In another thoughtful column, Victor Davis Hanson discusses how terrifying the Chinese Communist government really is:
The Chinese communist government increasingly poses an existential threat not just to its own 1.4 billion citizens but to the world at large. China is currently in a dangerously chaotic state. And why not, when a premodern authoritarian society leaps wildly into the brave new world of high-tech science in a single generation? The Chinese technological revolution is overseen by an Orwellian dictatorship.
Predictably, the Chinese Communist Party has not developed the social, political or cultural infrastructure to ensure that its sophisticated industrial and biological research does not go rogue and become destructive to itself and to the billions of people who are on the importing end of Chinese products and protocols.
Central party officials run the government, military, media and universities collectively in a manner reminiscent of the science-fiction Borg organism of “Star Trek,” which was a horde of robot-like entities all under the control of a central mind. Thirty years ago, American pundits began gushing over China’s sudden leap from horse-drawn power to solar, wind and nuclear energy. The Chinese communist government wowed Westerners. It created from nothing high-speed rail, solar farms, shiny new airports and gleaming new high-density apartment buildings.
Few Western companies complain that Chinese society is surveilled, regulated and controlled in a nightmarish fashion that George Orwell once predicted in his dystopian novel “1984.”
Recent scandals should remind the world that China got rich by warping trade and stealing technology in much the same way that it deals with epidemics and dissidents. That is, by simply ignoring legitimate criticism and crushing anyone in its way.
If the Chinese communist Borg is willing to put millions of its own citizens at risk of infection and death, why would it care about foreigners’ complaints that China is getting rich and powerful by breaking international trade rules?
The truth about President Trump’s decision to call China to account over its systematic abuse of international trade norms is not that Trump’s policy is reckless or ill-considered. It’s that at this late date, the reckoning might prove too little, too late.