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America’s China-Emancipation

America’s China venture: A dilemma between trade and values.

No reader of America’s Declaration of Independence would be able to escape the power of the Jeffersonian self-evident truth that "all men are created equal," a proposition that gives America its identity and its enemies the most potent reason for rivalry. It is, however, saddening that it was 80 years later, and only after an internecine civil war costing hundreds and thousands of lives, that Americans’ embrace of such values was extended to their black siblings; and it took another 100 years before these values became the reality, nourished by bravery, hope, and the blood of people like Dr. Martin Luther King.

Without any doubt, the wicked nature and the apparent contradictions of slavery with their libertarian ideals were equally self-evident to the founding fathers when Jefferson penned the most often-quoted document America has ever produced. In the original draft of the Declaration, Jefferson labeled the morally bankrupt practice of trafficking and trading Africans in America as "an evil plot" imposed by the British King to corrupt the fabric of American society. However, that statement, a perfect fit in the text, never appeared in the final version of the Declaration. Indeed, as well as a torch-bearer for freedom, America has also been a believer in and practitioner of pragmatism; economic benefits of slavery were deemed so crucial to the survival of that infant republic that the emancipation was deferred to the future generations. By doing this, America carried for 200 years a crushing moral burden that used to be on the backs of their British masters, with legacies still palpable and ubiquitous to this day.

Now China is morphing into a force that can divide America, as did slavery many years ago. However deft the left-leaning scholars and business-obsessed media are in painting China in a different shade, no one can change the fact that the communist behemoth is and will continue to be the most viable threat to the principles upheld by Americans on a global scale, despite the economic buzz it has created. At a time when America’s Declaration of Independence, the most eloquent expression of universal values, is increasingly expanding its acceptance and governance throughout the world—into Russia, Africa, and Eastern Europe—it also draws a line to encircle, isolate, and accentuate an ever-shrinking coterie of non-believers in Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and China.

Just as their founding fathers, Americans are enduring a clear affront to their collective conscience on the issue of slavery, by pumping money into China. While the moral validity of economically propping up an anachronistic regime in China is tenuous, flimsy, if existent at all, the commercial interest is overriding and the economic benefits tangible and enormous. The fact that China is being portrayed within certain circles of media, academia, and politics as a progressive society inching toward democracy, yet without any hard evidence and concrete timetables, only highlights the moral insecurity of those China apologists.{mospagebreak}

Minxin Pei, a prominent China scholar, argued in a recent article in Foreign Affairs, that China’s reform, while lining the pockets of foreign capitalists by the advantage of cheap Chinese labor and an extremely few elitists having connections within the Chinese Communist Party, is not pushing China toward "democracy," but instead toward moral and ecological "decay." On this, a recent AFP news wire probably offers a most poignant example reporting a Nazi-style concentration camp located in Sujiatun, Shenyang City, specializing in a highly secretive but lucrative business of removing and selling human organs, sometimes while the victims are still alive. Since 2001, over 6,000 Falun Gong adherents who refused to reveal their identities to authorities are said to have been unknowingly shipped into such a macabre facility, with a smoke-spewing crematorium. One employee stated that three quarters of detainees had been murdered and "processed"—and no one was ever expected to come out alive. Over the past decade, China has been the biggest supplier, and economic beneficiary, of human organ trading. While international human rights organizations have long identified China as an exploiter of human organs of executed prisoners, the collusion of government and medical professionals at the Sujiatun camp using Falun Gong practitioners to achieve their respective political and materialist goals adds a blood-stained footnote to Mr. Pei’s non-mainstream interpretation of today’s China.

If Americans stopped their money flowing into a Chinese regime straying from their values, they will be relieved of a heavy moral burden, just as were their founding fathers on the issue of slavery, but will face exorbitant economic costs. Especially at a time when the world is no longer round but "flat," in the words of some luminaries trumpeting globalization and economic developments—a supposed panacea for all kinds of social ills. Even today, we can easily imagine how embarrassing it was 200 years ago for those who had just freed Americans from the yokes of British tyranny only to perpetuate slavery in the face of their cherished Declaration of Independence. Fierce debates immediately ensued and became heated in the 1790s, up until the start of the Civil War, in the same manner as we now witness during the Senate and Congressional hearings on China. In those days the states of Georgia and South Carolina, two heavy keepers of African slaves, vehemently opposed emancipation on economic grounds. Their voices and logic are now echoed by Google and Yahoo! when it comes to assisting China in cracking down on its own people.