China's Unworthy invitation
July 10, 2001
In 1946, George Kennan sent from Moscow an 8,000-word report in which he warned about the Soviet Union in these portentous words: "We have here a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with the U.S. there can be no modus vivendi."
That message became the foundation of America's containment policy against Soviet imperialism. (It should be noted in confirmation of the Kennan prognosis, that in 1947 Greece and Turkey had to be given U.S. protection via the Truman Doctrine against a communist takeover. In 1948, Czechoslovakia was overrun by Stalin and in June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea).
Today the question before us is this: Does Communist China believe that "with the U.S. there can be no modus vivendi"?
In his book "The China Threat," Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz presents one answer for believers in the theory of "constructive engagement," a theory that envisions a U.S.-China partnership in Asia. It is the December 1999 statement of Gen. Chi Haotian, defense minister and vice-chairman of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission:
"Seen from the changes in the world situation and the hegemonic strategy of the United States to create monopolarity . . . war is inevitable. We cannot avoid it. The issue is that the Chinese armed forces must control the initiative in this war military bloc headed by U.S. hegemonists. . . . We must be prepared to fight for one year, two years, three years or even longer." So far as I know there has been no repudiation of the statement by Gen. Chi, who for his role in the 1989 slaughter of defenseless Chinese students is also known as the Butcher of Tiananmen Square.
Now, of course, those who believe in "constructive engagement" with China will say Gen. Chi was just sounding off, nothing more than jingoistic rhetoric. Really? Supposing a high U.S. official, say, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs were to orate about the inevitability of war with Communist China and President Bush let it stand, would we consider such a statement as mere rhetoric?
The International Olympic Committee meets in Moscow July 13 to decide on the site of the 2008 games Beijing, Istanbul, Paris or Toronto, with Beijing supposedly the heavy favorite. The committee faces almost universal agreement, most recently the vote by the European Parliament, that Beijing is unfit to host the 2008 Olympics. Even if the IOC ignores Communist China's infinite violations of simple human decency, how can the committee vote for Beijing in face of Gen. Chi's prediction, which remembering his nom de guerre, the Butcher of Tiananmen Square, is not to be taken lightly?
That the IOC's decision meeting is to be held in Moscow is especially fitting. Russia, back in 1956, repudiated Josef Stalin and removed his embalmed body from Lenin's Tomb. Stalin is an unperson in Russia. But the Chinese communist regime has never repudiated Mao Tse-tung, the greatest mass murderer in all human history. His embalmed body still lies in state in Tiananmen Square for one good reason: Mao's corpse legitimates the Party dictatorship which is still imprisoning dissidents, democrats, trade unionists, Chinese-American citizens, executing political prisoners, exterminating Tibetans, using torture and "suicide" as a weapon of repression and engaging in the greatest exploitation of workers and peasants since the Industrial Revolution.
Now we hear from well-intentioned people that Communist China's modernization is corroding elements of the totalitarian structure and in time would lead to the system's demise. If modernization would so endanger the regime, why then do Jiang Zemin and his associates encourage such a perilous direction especially when they see what happened to the U.S.S.R. when Mikhail Gorbachev began, so to speak, to modernize? Because they don't regard modernization or WTO membership or the Olympics as a threat to their survival; because they still profess Marxism-Leninism even though its precepts are no longer operational. And it is Marxism-Leninism which gives them their security and, above all, their legitimacy.
As Leszek Kolakowski, Nobel laureate, put it, "No modern society can dispense with a principle of legitimacy. And in a totalitarian society, this legitimacy can only be ideological. Total power and total ideology embrace each other." Holding the Olympics in Communist China would only strengthen that legitimacy.
The IOC should vote against Communist China as the Olympic hosts in 2008. And if an intimidated IOC ignores the democratic will as expressed by, among others, the U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament, then an international campaign should be organized to discourage participation.