WHAT THE TIMES SAYS, AND DOESN'T SAY, ABOUT CHINA

by Curtis Ellis 

It should be titled “Everything we told you is wrong.” That’s the essence of the New York Times series “China Rules – How China Became a Superpower.” Its conceit is “Gee whiz, it’s really awesome how China got it together.”

Essentially, the series tells us everything the elites in academia, politics and finance said to justify “welcoming China into the community of nations” was dangerously misguided wishful thinking.

And as the corporate establishment’s newspaper of record, it was the Times who told us these things for the past three decades.

Back then, they told us China would become more democratic as it became more prosperous. It would be America’s ally, because countries that trade with each other don’t go to war with each other. (Forget World War 1 – Europe had never been more economically integrated than it was preceding that catastrophic conflict.)

Now the Times reports our opening to China “ended up strengthening the party’s hold on power rather than weakening it.”

They told us American workers would become richer, with 1.5 billion new customers for the output of our factories.

Now, the Times reports, “The shock of China’s rise as an export colossus, however, was felt in factory towns around the world. In the United States, economists say at least two million jobs disappeared as a result, many in districts that ended up voting for President Trump.”

Back then, they reported President Clinton assured us the Internet would bring free speech to China.

Now, the Times tells us China has built its own censored Internet where “unwanted beliefs and ideologies are kept out.”

But it seems the New York Times has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Having gotten it all dangerously wrong before, the Times now would lead the reader to believe Chinese communism is better equipped for the modern world than American traditional values.

The Times reports that a teenager in China has better prospects for upward mobility than an American teenager. But it doesn’t connect that to the “at least two million jobs” that disappeared from America and went to China.

The Times gushes over the Red Régime’s digital totalitarianism:

“Chinese tech firms are less fettered than American ones. Witness the backlash against Big Data in the United States, the calls to break up giants like Facebook and the anxiety about digital addiction. None of those are big problems for Chinese companies.”

Tech companies “make themselves useful to the state,” reporting unwanted speech and dissidents to law enforcement, the Times reports neutrally. The greatest risk Beijing’s digital demands pose is (potentially) to the tech companies’ ability to innovate or break into new markets.

So much for the Grey Lady’s oft-stated concerns about human rights, morality and authoritarianism.

It’s great the New York Times is finally informing its readers that all the pleasant, reassuring nostrums about China were delusions.

But it’s doing this only after – and because – President Donald J. Trump had the clear-eyed vision and guts to say the Middle Kingdom emperor has no clothes.

The Times’ knee-jerk opposition to President Trump prevents it from acknowledging that most important fact.