In the Wake of Hong Kong Protests, Is It Time We Divest From China?

By Greg Young

Commentary

Oct. 1, 2019, represented the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China, and it was all too appropriate that the day was marked with violence.

On that day in 1949, Mao Zedong announced the official creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—and the nation, founded following a bloody civil war, was about to get a whole lot bloodier. Under Mao’s leadership, the communists would oversee the deaths of some 45 million Chinese people in the years 1958 to 1962, according to a recent book by a respected China scholar. The “Black Book of Communism” places the total death toll at 65 million. In its quest for control, China’s regime caused the single largest loss of human life the world has ever seen. And now, decades later, the PRC’s ugly legacy of totalitarianism persists.

China may have been celebrating its long-standing single-party rule, but on the streets of Hong Kong, the people were striking a wildly different tone. There, protesters lined the streets, bringing their grievances over China’s authoritarian encroachment to bear. In response, the Chinese regime cracked down hard, rejecting calls for greater democracy and deploying riot police to “contain” the protests. Yet tragically, the situation spiraled out of control as the regime’s show of force resulted in escalating violence.

In a single day, the police fired 900 rubber bullets, launched 1,400 canisters of tear gas, and arrested nearly 270 individuals. Over a hundred people were hospitalized, and one was almost killed—all because China’s communist regime has refused to release its stranglehold over Hong Kong.

It was an appalling display of government tyranny, illustrating the need for the United States to take swift and decisive action. But what can be done?

President Donald Trump has offered an effective solution: American companies should divest from China, pulling their assets and resources from the communist state. The benefits of such a policy are twofold: first, a divestment would return substantial money back to the United States, funding American jobs and businesses. But perhaps even more crucially, a decision to pull America’s resources would send a clear message to China: They can’t suppress liberty and expect to get away with it.

Democrats have unsurprisingly belittled this idea, preferring for the United States to do nothing as China gradually erodes the rights of the Hong Kong people. Equally frustrating, however, has been the response of some of America’s most influential business leaders. Rather than lead by example and uphold American principles, these businessmen have decided to embrace China’s totalitarianism wholeheartedly.

Take, for example, one of America’s foremost business magnates: Elon Musk. Musk is, for all intents and purposes, a true American success story. A South African-born immigrant turned American citizen, Musk earned billions cutting his teeth in Silicon Valley before founding Tesla, the United States’ preeminent electric car company. In his position, the Tesla CEO holds tremendous influence—when he makes moves, people take notice. That’s why it’s all the more devastating that Musk has chosen to fawn over China’s repressive communist regime.

In early September, Musk made waves by attending a technology conference in Shanghai. There, he secured Tesla a Chinese tax break usually only reserved for their nation’s domestic producers. Amid escalating trade war tensions between the United States and China, Musk again sided with the communist regime, expanding Tesla’s operations in China and launching his company’s first factory in the region.

Now, in the wake of China’s violent response to the Hong Kong protests, Musk’s words ring all the more troubling: “I really think China is the future.” It’s a concerning statement, especially considering that our government partners with Musk and provides with him with a plethora of subsidies and tax benefits between his car and space companies. But given Musk’s apparent preference for China over the United States, America needs to ask itself whether propping up and contracting with Musk is truly in its best interest. Given the Tesla CEO’s other various pending safety and securities concerns, the answer would seem to be no.

Despite China’s ongoing crusade against freedom, Tesla has nevertheless accelerated its construction of the Shanghai factory, hiring a bevy of Chinese nationals to manage the facility. This decision absolutely sends the wrong message to China, as well as the rest of the world. Not only is Musk implicitly endorsing China’s abhorrent behavior, but he is also weakening America’s capacity to respond. Simply put, we must demand better from our most influential business leaders.

It’s time for Musk, the Democrats, and other China sycophants to wise up. In light of China’s recent crackdown on the Hong Kong protesters, America needs to act collectively to address the Chinese regime’s growing belligerence. And a substantial financial divestment from the region is an option that must be seriously considered.

It’s time for America to rise up against China’s regime because, even 70 years after its inception, Chinese communism presents a threat to freedom everywhere.

Greg Young is the host of the nationally syndicated “Chosen Generation” radio show, which airs Monday through Friday on stations coast to coast. He served as a Russian linguist in the USAF. For more information, visit ChosenGenerationRadio.com

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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