Films expose life and death in China

Reposted from my piece in the Ottawa Sun

Albert Einstein once said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do nothing, but rather by those who watch them and do nothing.” This weekend’s Free Thinking Film Festival gives us an opportunity to consider those words.

The festival features Kean Wong’s film Free China (directed by Michael Perlman) as well as Death by China (directed by my co-author, Peter Navarro). At first glance, one film appears to be a very personal insight into the value of freedom and the other a technical documentary on trade policy gone bad. However, at their core, both films are essays on the outcome of conceding power to an unethical regime.

Death by China exposes the insanity of a “free trade” regime that while promising an El Dorado of future market access has actually delivered 30 years of ever-growing trade imbalances, plant closures, intractable unemployment and mounting debt. One must either conclude that something fishy is going on with this relationship, or accept the premise that a centrally planned economy dominated by huge state-owned enterprises offers a superior economic model.

The fishy thing turns out to be the short-term profits used to bait Western CEOs into outsourcing their production to a nation where the people and the environment can be pillaged at will. Enriching a dictatorship at the long-term expense of your firm and your nation just happens to be the cost of increasing this year’s bonus. That would be bad enough if our lost manufacturing capacity wasn’t also supporting a military confrontation with China’s peaceful neighbours and an unchecked nuclear arsenal pointed at America.

Free China’s Jennifer Zeng is not only jailed and beaten, but compelled by the brutal “One Child” policy to abort her child. When a women is forcibly denied the right to reproduce, jailed for her religion, and tortured by fascist thugs you would think the response of the American and Canadian governments would be something other than eagerness to hand over further assets, capital, technology and jobs to her persecutors. When this tragedy is scaled up to 400 million coerced abortions, millions of political jailings, and the uncountable executions that feed a ghoulish organ-harvesting business, we are left to wonder at the culpability of our leadership. If they are not completely devoid of conscience, just what sort of sleep aids do Messrs. Harper and Obama employ after a day’s kissing up to Hu Jintao or Xi Jinping?

Every North American worker that surrenders their job and their dreams to unscrupulous Chinese trade abuses becomes a victim of the same system that silences, imprisons and tortures Chinese citizens. If our governments continue to enable this historic transfer of wealth and power to the greatest totalitarian regime in history we will surely all become victims of the Chinese Communist Party.

Two decades after Tiananmen Square it has become undeniable that our engagement policy is an emperor with no clothes. There is still time, though not very much, to admit that China is not progressing, our trade deficits are skyrocketing and a frightful Asian war is brewing. Once we face these facts, our choice of action is clear, we must actively support a truly Free China or we will suffer a Death by China. This means confronting and starving the communist beast rather than fawning on it and feeding it with further investment deals.

Greg Autry is the co-author of Death by China, a producer of the film version. He blogs at 

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