How long can the Chinese Communist Party hold out when trade and human rights are linked again?

In recent days, we have noticed three important pieces of news from the international community. First, on May 12, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions against a former director of the Chinese Communist Party’s “610” office; second, on May 13, U.S. Trade Representative David Deitch said that trade and human rights cannot be decoupled.

On May 20, the European Parliament voted by a large margin to “freeze” consideration of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CIA), noting, among other things, that given the Communist Party’s suppression of the Uighurs and democracy in Hong Kong, coupled with its growing confrontation with Taiwan, there is no way for Europe-China relations to develop as they have in the past.

We see that the Communist Party’s totalitarian rule, despite its interests, has refused to give the green light to the West, because the U.S. and Europe have realized that there is no going back now. This is also reminiscent of the fact that more than two decades ago, it was the U.S.’s major misstep on the CCP’s human rights issue that opened the way for the CCP’s expansion, and now, the U.S. is again mentioning the link between trade and human rights, which indicates that the U.S. government has admitted its disillusionment with the CCP and will enter a new chapter in its policy toward China.

So, let’s talk today about those important stories that happened between China and the U.S. trade in these past thirty years.

Decoupling Trade and Human Rights U.S. Leads the Wolf to the House

The Chinese Communist Party introduced reform and opening up in 1978. Around 2000, China was the world’s seventh largest economy, but by 2007, it had surpassed Germany to become the world’s third largest economy, and in 2011, it surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy after the United States. Now, the Chinese Communist Party aims to become the number one economy.

So, under what conditions and in what context has China’s economy expanded rapidly?

As some of you may know, before China proposed its reform and opening up in 1978, the United States had a Jacoson-VanikAmmendment to the Trade Act that came into effect in 1975, and one of the most important provisions was that non-market countries with poor human rights conditions, including the then Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and, yes, Communist China, were not eligible for most-favored-nation status for trade. unless exempted by the President of the United States.

This is a very important point for the Chinese Communist Party, because it is directly against the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party. Originally, linking human rights accountability to trade with Communist China was a trump card given by God to the United States, but in the past decades, the United States not only failed to play this trump card, but also played a good hand badly. Let’s see how the U.S. operated back then.

In 1980, the U.S. began to grant conditional MFN status to the Chinese Communist Party, and two major human rights incidents occurred in China that shocked the world: the June 4 Incident in 1989 and the suppression of the Falun Gong faith group in 1999. According to the U.S. Trade Act Amendment, such a poor human rights record would have made it impossible for the CCP to enjoy MFN status, but as we have seen, neither of these incidents stopped the CCP’s rapid economic development.

Back then, after the CCP’s Tiananmen Square massacre, the United States was faced with a moral choice: should it unconditionally extend the CCP’s MFN status, or decisively terminate it as a disciplinary measure on the condition of mandatory human rights improvements? Incredibly, then-President Bush Sr. chose the former for three consecutive years until he left office.

There were reports that Bush Sr. sent a special envoy to Beijing in July 1989 and conveyed a message to the CCP that the sanctions were based on the U.S. political system and congressional pressure, hoping that the CCP government would be lenient with those arrested and that the U.S. government could use this to convince public opinion to reduce the sanctions against the CCP. Bush Sr. is trying to help the Chinese Communist Party find a way to get off the hook, so that he can justify his own leniency. However, Bush Sr.’s proposal was not accepted by Deng Xiaoping, the Communist leader at the time, and Bush Sr. apparently did not stick to his proposal later.

Before Bush Sr. left office, Clinton campaigned on Bush Sr. for being tolerant of the “Butcher of Beijing,” so what did Clinton do? In her first year in office in 1993, Clinton issued an executive order requiring the Chinese Communist Party to significantly improve human rights within one year or lose MFN status. Yet, a year later, after the U.S. State Department determined that the CCP’s human rights situation had not improved significantly, Clinton slapped herself in the face and decided to extend the CCP’s MFN status. Why? It is not difficult to understand, because Americans saw the brutal nature of the CCP from the June 4 Incident, so Clinton, who was running for office, attacked Bush Sr. for his lack of principles in order to take advantage of public opinion to win votes.

On October 10, 2000, Clinton held a grand signing ceremony at the White House for the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000. This act provides that once China joins the WTO, the United States will grant China permanent normal trade relations, or permanent most favored nation status.

Human rights organizations criticized at the time that the decoupling of trade and human rights deprived the United States of a powerful tool to pressure the CCP to improve human rights in China. Then the CCP’s subsequent developments over the past two decades have indeed borne out that statement.

Wei Jingsheng, a prominent Chinese dissident, later revealed that the U.S. Congress experienced one of the harshest debates in modern times over whether to grant China “permanent normal trade relations. At first, he said, there were more votes against than for, but then the White House pressured them one by one, so that some members of Congress, though they understood, were forced to vote in favor of it for reasons of interest.

In December 2001, the Chinese Communist Party officially mixed into the WTO, in this process, the Clinton administration and the Bush administration played an extremely critical role. They believed that giving trade preferences to the CCP to develop its economy would help cultivate a democratic system in China.

However, China’s economic development did not lead to democracy as Clinton had expected. On the contrary, with its economic strength, the CCP had the capital to intensify human rights persecution to consolidate its totalitarian rule internally; and externally, the United States, which had attracted wolves into its home, felt increasingly threatened by the CCP.

The Worst Period of China’s Human Rights Situation

The year 1999 can be considered a watershed year.

In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party began a nationwide crackdown on the Falun Gong faith group that resembled a new Cultural Revolution. However, the Clinton administration acted as if it did not see it, and a year later, signed the Permanent Trade Normalization Act with the CCP. Immediately afterwards, in January 2001, the CCP staged another self-immolation in Tiananmen Square to frame Falun Gong, create hatred, and bring the persecution to a climax. However, in December of the same year, President Bush Jr. also seemed completely unconcerned about the ongoing human rights persecution in China and signed a proclamation granting the CCP permanent normal trade status again.

Jiang Zemin, who directly initiated this persecution, used economic benefits to lure the Western free world externally in order to cover up the repression, bribing and coercing governments, the media and Western big business, and trying every possible way and offering all kinds of preferential terms to curry favor with Wall Street bigwigs to invest in China. At the same time, a lot of resources and means were used to keep these countries and plutocrats silent about the serious human rights persecution taking place in China.

With the connivance of the international community, including the United States, to turn a blind eye, the CCP not only tried out its guts a little bit, but also began to persecute Chinese people with impunity.

The U.S. is more determined to confront the Chinese Communist Party

A few days ago, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken announced sanctions against “610” Chinese Communist Party officials, and Yu Hui, the former director of the “610” office in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and his immediate family were denied entry into the United States. This is the first time that the U.S. government has sanctioned a 610 official for persecution of Falun Gong, and it is in response to their involvement in the persecution of Falun Gong.

Moreover, Blinken mentioned that the U.S. government will continue to consider all appropriate ways to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations in China and elsewhere. This is a clear signal that the U.S. is more determined than ever to confront the Chinese Communist Party.

Many people may be unfamiliar with the Communist Party’s “610” agency, which is an illegal organization that has been deliberately hidden by the Communist Party. To explain what “610” is all about? Then we have to go back to 1999 and see what happened in China back then.

How did “610” come about?

In the late 1990s, although Jiang Zemin, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, was already in a high position, his power was unstable, and there was a series of events such as the Asian financial crisis, the reporting of his beloved Jia Qinglin, the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, and the 10th anniversary of the June Fourth Incident. “The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of services to the public. In order to shift the focus, Zeng Qinghong gave him an idea to use the “establishment of domestic imaginary enemies” to defuse domestic and foreign crises. Eventually, they targeted the Falun Gong faith group, which had a large number of people at the time.

Falun Gong was introduced by its founder, Li Hongzhi, in 1992, and because of its effectiveness in improving physical and spiritual morals, it spread very quickly, and more and more people learned to practice it. It is said that many old retired Communist Party cadres, some of whom were retired generals from the army, and some were retired senior cadres from the State Council or central government agencies, had learned to practice. Some of these people had much older seniority in the CCP than Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji and others. It is said that all the senior members of the CCP at that time, including members of the Politburo, knew about Falun Gong.

However, this attracted Jiang Zemin’s jealousy, which was seized upon by Luo Gan, then deputy secretary of the CCP’s Political and Legal Committee, who decided that this was an opportunity to gain political capital and move up the ladder. So, in April 1999, Luo orchestrated the “April 25” incident that shocked the world and provoked the persecution of Falun Gong.

On April 25, Jiang Zemin hid in a bullet-proof car and drove around Chang’an Street. In Jiang Zemin’s view, the large number of Falun Gong members was “competing with the Party for the masses” and coming to Zhongnanhai was an open challenge to him.

In addition to these reasons, Jiang Zemin was also jealous of Zhu Rongji’s handling of the April 25 incident, which was praised by the international community, so he was determined to have Falun Gong banned. When the CCP first decided to suppress Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin was isolated, and the then Politburo Standing Committee members Zhu Rongji, Hu Jintao, Li Ruihuan, Yu Jianxing, and Li Lanqing all voted against it, with only Li Peng abstaining, but in the end none of them could overcome Jiang’s brutality.

In mid-June 1999, Jiang Zemin established a body similar to the “Central Cultural Revolution Group” to persecute Falun Gong, which was called the “610 Group” because it was June 10. Under this group, many executive agencies were set up, and they were called “610 offices”.

This “610 Group” controls the public, prosecutorial, and legal institutions of the CCP, as well as the national security and armed police systems, through the local “610 Offices” at all levels, and can mobilize resources for foreign affairs, education, justice, the State Council, the military, and health at any time to carry out illegal activities against Falun Gong practitioners nationwide. They can also mobilize resources from diplomacy, education, justice, the State Council, the military, and health to illegally monitor, arrest, and send Falun Gong practitioners to brainwashing classes. In addition, the “610” can also manipulate the trial process and verdict of the court, making it an illegal organization that is literally above the law.

The persecution involves all levels of society, and even people within the Communist Party circle are not immune to the fate of the persecution, named by Jiang Zemin himself, including the former director of the 301 Hospital Li Qihua, Air Force veteran Yu Changxin and others.

The “610” has been a key unit of secrecy within the CCP, and many details have been kept secret from the outside world.

At the peak of the persecution, the CCP used resources equivalent to three-quarters of the gross national product to maintain the suppression of Falun Gong. A senior official of the Liaoning Provincial Department of Justice once publicly stated, “The financial investment in dealing with Falun Gong has exceeded the funding for a war.”

Because the “610” organization is above the law, the persecution of the faith-based group has become a persecution of the entire Chinese people, and the “610’s” supreme privileges have opened the door to corruption among CCP officials at all levels. The “610” privileges have opened the door to corruption among CCP officials at all levels, leading to an all-round loss of moral control in the whole society.

The Chinese Communist Party’s brutalization of faith opens up a “collective immorality” social chaos

In the past two decades, the “collective immorality” in Chinese society has been like a floodgate that opened up and became unstoppable, followed by the reckless plundering of resources and destruction of the environment. The Chinese economy, too, developed rapidly against this background.

After more than 30 years, the U.S. has mentioned the link between human rights and trade again, which means that the U.S. government has admitted that its illusions about the CCP have been shattered, and that the CCP’s attempt to develop the economy by infiltration and bribery is no longer feasible.

So where is the way out for China? The answer is simple: abandoning the CCP regime is the only way for China to get out of the predicament it faces domestically and internationally. Without the CCP, it is believed that many Chinese who have emigrated overseas will return to China, bringing with them capital and technology. At that time, China’s economy will develop healthily on the basis of protecting the environment and respecting human rights, and it will definitely take off again.