Tag Archives: China

For China’s economy, post-pandemic ‘new normal’ could be devastating

By the time you read this, America will be returning back to normal. We will be getting over our temporary obsession with ventilators and respirators, with testing and vaccines, and with daily totals of infections and deaths.

The China virus will remain with us at some lower level, but we will have learned how to better protect the vulnerable and more effectively treat those who fall ill.

This will free the rest of us to return to leading productive lives, running our businesses from our offices rather than our homes, patronizing our restaurants rather than eating take-out, and, most importantly, worshipping in our churches rather than in front of bigscreen TVs.

With the medical crisis under control and the financial rescue package priming the pump, the American economy will quickly rebound. The stock market will continue to recover its losses, and the legions of unemployed will return to work.

The wider world, on the other hand, will be a very different place. China’s rise to global dominance, which once seemed inexorable, may now be indefinitely postponed. The European Union, another rival to continued U.S. preeminence, has been greatly weakened by the reaction to the spread of the China virus as countries there suddenly rediscovered the utility of national borders.

But China is the world’s biggest loser, and it has only itself to blame. Leave aside the still-open question of whether the coronavirus in question had been “enhanced” in the lab to make it more infectious and lethal. What we are fairly certain of is that “Patient Zero” was a lab worker in the Wuhan Institute of Virology who was accidently exposed to the virus, became infected, and passed the infection along to others. From there it quickly spread throughout that city of 11 million people.

The subsequent actions of China’s Communist leaders seem almost designed to spread the disease rather than contain it. From the destruction of early laboratory studies to the silencing of whistleblowers, from the delay in telling the world about the novel coronavirus to the denial that it could be spread from person to person, each of these missteps cost precious lives.

But what is truly inexplicable is this: After the Communist authorities realized they had an epidemic on their hands, they continued to allow flights to depart from Wuhan to all corners of the globe.

To this day, Beijing denies access to the lab where the pandemic began, refuses to release an accurate accounting of infected and dead, and propagates the ridiculous lie that the China virus was actually an American bioweapon that was deliberately used to attack China.

Given all this, it is not surprising that global attitudes have turned dramatically against the government that unleashed this pandemic upon the world. Japan is paying its corporations to shift production out of China. Americans are suing the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party in the courts. And African countries victimized by Chinese “debt trap” construction projects are demanding to have their loans forgiven.

It seems apparent that the Chinese economy is about to suffer what we might call a “death by a thousand cuts.” No single cut—a resumption of the Trump tariffs, supply chains relocating to other countries, factories relocating to freer climes, consumers around the world rejecting China’s wares—would be fatal. But taken together, they will bleed China’s economy dry. They may also, it is to be hoped, shake the corrupt and incompetent CCP to its very foundations.

Could the death of the CCP’s “China Dream” of world domination result in a rebirth of freedom for the Chinese people? We should so pray.

STEVEN W. MOSHER is president of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order

Chinese Communists intensify war on country’s Catholics

As someone who has long supported the Catholic Church in China, I am broken-hearted at the wanton destruction that is being visited upon it. Shrines and churches that have stood for decades, or even centuries, are being reduced to rubble by an increasingly hostile Communist Party. Here are just a few examples:

The beautiful shrine of Our Lady of the Mountain in Yunnan province was razed to the ground in October, 2018, on the grounds it was not an approved religious venue.

A church under construction in the Diocese of Fengxiang, Shaanxi province, was demolished on April 4. The authorities are attempting to coerce the bishop, priests, and laity of the underground diocese to join the schismatic “Catholic Patriotic Association.”

 But not even all “Patriotic” churches have been spared. The Qianwang Catholic Church in Jinan City, Shandong province, which was constructed in 1750, was demolished last August. You can see the Blessed Mother’s severed head sitting on the rubble.

The present wave of persecution began in February, 2018, when harsh new restrictions on religious activity were put in place. Priests in the long persecuted underground Church have been ordered to join the official Catholic Patriotic Association—which is not in communion with Rome–or leave active ministry. Minors have been strictly forbidden from attending Mass, and catechism classes and summer camps have been cancelled. In fact, it is now “illegal” to engage in any religious activity outside of church grounds, such as Bible studies in private homes. 

At the same time, Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has ordered the leaders of the Catholic Patriotic Association to “sinicize” their religion by promoting the existing order (led by Xi himself), and promote the official ideology (known as “Xi Jinping thought”).

Among other things, Patriotic bishops are expected to turn over all existing Bibles in exchange for a new Party-approved version of the Scriptures, and ensure that their priests carry out only approved religious activities within the walls of their churches. Most tellingly, they are expected to report any underground priests and or illegal gatherings to the authorities.

Hitler attempted something similar after taking power in Germany. His so-called “Nazification” program was an effort to compel all the churches in Nazi Germany to serve the goals of the Third Reich.

In fact, the Party’s new restrictions on religious activity within China’s borders are so onerous, and its invasion of the sanctuaries—the ones it allows to stand—is so aggressive, that I believe it has an even more ambitious goal in mind.

The Chinese Communist Party has never abandoned its aim of extinguishing all religious belief within China’s borders. Under Xi Jinping, who is the most anti-Christian leader since Mao Zedong, the pendulum has swung from grudging tolerance back to active and even vicious persecution.

The ultimate goal of Nazification was to replace the worship of the Triune God with the worship of the Third Reich and its leader, Adolf Hitler. The ultimate goal of sinicization, it is becoming clear, is the promotion of the cult of the Chinese Party State and its leader, Xi Jinping.

Some Patriotic bishops have attempted to explain the compromises they have made with the authorities as nothing more than a matter of “rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.”

Their problem—which is now also the problem of each and every one of China’s estimated 100 million Christians—is that Xi Jinping, like China’s god-emperors of old, wants to be both god and Caesar.

 STEVEN W. MOSHER is a member of the Naples Chapter of Legatus and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order

Demographic disaster

China’s new two-child policy is less than a year old, but won’t stem the rising tide of human rights abuses despite the Vatican’s diplomatic efforts

Steven Mosher

Steven Mosher

It can be tempting to see China allowing married couples to now have two children as a positive step on the path to greater personal liberty, but Steven Mosher takes a more jaundiced view.

“What’s happened is that the Chinese Communist Party has decided to increase the production of babies, just like it decides to increase the production of tanks and guided missile destroyers,” said Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, a Virginia-based nonprofit that challenges global overpopulation theories and spotlights human rights abuses in population control programs.

Forced abortions

A member of Legatus’ Northern Virginia Chapter, Mosher was the first American social scientist to visit Communist China in 1979. Under the aegis of the one-child policy, Mosher saw Chinese women taken into custody and forced to have abortions. Almost 40 years later, he argues, China has not abandoned its underlying philosophy that the state — not people — controls human reproduction. He envisions a future where the Chinese government may even force couples to have children against their will.

“That sounds bizarre, doesn’t it?” Mosher asked. “But is the planned birth policy anything other than taking from parents the natural right to decide the number of children they will raise and putting it in the hands of a government agency?”

China’s new two-child policy took effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Official state media reported the pending change last year as communist authorities sought to address some troubling demographic trends in the nation of 1.4 billion people.

China’s population is aging. According to United Nations estimates, the over-60 population will more than double to 437 million by 2050. At the same time, the national workforce is shrinking, and it is expected to continue falling for the next 15 years. Meanwhile, its one-child policy over 40 years has created a crippling imbalance in the numbers of Chinese men and women because many couples chose to abort female babies to raise boys who could be wage earners.

Reggie Littlejohn

Reggie Littlejohn

“The Chinese Communist Party has created for itself a demographic disaster with its one-child policy,” said Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a coalition of human rights activists and organizations that lobby against forced abortions, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. The nonprofit works to save baby girls in China with its Save A Girl campaign.

Littlejohn, who received Legatus’ Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award in 2014, said Women’s Rights Without Frontiers recently filed a complaint against China with the United Nations, alleging continued coercion and human rights abuses under the new two-child policy. The complaint notes several recent examples, including the story of a Guangdong couple who had been warned by authorities to abort their unborn child or lose their government jobs. The wife was eight months pregnant, according to state media reports.

“The Chinese Communist Party never said they were ending forced abortions or forced sterilizations. The two-child policy is their way to address the demographic disaster while keeping control over the population,” said Littlejohn, who quoted blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. On Twitter, Guangcheng said China previously killed any couple’s second child.

“Now, they will kill any baby after two,” Littlejohn said. “In China, they boast that more than 400 million lives have been prevented by abortion because of the one-child policy. This is a massive problem. When you realize that one-fifth of the world’s population lives under this policy, this is the biggest human rights and women’s issue in the world today.”

Vatican-China relations

China’s amended controlled-birth policy is taking effect as the Chinese Communist Party and the Holy See hold talks on establishing diplomatic relations, which were severed in 1951. Pope Francis has expressed a desire to visit China, and discussions have been ongoing for most of this year over some thorny issues that revolve around the authority to ordain bishops.

A few media reports have indicated that China and the Vatican may address those issues while establishing relations just short of full diplomatic ties, but Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, editor-in-chief of AsiaNews, the official press agency of the Roman Catholic Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, is not optimistic.

“There are dialogues and meetings, but the two parts remain in very different positions,” said Fr. Cervellera, who explained that the Vatican reserves the ultimate right to nominate and ordain bishops with a papal mandate and verify the positions of illicitly ordained bishops. On the other hand, Fr. Cervellera said, China is increasing its campaign to “sinicize” the Church in theology and in independence from Rome by insisting on the right to name bishops. China also wants the Vatican to accept its illicitly ordained bishops without any verification.

“The Vatican understands that China needs guarantees from the Church, and because of this, the Vatican agrees in the enrollment of priests and bishops by the State Administration of the Religious Affairs, which is a government bureau,” Fr. Cervellera explained. “But China wants the enrollment to happen through the Patriotic Association, which wants to build up an independent church — and that’s unacceptable for the Church’s doctrine.”

Further complicating the Vatican- Sino dialogue has been the Chinese government’s increasing pressure on religious communities, particularly Christians. Catholic bishops have been arrested and congregations harassed, intimidated and spied on. At least one Catholic prelate — Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai — is still under house arrest. Earlier this year a blog, purportedly written by Bishop Ma, surfaced where the bishop allegedly expressed regret for his statements four years ago when he disassociated himself from the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

Bishop Ma has been a heroic figure for Chinese Catholics in the outlawed underground Church, which meets secretly in homes and declares allegiance to the Pope. Those in the underground Church are unlikely to enroll in the Patriotic Association if the Vatican agreed to that condition. Father Cervellera said Vatican- Sino dialogue could further fracture the Church in China.


Catholics receive Holy Communion during Mass in Beijing

Catholics receive Holy Communion during Mass in Beijing

Nathan Faries, an Asian studies professor at Bates College and author of The Inscrutably Chinese Church: How Narratives and Nationalism Continue to Divide Christianity, said Pope Francis might visit China, but added that the Catholic Church will still be under strict government control for the foreseeable future.

“The deal will not be an amazing game-changer; it will not be the death knell for the Chinese Communist Party,” Faries said.

“The CCP will maintain control over the Christians as much as it needs to. Some underground Churches in China will feel encouraged. The psychological effect will be great. There might be some openness and some less local persecution, but there will not suddenly be no underground, no sudden open-handed policy from the government. The palpable visible transformation will be miniscule.”

Meanwhile, Mosher warns against having diplomatic relations for the sake of diplomacy. He is also concerned for the countless heroic Catholics in the underground Church who have undergone persecution and martyrdom for their fidelity. He also noted recent studies that show millions of new Chinese converts to Christianity.

“People are tired of the spiritual emptiness of communism, economic reforms and the pursuit of material goods,” Mosher said. “They are longing and searching for the truth, for meaning in what is man and what is God. The Church should be there to answer those questions without getting too cozy with a communist government that has different goals in mind for getting people to heaven.”

BRIAN FARGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Learn more: pop.orgwomensrightswithoutfrontiers.org