Tag Archives: Baiqiao Tang

An Offer We Must Refuse


It’s not my job to really understand what they’re going to use it for. Our job is to respond to the bid. – Todd Bradley, Hewlett Packard Executive Vice President for China Strategy

He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it. – Seneca




Recently, formerly American, multinational tech firms Cisco and HP have participated in the initial bidding process to provide networking hardware for “Peaceful Chongqing”, an ambitious government project to install HALF A MILLION “crime fighting” cameras in that Chinese industrial city.[1] A noble effort indeed, until one considers exactly what local Communist Party Boss, Bo Xilai might consider to be a “crime.”  Bo is a big promoter of restoring “Mao Tse Tung Thought” to China and in the last few years he has erected a NEW seven story tall Mao statue in Chongqing and compelled its radio and TV stations – all government controlled – to repack their song lists with communist standards from the Cultural Revolution. The list of crimes that might worry this wannabe Big Brother are sure to include offenses like “political protest” and “illegal religious congregation.”


The pathetic statement from HP’s Mr. Bradley that opens this piece is quietly becoming the “I was only following orders”[2] of our day. Whether any American company actually follows through or wins a part of this nefarious project is irrelevant. The attitude that sent them chasing after it in the first place sounds the depths of the amoral abyss into which America’s once proud multinational businesses have fallen in their tragically misguided pursuit of “economic freedom”.


Seriously, is selling security equipment to a communist autocracy that jails and tortures millions for political and religious dissent how to follow “The HP Way?” – Bill Hewlett and David Packard are surely rolling in their graves. Is profiting at the expense of another people’s liberty and financing a massive military build-up aimed at America, the “pursuit of happiness” that Jefferson wished to secure for us?


Even worse, while America’s hypnotized CEOs queue up like cattle at a slaughterhouse for the opportunity to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) our politicians are eagerly funding the Boy’s from Beijing’s dark designs with your tax dollars. Huge government projects that – if they are necessary in the first place – should be creating American jobs are instead fueling the unsustainable economic growth that keeps the CCP in power. Perhaps the saddest example of this is the new Bay Bridge segment connecting San Francisco to Oakland that is now being built in China.[3] The obvious quality concerns aside, it is tragically ironic in that California’s most familiar symbol is the proud American steel of the Golden Gate! While all that welding and riveting goes on in Shanghai, thousands of unemployed Californian construction workers and civil engineers scramble for low paying jobs at Wal-Mart in the hope of being able to sell some Chinese junk to their neighbors that still have jobs.


If that isn’t enough, many American states and municipalities are lining up to hand over their economic development projects to the CCP in a desperate search for investment dollars. The sad thing is, that when nominally-American multinationals invest more and more of your 401k bucks in China, the Chinese government forces them into a minority position in a joint venture dominated by a Chinese state owned “partner”, but the Chinese firms buying up America are offered a big helping hand by our states in setting up US operations that are fully-owned by these same communist state enterprises. It doesn’t take a finance PhD to figure out how that process is going to work out for everyone.


In a particularly bold example, the state of Idaho has chosen to lure Sinomach, a Chinese state owned firm to build a huge industrial park near the Boise airport in order to secure a few hundred assembly jobs. Like most other big Chinese firms, its board and management are filled with members of the Communist Party elite and politburo. The firm’s website proudly brags of board members like Li Zhanyong, Deputy secretary of CPC & Secretary of discipline inspection committee.[4] Yep, that’s who we want to be offering our precious investment incentives to! Idaho Commerce Secretary Don Dietrich made the sellout, 100% clear when he told the Idaho Statesman, “The Chinese are looking for a beachhead in the United States. Idaho is ready to give them one.”[5] Of course no Idaho firm would ever be allowed to develop a project like that in Chengdu. LOL!


But not to worry, our clever business leaders and astute politicians have done their due diligence. They’ve traveled first class to luxury hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, hit the tourist sites, toured some model factories, and been treated to fabulous meals! Given the typical modus operandi of China’s “Party Bosses” they’ve also been drunk under the table, and likely been tempted by some other “honey pots”, while government spies, aided by the police, searched their hotel rooms and hacked their electronics.[6]


These naïve American’s invariably fly home ready to create business opportunities for their new BFFs! Not having been invited to tour the local Reeducation Through Labor camp it is hard for them to realize that their new buddies carry a big stick right behind those fake smiles. When the time is right, we will feel that stick just like anyone in China who steps out of line. Let us not forget that Mr. Bo’s beloved Mao taught his followers that, “All power flows from the barrel of a gun.” The current communist cadres have simply fused that advice with Al Capone’s suggestion, from the Untouchables, that “You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.”


To get a Chinese perspective on who it is you are really dealing with in China I strongly recommend that every business person, investor, and traveler read Baiqiao Tang’s fabulous book, My Two China’s[7] before you enjoy that sanitized view of the Middle Kingdom your hosts will prepare. Tang’s harrowing tale of protest, imprisonment, torture, and escape are a far cry from the official China spectacle your soon-to-be BFFs are preparing.


For a tragic, real world example of how the Chinese system can really treat Americans and the sad level of US complicity in the process, please take a look at the case of Darren Russell, a young man murdered in Guangzhou. You can read about it at http://www.officer.com/article/10248849/what-happened-to-darren-russell-in-china and http://www.russellcase.net/


If all this disturbs you as much as it has me, please join us in sending a note to the management at Hewlett Packard and Cisco letting them know just what you think about their backing of China’s police state and how that might impact your own brand choices in the future. Let your governor and your state legislators know that America can solve its problems on its own, without going into business with the Chinese Communist mob.


– Greg Autry teaches Macroeconomics at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of the new book “Death by China” www.gregautry.us

[2] The standard defense presented by Nazi’s, like Adolf Eichmann, and their collaborators at the post WWII war crimes tribunals.

[4] http://www.sinomach.com.cn/templates/T_leaders_en/index.aspx?nodeid=213

[6] I can tell you that I’ve had my own hotel safe ransacked in Beijing and my email and phone communications intercepted in Shanghai. But if you doubt that, read about the blunt warning from Britain’s MI5 agency to UK business leaders – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article7009749.ece

[7] Order it from our Amazon affiliate site here: http://deathbychina.com/bookstore.html


We have forgotten the lessons of Tiananmen


We have forgotten the lessons of Tiananmen



From the San Diego Union Tribune, June 16, 2011




Twenty-two years ago, millions of people gathered in public places across China to demand the respect of their government. As thousands jammed into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, one of us was there in the crowd as the other watched fascinated from the other side of the world. Unknown to each other at the time, we were connected by the common exhilaration of the moment as free people stood up to claim both their natural rights and a nation’s rightful place in the world order. It should have been a glorious moment as well as a new basis for a true partnership with China’s natural ally, the United States.

Of course, we all know what did happen that June 4. Though one of us was lucky enough to just miss the gunfire by returning to lead protests in Changsha and the other remained safely behind a television screen in America, we shared the horror, disgust and disillusionment of that day. We wept, shook our heads, cried out, “Why?” and reached the same, frankly obvious conclusion: The Chinese Communist Party is a murderous regime that couldn’t be trusted and America’s policy of engagement had failed.

History tells us that engagement with totalitarians has been a proven dead end since Napoleon used the 1801 Treaty of Amiens to consolidate his regime of fear and to prepare for war, and the lesson for democracies has been the same from Hitler to Gadhafi: Bad guys don’t change and they do not honor agreements.

Two decades of failure since have made clear that fake smiles aside, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao are no different from the rest of history’s rogue’s gallery. It’s no surprise that China’s dictators continue to lie, cheat and steal their way through domestic politics, international affairs and business engagements.

What is surprising is that America’s business leaders, politicians and pundits continue to pander to this particular group of thugs against all reason. Decades after Tiananmen, we ask those Americans just how many artists, peacemakers and religious practitioners must China lock up before America opens its sleepy eyes? How many millions of women need be subjected to forced reproductive control? How many executions must there be? To what degree must China’s cities, rivers and seas be polluted by a perverted state capitalism that keeps Communists in power?

If human rights no longer carries weight with America’s free traders, then we ask how many American jobs need to be sacrificed to China’s blatantly manipulated currency, sad labor conditions and abuse of World Trade Organization rules? How many American firms need to be destroyed by intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, “partnership” requirements, tariffs and export restrictions? How badly do our most promising new companies, like Facebook and Google, have to be cheated by market-restricting censorship and government-backed cyber attacks?

Before he was oddly silenced, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, commented to the Financial Times, “I really worry about China. I’m not sure that in the end they want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful.” Of course they don’t. Why would a government whose very name – “The People’s Republic” – is a lie and that uses its own constitution – which guarantees freedom of speech, religion, and assembly – as a doormat honor any partnership with your company or America – the embodiment of the principles it despises?

Finally, if you find repression and economic warfare an unwelcome distraction from consumption of cheap goods, please consider this before you fill your shopping cart: China is building a massive, high-tech military force that grows faster than its breakneck gross domestic product. A rising armada of naval power, missiles, stealth aircraft and space weaponry is aimed squarely at our allies in Asia, U.S. armed forces and the heartland of America. Is this the kind of regime we should be doing business with?

Over the years we have become very familiar with the argument that U.S. policy should remain forever frozen regardless of how outrageous Beijing’s behavior becomes, because any action in support of our principles would either prove futile or worse, resulting in economic retribution. The former argument may be true, but has not altered our approach toward China’s good friends in Iran, Zimbabwe or Sudan, while the latter simply makes it clear that we are falling into the Communist Party’s web of intimidation. That is exactly the reason we must make a stand sooner rather than later.


Autry is the co-author of “Death by China” and teaches macroeconomics at UC Irvine. Tang was a student leader in China in 1989, still works for Chinese democracy, and is the co-author of “My Two Chinas: The Memoirs of Chinese Counter-Revolutionary.”

Forward To Death by China. By Baiqiao Tang!

Peter and I are particularly proud of the fine forward and epilog that grace our book. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote the end -piece and dissident and human rights advocate Baiqiao Tang starts the book off. Tang was student leader from Changsa, who joined the 1989 protests in his home town and traveled to Beijing to support those in Tiananmen square.


Baiqiao’s adventures, including being jailed, tortured, and eventually escaping China are detailed a fantastic new book, My Two Chinas written with the talented Damon DiMarco. My Two Chinas is available right here on our bookstore tab. You can find more info on Damon’s blog a http://www.damondimarco.com/author/ and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/Mytwochinas

Here Tang offers us some insight into his experience and warns us that China’s corrupt regime is more than just a Chinese problem. We all share responsibility for it and we all need to work together to keep our world safe from it.



In the late 1980s, China was abuzz with excitement and possibility as new ideas, personal freedoms, and economic opportunities were flowing in from the West like a river to wash away the dirt of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

During these hopeful times, I was among a group of young student leaders who led calls for political reform to match the new thinking and bring China into the modern world with dignity. We organized rallies and made speeches at schools and squares all across the country, and we fervently believed the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party would listen. Instead, our movement was crushed by a wave of tanks and the tragic events of June 4th, 1989 in Tiananmen Square that so many of you watched with horror on television.

So much was lost that day—and it was not just the lives of so many brave Chinese that we cried over. Also lost was a once-in-a-
generation opportunity to live freely in a democratic China with the very brightest of futures.

Not long after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, I was arrested and jailed, and, along with thousands of other demonstrators, subjected to many months of torture and depravation. During these dark times spent in very dark places, many of my friends died; and to this day, some Tiananmen survivors are still being held in jails or forced labor camps.

Sadly, a whole new generation of Chinese youth knows nothing about what happened at Tiananmen. While we in the West can freely access the videos and images on the Internet associated with the massacre, all of this content has been ritually “cleansed” from the Chinese web by a vast army of censors.

I have now spent half my life fighting against such censorship and for freedom and democracy in China. More than ever, I fervently believe that this is what every thinking person outside of China must clearly understand:

More than two decades after Tiananmen, the totalitarian tiger has still not changed its stripes. In fact, unlike more stable countries, China’s spending on police and social control is now rising even faster than China’s skyrocketing defense budget!

It is with no small irony or anger that I note it is many of the very same Communist Party officials who supervised the beating, jailing, and killing of my fellow students in the wake of Tiananmen who are today orchestrating the relentless persecution of religious followers like the Falun Gong and the harsh repression of peaceful minorities like the Tibetans and the Uighurs. It is also the very same Chinese Communist Party that has been so quick to crack down on all political opposition movements like the Charter 08 manifesto and the rising Jasmine Revolution Movement; and the only change is that this new century’s ruling clique is ever more cunning, more clandestine, and technologically more sophisticated.

Today, as I live comfortably, safely, and free in New York City, I can understand why it is so hard for those in the West to see the Chinese Communist Party clearly for the dangerous enemy that is—to both the people of China and the rest of the world. After all, the leaders in Beijing look very personable on TV, and they now quite strategically refrain from the threatening anti-West rants of Mao.

But facts are facts and the truth is the truth. And as the pages of this incredibly powerful book unfold, you will be confronted with fact after incontrovertible fact that the rulers in Beijing continue to brutally suppress the voices of China’s own people even as they systematically flood the world with dangerous products, use a potent arsenal of mercantilist and protectionist weapons to destroy the economies of America and the West, and rapidly arm themselves with the best weapons systems their elaborate spy network can steal from the ­Pentagon.

I can also understand why these sobering facts and harsh truths may be at odds with your own personal experience. As a tourist to China, you may have taken an enjoyable cruise down the Yangtze, been mesmerized by the Terracotta Soldiers, walked in exhilaration along the Great Wall, or been utterly fascinated by the Forbidden City. Or you may even be an American business executive in Shanghai or Shenzhen making money hand over fist and being hosted to fabulous meals with no reason to see anything but blue skies and a yellow brick road ahead. Unfortunately, most Americans never see the other face of China and how the Chinese people have paid for all this “progress” with a dramatically damaged ecosystem, corruption, social injustice, human rights abuse, poisonous foods, and most seriously, the moral degradation of their souls.

Although I miss China, America has become my beloved second home; and the support of my beautiful wife shows me every day why America is the strongest country in the world. I also see this strength in so many small things in America, like the bumper sticker that reads, “Freedom Is Not Free.”

I personally know how true that statement really is. I also know that the cost of freedom isn’t always about fighting a military battle. It also includes the individual, political, and economic sacrifices of peacefully defending human rights and standing up for the principals of liberty and democracy.

Demanding that we live up to these principles as Peter Navarro and Greg Autry do in this deeply moving book can never be the wrong choice; and that is why it is long past time for the citizens of the world to truly stand beside the Chinese people—and not the brutally repressive and antiquated regime that rules them. If there is one abiding truth that stands above all after Tiananmen, it is that only a free and democratic China will benefit the world.

—Baiqiao Tang, Tiananmen Square protester and co-author of
My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary
New York City
March 23, 2011


You can download a PDF excerpt of Death by China which includes Tang’s forward here: http://deathbychina.com/order.html