I sincerely hope I am wrong | Lee Yee

Published (HKT): 2020.09.08 09:03

I know very little about American issues. In the past, I even thought that no matter which party wins the presidential election, there would be no significant difference under the Constitution and the existing system. However, it is different this time. This US presidential election not only involves the interests of the Americans but also concerns the future political situation of the world, especially for China and Hong Kong.

The state of society tearing as a result of this presidential election is far beyond any from the past, almost to the point of a civil war. As far as the domestic situation in the US is concerned, it is not a dispute between supporting Trump or supporting Biden, but a fight between support for Trump and opposition to Trump. The topics of discussion are 1) epidemic prevention and control measures, 2) violence and disorder due to the Black Lives Matter protests, and 3) economy. Arguments from both standpoints are too numerous to detail and many are reasonable with solid judgment. It is very difficult to explain clearly in this short article. I will only discuss the history and current situation of Sino-US relations.

The most important timeline in the history of the modern relations between China and the US is after WWII during the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China (CPC). At that time, the 33rd president of the US and leader of the Democratic Party, Harry S. Truman pursued a policy of appeasement to the CPC and actively advocated negotiations between the KMT and the CPC. During the Chinese Civil War, it was apparent that he was pro-communist and made the communist military stronger. The KMT was defeated for internal reasons but the US inclination was key. After the KMT government retreated to Taiwan, in January 1950, President Truman issued a statement that the US would not intervene with the situation in China and declared that the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands were not within the scope of the US military. The US Democratic Party allowed mainland China to fall into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Later, Chiang Kai-shek commissioned General Ho Shai-lai to Tokyo to meet with Douglas MacArthur, the American general who administered postwar Japan during the Allied occupation and oversaw the occupation, rebuilding and democratization of Japan. The visit aimed to win the support of General MacArthur and was ultimately able to save Taiwan.

Another important page in the history of the Sino-US relations was the diplomatic breakthrough of Republican US President Richard Nixon in 1971. A military conflict broke out in the previous year at the border of China and the then Soviet Union. The Soviet Union intended to deploy nuclear weapons to perform a so-called “surgical removal operation” on China’s nuclear base. However, it was halted when it probed the US for reactions. The US stated that if the Soviet Union employed nuclear weapons, it would undoubtedly challenge the US nuclear balance policy. After that, when the US collaborated with China to strategically deal with the superpower Soviet Union, the US did not abandon Taiwan. Not until 1979 when Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the US and a democrat, established diplomatic relations with the CCP that the US severed ties with Taiwan. The incident triggered a global trend to set up diplomatic relations with the CCP, which enabled the CCP to steady a firm holding in the international community.

The third important aspect in the history of the Sino-US relations was in 2000, under Bill Clinton’s administration, China was given entry into the WTO (World Trade Organization) and granted a most favored nation (MFN) status. Since then, it developed its foothold as an international manufacturer in the global market. Furthermore, its economy took off through intellectual property theft, failure to commit to the promise of its 2001 accession to the WTO and market dominance by means of authoritarian capitalism. As China’s economic development fully penetrates into the Western world, on the one hand, it takes advantage of the multinational companies invested in China to control the capital markets of the US and the West. On the other hand, it invests heavily in its grand propaganda to control overseas Chinese media and even Western mainstream media.

Every election candidate receives donations from multinational companies. Not to mention 90% of the mainstream media in the US are owned or operated by these Democratic Party’s donors. Therefore, they turn a blind eye to the elephant in the room and injudiciously embrace the CCP regime that has infiltrated the American society and continuously infringed on human rights at home. In addition to the interest considerations, the media of course also has the leftist ideology permeated in Western academia and journalism. I will elaborate on this topic at another time.

Finally, there is Trump who is not swayed by the donors of multinational corporations because he himself does not lack money nor is he afraid to offend most of the leftist media. He sometimes speaks without thinking but he never seeks the so-called “political correctness,” and basically does what he says he would. People who stand on the moral high ground with the spirit of great love would shake their heads upon his words and actions. Regardless, only a person like Trump can start to contain the power that infiltrated the US and the Western world, and support the democracy of Taiwan and Hong Kong’s campaign for autonomy.

Currently, anti-China is the general social conscience in the US. Biden’s China policy seems to align with that of Trump’s. Biden even defined the CCP’s handling of Xinjiang as an “ethnic genocide.” However, is there really no difference between the two parties? Recall that when Clinton was running for the presidency, he said that he opposed the Republican government’s annual review of the US MFN status for China. He believed it should not be granted but after he took office, he made China’s MFN status permanent and sent China to the WTO.

As the Democratic Party controls Wall Street and mainstream media, I am not optimistic about Trump in this election. Even so, I really hope from my brain to my heart that I am wrong.

(Lee Yee, a prominent political commentator in Hong Kong who embarked on a career of writing and sub-editing in 1956, has been contributing unremittingly political commentaries to the local press.)

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