By Allan Wall, April 28, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus crisis gives us much to consider for the future. Pertinent issues include how to handle public health without wrecking the economy, civil liberties, immigration policy, and trade policy.
As part of all this, we need to look very closely at our country’s relationship with the government of Communist China.
Way back in the 1970’s, President Richard Nixon opened up relations with China to create a counterweight against the Soviet Union.
That was decades ago and the world is very different now.
Nowadays, despite much recent rhetoric about Russian meddling, China is a much bigger threat to the United States than Russia.
For many years, trade with China has been encouraged as something good and mutually beneficial for both countries, and in some ways it is. But it should be handled better.
We need trade policies that provide a fair playing field for the American worker, who can’t compete with third world wages, either here or abroad. Sadly, many cheap labor profiteers in our business class don’t care about that.
What about outsourcing? What about having strategic products manufactured in China?
How about pharmaceuticals and medical supplies? The coronavirus crisis has shown us their importance.
The manner in which China has handled the coronavirus outbreak, especially in the beginning, bears much consideration.
The Chinese government covered up the gravity of the situation and put people all over the world in danger.
As Dave Gibson wrote in a previous blog entry, “China has much to answer for.”
Certainly, we don’t want war with China, or even a new Cold War. But we need to defend our interests and not let the Chinese Communist government run roughshod over us.
For years China has been spying on us and stealing technology, patents, copyrights, military, and industrial secrets, and even hybrid seed corn which cost tens of millions of dollars to develop.
Senator Tom Cotton of the state of Arkansas, to his credit, has been speaking out about the China threat recently.
As part of this, Senator Cotton is taking on a real taboo subject: Chinese students in American universities.
Our university administrations are not likely to “cotton” to the Senator’s line of questioning. Why? Because universities make big bucks off Chinese students.
But university administrators shouldn’t be running our China policy. Instead, they need to be doing a better job of protecting freedom of speech on American campuses!
Here’s what Senator Cotton said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox News, on April 26. You can watch the video here, this portion starts at about 6:30:
Maria Bartiromo: “That is why you believe we should not be giving visas to Chinese students who want to study advanced sciences? They want to get into the Gilead Sciences and the Googles of this world to steal that research? Is that right?”
Senator Cotton: “Yeah, Maria, it’s a scandal to me that we have trained so many of the Chinese Communist Party’s brightest minds to go back to China to compete for our jobs, to take our business and ultimately to steal our property and design weapons and other devices that can be used against the American people. So I think we need to take a very hard look at the visas that we give to Chinese nationals to come to the United States to study, especially at the post-graduate level in advanced scientific and technological fields. You know, if Chinese students want to come here and study Shakespeare and the Federalist Papers, that’s what they need to learn from America. They don’t need to learn quantum computing and artificial intelligence from America.”
Kudos to Senator Cotton for thinking outside-the-box here and looking at a topic many others would just as soon ignore.
Note too that he distinguishes Chinese coming here to learn about our culture from those who are studying technology which can be stolen or used against us.
We need more politicians thinking this way.
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