Tag Archives: Tang Baiqiao

Tiananmen Remembered, Again


In remembrance of the anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen on 6/4, China’s  9/11, inflicted on the people by those who claim to lead them I’m reposting this piece I wrote with Tang Baiqiao.

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.”

Book Launch Event and the 50 Centers








Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very.” Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain




The book has “officially” launched as of June 4. The publisher got things out a bit early so we’ve been on Amazon and in some stores for a few weeks. Its a great feeling to see the finished product after a year and its great to get to spend time talking about something you really care about.

The best part is meeting a bunch of great people during the research both in the US and China. Most of those in China I dare not thank publicly. We dedicated the book to them and everyone in China who yearns to be free. June 4 is the perfect day to rededicate that.

In the US I could go on. I first want to thank Peter for his patience in the process. Having a co-author has got to be difficult for anyone and for someone as prolific as he I’m sure it was a times a burden. I know Peter and I would also thank our patient and lovely wives and our sons for understanding all the time we had to put into this.

We’d also like to thank the hundreds of MBA students we’ve had at Merage through the years, particularly those who challenge us and those from China. I’ve got too many friends to list, but they know who they are.

I’d like to thank fellow writers Paul Midler – if you have not read his Poorly Made in China do so immediately – and Damon DiMaro, the coauthor (with Baiqiao Tang) of My Two Chinas and several other great books. Both their works demonstrate an extraordinary level of insight and word craft that I aspire too and their advice has been invaluable. (Paul, I still owe you a dinner in either Shenzen or California!)

On June 7 we are going to have the opportunity to hang with a few of our new friends and I hope many of our readers can join us. See the events tab of our website for more details, but Peter will be speaking and I will be hosting an all-star panel with:


Baiqiao Tang – Author of My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counter-Revolutionary








Gordon Chang– Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World







Ian Fletcher – Author of Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why









Li Fengzhi – Former Chinese Intelligence Agent


The launch event is at the fantastic Beckman Center in Irvine. A great room and there will be books for sale and more. You can get tickets on line. Start at the event tab on our website:  http://deathbychina.com/events.html

The only really bummer with the process has been the sad little army of stooges who are charged with discrediting our book on Amazon.com. These “50-centers” are a group of junior commies who scour the Internet to try and keep any “bad talk” about China’s ruling elite suppressed. They are either paid half a RMB (hence 50cents) or do so out of a perverted since of national dedication. Anyway, they destroyed the ratings on The Coming China Wars (Navarro’s previous book, with which I assisted some) and are now on a one a day mission to stop American’s from reading Death by China.

Being the cowards they are and raised in a culture lacking all ethics, they lie that they are Americans or Europeans and cheat by posting reviews that usually make it clear they’ve never read the book. Its amusing to look at the review distribution for The Coming China Wars and see that all the 1-stars have created a REVERSE BELL CURVE; highly unlikely, indeed.

Their English is sometimes very good – I have to say many of my Chinese MBA students are better writers than their native born classmates. They are most easily spotted if you go to their “other reviews” where you will likely see that all their reviews are negative and concern books about China and computer programming manuals. Sometimes they even recruit real American friends or business associates to attack a book they describe as “racists” or “fascists” or “hateful.” It’s sadly ironic that they are actually describing their bosses in Beijing.

Now we know our book isn’t perfect and we expect reasonable people to disagree on important topics. We’ve been pleased to see some very legitimate suggestions for improvement. However, we also know nobody is going to buy and read a book called “Death by China” and then give it a “1-star” rating because it turns out that it is really very critical of China. LOL guys! Nor are they going to buy a book by an author they claim to dislike so much for his previous works. Anyway that isn’t how American’s behave – vandalism – even when they disagree.

So as pathetic as it is, we are asking for all your help in countering this sabotage by fairly rating our book and using Amazon’s “was this review helpful” button to vote on what is and isn’t nonsense. Please help us rescue The Coming China Wars in the same way.

For those of you who have never posted an Amazon review you just find the book, scroll all the way down to the bottom where the review are and then click on the button on the right that says “Create Your Own Review.” Select the number of “stars” you’d like to give 1-5 with 5 being tops. Then just be honest about what you read, liked, and didn’t like.

Anyway thanks to everyone. Keep up the fight. Freedom, peace, and prosperity are the reward and that is surely worth a few wounds.