not; that is, police can’t (and won’t) arrest you for wearing a BLM T-shirt, any more than they will arrest you for wearing a neo-Nazi T-shirt. Morally, of course, there is little difference between BLM protesters and neo-Nazi protesters: they are both racists who glorify violence.

      3. And, yet, there are several commenters here who would ban people from protesting holding up a “Black lives matter!” sign because there ha been _other_ people holding up “Black lives matter!” signs who have been violent or obnoxious.

        I know of nobody here who wants to ban holding up a sign. But if you choose to be part of a group on the street some of whose members become violent and you choose neither to stop them or to leave immediately, then you are legally and morally responsible for their actions.

        Viewing people collectively rather than as individuals is the foundation of the oppressive nature of socialism.

        The nature of socialism is to treat people collectively based on groups defined by the government and to destroy all other group memberships and identities.

        In a free society, people most certainly can choose to be part of groups and can expect to be treated collectively as part of those groups: shareholders, political movements, religious organizations, etc. And there is nothing wrong in a free society to treat self-declared members of violent Marxist organizations as such.

        1. I’m fine with pro black people signs. That’s a positive message. I do believe we should criminalize all Marxist activity. Including Marxist activity by people holding up pro black people signs.

          Marxism must be eradicated from America.

          1. If you think holding up a sign in America should be criminalized your anti-Marxist rules are clearly going to far.

          2. I’m not OK with banning even Marxist banners. Marxists are as evil as fascists, but in both cases, free speech is the right answer.

    3. Heh. Reagan told this one.

      The American said, “Look, in my country I can walk into the Oval Office, I can pound the president’s desk and say, “Mr.President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country.”.”

      And the Russian said, “I can do that.”

      The American said, “You can?”

      He says, “Yes, I can go into the Kremlin to the General Secretary’s office, pound his desk and say, “Mister General Secretary, I don’t like the way President Reagan’s running his country.”.”

      Ronald Reagan

  7. Excluding concentration camps, being responsible for all of the new viruses in the last 15 years, massive ip theft, slave labor, and global fraud what have they REALLY done wrong?

    At least we can rest easy knowing that major US corporations like Disney, Google, Facebook, and the NBA won’t cater tho their ways and actively assist in continuing their evil.

    We now know that if some jackass in any of these companies says “I would have not supported the nazies in 1933 (actually this is more like supporting them up to Dec 11 1941 with murder and totalitarianism going on but no declaration of war) ” we can safely say yes you would have you asshat.

    1. You forgot the resubjugation of Hong Kong, and the invasion of Taiwan.

      Ok, the Taiwan thing hasn’t happened yet, I’m just planning ahead.

    2. Building islands in international waters so you can exert control over lucrative trade routes and use them to enforce your will on your neighbors.

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  9. This was a good short… but maybe a little too short? The amount of detail was really low… perhaps a set of links to go with for people who are interested in learning more?

    1. Communism is bad. Freedom is good.
      What “more” is their to learn?

      1. To rush and never waste the day.

        1. Anyone hanging out on this message board clearly never learned that.

  10. Radio Free Asia adds that China’s “reeducation” methods even include having Chinese men replace the Uighur men in families.

    Wow, they went full prima nocta. “If we can’t get them out, we’ll breed them out.”

    1. Once upon a time there were 2 chinamen. Now look how many.

      /Benny Hill

      1. Great, now I’ve got Yakety Sax stuck in my head.

      2. They lived on Blokeback mountain.

    2. “Wow, they went full prima nocta.”

      Consider the source, Formerly Cynical Asshole.

      1. And here comes MTrueman once again to suck Xi’s dick and lecture us all on how we don’t understand China like he does because he lived there briefly.

        1. OK sorry, don’t consider the source.

    3. Xi watched Braveheart and decided to take the advice of a fictional rendering of Edward Longshanks?

      1. They’ve what, a 100 million excess Han men? That type of policy is horrific, but not surprising.

  11. “Why would Americans want this?” asks Chen. “Why would they be waving these Communist flags, wanting socialism?”

    Because they’re historically illiterate useful idiots. Most of the morons waving those flags are too young to have any memory of the cold war, and many of them are dumb enough to buy into the non-sense that “that wasn’t real Socialism, this time we’ll get it right.” Even though the reality is that was real Socialism, that’s exactly how that system is supposed to work. You can’t create the “New Soviet Man” without first getting rid of the wreckers and the kulaks.

    And then once the wreckers and kulaks are gone the next to go are the lazy useful idiots who were stupid enough to buy the Socialist’s horseshit because those people aren’t productive and have already shown a willingness to commit acts of political violence to get their promised “free shit.” They don’t realize that they’ll be put up against a wall too once they’re no longer useful.

    1. Hell, based on the French Revolution, Russian Revolution and multiple other examples the useful idiots get it pretty quick too.

  12. The ‘strides’ were always a ruse, John.

    Commies are, well, commies.

  13. “Radio Free Asia adds that China’s “reeducation” methods even include having Chinese men replace the Uighur men in families. They “come in and live with a family (and) sleep in the same bed as the wife,” says Chen.”

    This seems rather implausible. Many nations have resorted to sending portions of their populations to concentration camps from time to time. I’ve never heard of the practice of sending men to the families and having them sleep in the same bed as the wife. The source, Radio Free Asia, a propaganda outfit funded by the US government, is dubious.

    1. As opposed to all the Chinese paid propaganda you love to cite?

      1. I find the story implausible. And thinly sourced is being generous.

  14. I happen to be rereading the Genesis Fleet trilogy right now and the parallels between China’s tactics and the nemesis in the books are striking.

  15. What constituency of voters gives a crap about China anyway? They’re our economy’s current well of infinite cheap labor. Can’t we just enjoy it while it lasts?

    1. The ride has ended and they over played their hand by lying about the Wuhan virus.

      Time to start giving a crap.

      1. “Time to start giving a crap.”

        It’s probably too late for that. Americans have enough on their domestic plate already.

        You might be interested in Pan’s book,
        Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China. Available for download here:
        http://library.lol/main/C57FFA182532477B54D5A81E7688023A

        The Chinese government’s reaction to the covid 19 virus is a great improvement on their reaction to the Sars virus a few years before. Pan gives a pretty exhaustive account of the sars episode and it’s terrible, with denials, ass covering and recriminations against expert whistle blowers going right up to the highest levels of government. At least with the covid 19, the central government seems to be taking it seriously and not so anxious to sweep the affair under the carpet.

      2. Tony never will. He’s a typical narcissistic progressive.

      3. Don’t parrot Trump’s ass-covering racist horseshit to me. Please, I will get a headache.

    2. You truly are a morally vapid wretch.

      Unless you were trying to be sarcastic, but I doubt that.

      1. America’s morally vapid wretches have been doing quite well out of their dealings with China.

    3. They’re our economy’s current well of infinite cheap labor. Can’t we just enjoy it while it lasts?

      Tony’s economic master plan:

      – print money
      – buy cheap Chinese crap with printed money
      – sell American companies, IP, and real estate to the Chinese communists
      – pay off low-skill American workers with printed money
      – bring in millions more illegals to accelerate the process
      – enjoy!

      It’s an excellent strategy for China to take over the US without every firing a shot.

  16. Anyone who relies on the Spectator for information on a foreign government is a gullible fool.
    Stossel is a good lib, but he has admitted many times that he doesn’t understand foreign affairs. That he would default to the neocon world view without skepticism is indicative of his ignorance.
    Those handwringing over the Uighur’s neglect to mention that they are Turkmen who are infiltrated by extremist imams . Turkey sent 5000 of them to Syria to wage Jihad, giving them false Malaysian passports. They have committed numerous terrorist acts in China.
    No do they talk about the billions China has spent developing Xinjaing Province.
    Or the censorship we experience on our internet by neocon thought police.
    Hong Kong and Taiwan are both part of China. Taiwan, to my knowledge, has never voted for independence.
    Instead of relying on those in US who support regime change wars, which China has not, perhaps Stossell and Reason could talk mo re with western expats who live in China and produce their own videos for a more nuanced perspective.

  17. I believe that much of this has to do with economics, in particular the rise and slowing of the Chinese standard of living. When the Chinese economy was in rapid expansion people were busy and happy. Life style was improving. That expansion had to stop and settle to a more natural sustainable level. Similar to much of the world. When that happens people get restless and governments tighten up to account for it. I think that is what we are seeing in China at this time. I don’t like it but I think it is inevitable. I think that the US will need to be much more careful about relations in the future. We will need good and smart people manning the Chinese desk in our Department of State.

    1. So you’re advocating for the re-election of Trump, as he stands up to the ChiComs? Surely you wouldn’t vote for an appeaser like Biden, who sold favors to the Chinese to get his son a billion dollar contract? Right?

      1. Sorry but the Biden is corrupt dog won’t hunt. The Chinese have President Trump’s number and have made him look the fool. First he starts a trade war. Remember they are easy to win. Until the Chinese start to target American farm products. Then as John Bolton reported Trump was begging them for a trade deal. In fact he was so involved in begging the Chinese for a trade deal he would not challenge them on the information on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan province. So no I am not voting for a fool like Trump to continue to deal with China and I hope you will not also.

        1. “…The Chinese have President Trump’s number and have made him look the fool…”

          You.
          Are.
          Still.
          Full.
          Of.
          Shit.

    2. “We will need good and smart people manning the Chinese desk in our Department of State.”

      No argument with that but it won’t solve the main bone of contention. China is bridling against the American prerogative to have their say in China’s immediate neighborhood. Trump may be the one to make concessions about the issue to China, ie leaving Taiwan, Korea, Japan etc to fend for themselves and keep the US navy and bases at a distance. It’s possible that in return China could make concessions to what the US government wants, something like intellectual property, or whatever.

  18. “good and smart people”

    Yes, by all means, let’s send in the “experts” to made decisions for us. That has always worked out so well.

    1. Experts don’t make decisions they provide critical information to our leaders who have to make the decisions. In dealing with China we will need the best information available. Shooting from the hip or I think I know more than the experts will not cut it. It did not work with the tariffs or the coronavirus and can be expected to not work in the future.

      1. Tariffs worked. It brought the Chinese to the table.

        1. Where John Bolton reports that Trump begged them for a trade deal.

        2. A table where not much has been conceded.

      2. Experts don’t make decisions they provide critical information to our leaders who have to make the decisions.

        That’s not true. Executive agencies are filled with experts who make decisions all the time, without any legislative input whatsoever. I’ve even had self-declared libertarians dither (when I point this out) and say, “Weellll, they ARE the experts and we can’t expect our legislators to know everything about things like chemical effects on the environment…”

        I have repeatedly proposed that the regulatory agencies be reformed to not be able to make any regulatory/legislative decisions, but only to provide regulatory advise in the form of ‘proposed’ legislation that the legislators would then vote on. That would at least provide a fig leaf of accountability.

        1. Any decision made made by a non elected federal employee is made in accordance with Federal Regulations set down in CFR. The regulations are made in accordance with legislation from the Congress. Congress passes environmental legislation requiring clean air and clean water. Congress also directs the agency, usually in the executive branch to handle making regulations to implement the law on clean air and clean water. Congress also set the procedure by which regulation are made. Most regulations are the result of complaints, legislative requests, and court decisions. So the experts are primarily there to provide information and are very limited in their ability to make decisions.

          1. Congress has abdicated it’s authority and responsibility to an an un-elected and largely un-accountable administrative state for decades; the one thing I like about Trump are the 200+ federal judges that have been confirmed during his tenure. Say whatever you want about his character, it’s probably true, but if I can see more judges like Gorsuch who are committed to reversing this travesty I will vote for him.

            And I seriously doubt anyone here is buying the bullshit you are trying to sell. Your comment is on a par with a middle school civics class. Do you honestly believe what you just posted, or are you just hoping others are stupid enough to?

            1. First I agree that Congress has abdicated far too much of its authority. As for being a middle school civic class, it is my understanding that not much civic is taught this days. As for what I have said it is true. The promulgation of regulations is a well defined and public process. Draft regulations are posted and a comment period is set. You or anyone else may comment on any regulation prior to its finalization. New Regulation are published in the FR.

              1. Late response here, but just what is it that enthralls you with more government? And why do you trust in it so? That is the mentality that I find incomprehensible.

                We need government, but one that is constrained by fundamental citizen rights [BOR] and is accountable for same. A bureaucracy is not by it’s nature accountable to anyone.

  19. But what about how we treat women in this country?

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  21. FREE TIBET!

    1. I don’t think there is a Tibet anymore. Enough Han have been moved in there to render them a minority in their own [former] country.

      1. I suppose the Han are entirely concentrated in a handful of connected cities and towns. In the countryside and the villages, Muslims make up a sizable minority and have been for a long time.

        I knew a colonel in the Taiwanese military. He was also adamant that Tibet was part of China because its geographical properties, high ground etc, made it essential for optimal missile capabilities.

  22. “A country that was once making strides toward freedom slides further into oppression and authoritarianism.” Wait, what country are we talking about?

  23. In late 1989, the world looked like it was finally on the road to liberty for all. By July 1990, we knew that China hadn’t really changed. It took a bit longer in the former Soviet Union, but the big difference between the SU and Russia is now the Czar calls himself President rather than Comrade.

    In Russia’s case, I’m disappointed.

    In China’s case, not at all surprised.

    1. ” By July 1990, we knew that China hadn’t really changed.”

      China has changed a lot since 1990. The number of Chinese passport holders has seen a lot of growth. There are Chinese construction projects in many places in Asia and Africa. And China, too, clearly most of all.

      China seems to have a more expansive view. I mean the culture. Take recent science fiction. Neal Stephenson’s latest Fall, the whole singularity thing where the consciousness is confined to computer memory. Very insular, and self absorbed. Compare to Liu CIxin’s Three Body Problem, involving all nations on earth working together on an issue that spans thousands of years and many lightyears of space.

      China has a very outward, future oriented optimism going for it. Which America is losing as I write. That’s come about since 1990.

  24. I don’t have a problem with Stossel stating the obvious about China (it’s an authoritarian dictatorship).

    I do think it’s ridiculous to say that Medicare-for-all or other Bernie-Sanders type of social welfare proposals lead straight to authoritarian dictatorship. The kind of “socialism” proposed in the U.S.A is the kind of “socialism” (they call it democratic socialism) you have in Denmark or Norway, not the kind of communist dictatorship you have in China.

  25. The kind of “socialism” proposed in the U.S.A is the kind of “socialism” (they call it democratic socialism) you have in Denmark or Norway, not the kind of communist dictatorship you have in China.

    Democrats are proposing to finance these programs through redistribution; social welfare states like Denmark and Norway finance their programs through very high taxes on the recipients themselves.

    Furthermore, the US already spends as much on social welfare per capita as European nations; the problem in the US isn’t lack of spending, it’s systemic corruption, inefficient government and public sector unions.

    Anybody who claims that Democrats just want a Nordic social welfare state is lying.

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  27. I don’t want/like/support the mode of governance in China.

    I just want to improve my standard of living by buying the stuff their people offer to sell me for less.

    That’s all. I mean, all.

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