Contributed by Jeffrey L. Sponsler
News Flash: Recently, in Communist Red China, the People's Armed Police destroyed a Christian megachurch. Located in Shanxi province, this church had an unknown number of people in its congregation. The church was funded by local Christians and cost $3 million to build. It is now a large pile of rubble. Religion is officially legal in Communist Red China, but churches must register with the government and there have been other instances of religious intolerance by the government there. In the Yugan province, churches were required to remove crosses from their buildings by the government. In another strange episode in 2016, a pastor and his wife were buried alive by bulldozers as they stood in front of their church trying to protect the facility. The pastor crawled to safety, but his wife was suffocated as a result of the intentional burial. In April 2016, at an official government conference, President Xi Jinping called on leaders to reassert, “Communist Party ... control over religion.” In November 2017, Chinese police stormed a small “unapproved” congregation and arrested these worshippers for have a Christian service. Bibles were confiscated and people were jailed. The list of such actions by the Communist Red Chinese authorities goes on and on.
Why do I mention this? The Chinese American trade balance is $347 billion. That is, we buy so much product from China that this amount of money flows into their country. How much does the United States Government owe China? The Chinese hold $1.2 trillion in US debt. The total US debt at this time is about 20 trillion dollars, but that is another sad story. So we all go to the big box stores and www.amazon.com to shop. Yippee! So we get these products because they are very inexpensive. Why? Let's take a look:
(1) Child Labor: 11,575,000 children between the ages of 10 to 14 in China work in their factories. Children work cheap. Investigators have found the hours to be long for these children (12 hours per day) and the pay quite low ($30 per week). Yes, you read that correctly - $30 per week or $5 per day or 42 cents per hour. These kids do not go to school.
(2) Pollution: China burns half of the coal used in the entire world each year, estimates as high as 114 billion tons of coal in 2011 were burned for electricity; few or no regulations on air pollution are imposed on these power plants. In 2011, China released 7.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. China is ranked number one in total CO2 pollution.
(3) Americans require decent pay for their work and demand minimum wage or much more for factory work: Workers here expect vacation, health insurance benefits and safe working conditions; all of these are expensive. Children are not allowed to work in factories in the US.
(4) China subsidizes its industries: Take solar for example. All solar companies in China get huge financial support, and so their panels are very cheap and have driven most other solar manufactures (in the US) out of business. Due to major subsidization, Chinese goods sell for 30% less than similar products manufactured in other countries. China in 2007, subsidized its steel industry with $27 billion. Steel is therefore 25% cheaper than US steel. Where does China get all that money to inject into its domestic industries? The money that you spend on Chinese goods, that's where.
Now let's turn our attention to free speech in China: Recall that in 1989, there were student-led demonstrations for democracy in Tiananmen Square. The response of the Communist government was to declare “martial law” and 300,000 troops were deployed to Beijing. The forces killed 400 hundred or more demonstrators. 1,602 individuals were imprisoned for protest-related activities and at least two of these are still in jail (29 years later). In other words, no free speech... and no democracy.
How much money does Communist Red China have? The Chinese banks have about $3.1 trillion in cash reserves. Compare that figure with the USA and its $20 trillion deficit. Shocking isn't it? Analysts have stated that China could butt Venezuela outright if that country was up for sale. Where did they get all that money? Answer: Walmart, Amazon.com, etc.
And lastly, there is the Chinese military: Wow! Total military personnel count is 2.2 million fighting men and women. They have 1200 fighter jets, 1400 attack aircraft, 900 helicopters, 6500 combat tanks, 4800 armored fighting vehicles and 1700 rocket launders. The Chinese Navy has only 1 aircraft carrier, 35 destroyers, 68 submarines and 220 patrol boats. The annual defense budget is $162 billion. China possesses 260 total nuclear warheads and is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces. And guess who is paying for all that heavy metal... YOU!
So you may not care about any of this. Or you might be interested to know that you can buy clothing that is made in the USA. Visit www.allamericanclothing.com and www.usalovelist.com/made-in-usa-womens-clothing/. Google on “American-made clothing” and you will find many websites devoted to this. Each and every time you buy something "Made in China" you are supporting Chairman Mao's giant experiment where there is child labor, a giant deadly military, no pollution laws, no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion and no democracy. Buy American.