OPINION: No to the Belt and Road Initiative in Hayden
Ralph K. Ginorio
| August 5, 2022 12:26 PM
There is a plan afoot to develop land for storage units at the Coeur d’Alene Airport/Pappy Boyington Field, in Hayden. On the surface, this seems like a healthy development to our business climate and infrastructure.
However, this proposal has elements which seem fraught with peril. Indications are that the Chinese Communist Party, through their captive Banking system, may be instrumental in financing this venture.
The Chinese Communist Party is funding infrastructure projects globally through their “Belt & Road Initiative”. For the past decade, port facilities, railroads, highways, and airports have been built and improved around the world through a partnership of local leaders and Chinese Officials.
The Chinese government celebrates this as a way of bringing a fractured planet closer together, connected by “one belt and one road”. Projects have been built in, among other places, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Djibouti, Kenya, Mongolia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Peru, Panama, and several European and Pacific nations.
These projects all have strategic benefit to China’s new imperial ambitions. Port facilities include provisions for Chinese Naval and Air Bases. Railroads are constructed in sweetheart deals with Chinese contractors at the expense of local labor.
Leases from 50 to 99 years are negotiated, granting China decisive control over the new facilities if the loans are defaulted upon. These loans are predatory in the sense that they benefit corrupt local elites who personally profit from selling out their native interests to benefit China. They are structured to be unpayable.
The President of the Solomon Islands, an area liberated at great cost from Japanese Imperialism during World War II, has recently negotiated deals that grant China special privileges over native residents. He is becoming wealthy by shackling his nation to a new Chinese version of the old 19th Century European Empires.
This use of predatory infrastructure loans to expand China’s reach has been labeled “Debt-Trap Diplomacy”. Already, much of sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and South-East Asia has fallen deeply into irredeemable debt to China. Malaysia and Bolivia are but two nations who have, at great cost, tried to break free of China’s debt-trap.
As with individuals, debt vampirically drains a nation of its future vitality. The profits of a nation’s enterprise go to the debt-holder, rather than to building towards a better future. In the end, unpayable debt reduces independent countries to the status of either colonies or failed states.
The United States is not proof against the predatory investment strategies of today’s Chinese Communist Party. Unlike the Soviets in the Cold War, Chinese Communist agents have fully engaged with our civilian society. Hollywood, corporate America, and even our schools and universities are connected to China through webs of investment and debt.
For example, the Confucius Institute has successfully transmitted Chinese Communist propaganda to countless American educators, teaching them their ideologically sanitized version of history and culture. Big Tech and the entertainment industry are so terrified of being frozen out of the Chinese market that they self-censor anything that Beijing might find objectionable.
This is because today’s Chinese Communist Party is, in economic terms, Communist in name only. They share the Soviet Union’s totalitarianism, improving on their surveillance state with cutting edge technology provided by Silicon Valley.
However, their economic system since the death of Mao in the mid-1970s is based not on Marxism-Leninism but rather on Hitler’s Cartel Capitalism and Mussolini’s Corporative State. China’s social services are nothing like European Welfare States’ “cradle to grave” network of entitlements. Chinese citizens have no welfare “safety net”. This is no egalitarian paradise dedicated to some Marxian fantasy of the brotherhood of man.
Instead, anyone with the right connections can become wealthy; if, and only if, they collaborate with embedded Communist Party officials in thought, word, and deed. Every enterprise and organization in the People’s Republic of China has Communist Party officials involved at every level of decision-making. No decision is made merely for profit or to benefit private interests. The Party Leadership’s interests trump all other priorities.
Post-Mao Chinese leaders have built a system optimized to bring the most power to the leaders of China’s Communist Party; power at all costs, power of all types, power without limits. They have combined economic flexibility with rigid political control.
And, we Americans made it all possible! From the Carter years, American politicians and businessmen have been eager to invest in China in hopes that this would make them more like us. Xi Jinping’s Presidency has proven this hope to be fruitless. In fact, with our cancel culture, censorship, and credulity to government intervention in our private lives, it is arguable that we have become more like them.
China is not like anywhere else on Earth, except possibly for North Korea. Their leadership is consumed with an obsession not to fall like the Soviet Union. Added to this existential paranoia is a nationalist intent to avenge the so-called “Century of Shame” from between the 1842 Opium War and the 1949 Communist takeover. They have bullied every neighbor, claim the trade artery of the South China Sea, and openly threaten to start a World War with the US by attacking our ally, the independent nation of Taiwan.
The Chinese Communist Party funds and protects Putin’s Russia, Khamenei’s Iran, Assad’s Syria, Maduro’s Venezuela, and every other tin-pot tyranny around the world. They bankrolled the Islamo-Fascists in the War on Terror, and are trying to lock all possible natural resources around the world under their control.
If this weren’t sufficient cause for alarm, today China is engaged in a genocide in Xinjiang and Tibet that is as implacable as Hitler’s Holocaust and as brutal as Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. Unlike the Ethnic Cleansing of the former Yugoslavia or the Hutu massacre of the Tutsi in Rwanda, or any other past genocide, this slaughter is ongoing and shows no sign of respite.
This regime is enslaving the formerly free population of Hong Kong, in violation of their treaty with the British. Today’s leadership is privately inspired by their Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, even as they strive to erase it from official memory.
No one should do business with blood-stained murderers. President Xi has repudiated the so called liberalization after Mao’s death. He openly hearkens back to the glory days of his role-models, Qin Shi Huangdi and Mao Zedong. Qin was the greatest mass murderers of his time, and Mao of all time.
The entrepreneurs who back this Hayden enterprise have said that they see no distinction between obtaining financing from China as from anywhere else. These would-be developers may very well be well-intentioned innocents as regards the Chinese Communist Party.
We, the citizens of Kootenai County, cannot afford to be. Under no circumstances should any initiative funded by the genocidal government of China be entertained seriously by us. We must totally decouple our economy and society from China, and refuse to do business with anyone willing to do business with them.
In Maine and then Idaho, Ralph K. Ginorio has taught the history of Western Civilization to High School students for nearly a quarter century. He is an “out-of-the-closet” Conservative educator with experience in Special Education, Public Schools, and Charter Schools, Grades 6-12. He has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 2014. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org