Politics & Policy

Chu Chooses Silence on China

Protecting Chinese people requires confronting their dictatorship.

Congresswoman Judy Chu arrived in China last week as a guest of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. Yet even as she castigates America for abuses of Chinese people who came here more than a century ago, she didn’t make a peep about the abuses carried on every day by the Communist government against the more than 1 billion Chinese people trapped under its authoritarian rule. Indeed, in the same month she’s calling for a formal resolution of regret about anti-immigrant injustices that occurred while Chester A. Arthur was president, Chu can’t seem to find a negative thing to say about the world’s largest dictatorship.

As the dictatorship’s guest, Chu was quick to play her part. She gave a fawning interview to China Daily, the government-controlled English-language newspaper which proudly spouts the Communist party’s line. Chu explains that America’s relationship to China has suffered under “great anxiety and tension.” “There are some in Congress who are saying negative and angry things about China,” Chu said.

With a myopia that rivals Mr. Magoo’s, Representative Chu gushed about China’s technologically advanced high-speed rail. “We were incredibly impressed at how China could make these advances when we in the U.S. actually have not been able to get our first high-speed train going,” she said. What she didn’t say was that China’s progress was achieved by throwing people out of their homes on pain of death and hurriedly laying track over the bulldozed rubble — and by throwing passenger safety out the window. Just last month, China’s second-biggest train manufacturer recalled 54 bullet trains, citing “safety concerns” after more than 40 people were killed when two bullet trains collided in July.

No matter. Chu chugs along, pointing to the successes of Chinese furniture manufacturers, who have created thousands of jobs in China while consuming U.S. wood exports. Chu probably forgot her vote for H.R. 3012, an anti-free-trade bill that sought to renegotiate trade deals biennially, which would have made such opportunities impossible. Like the Communist sympathizers who visited Stalin’s Russia, she has seen the future and it works — only not, apparently, for those poor souls who must live under it.

Meanwhile, there’s a common refrain from Chu: Americans, especially Republicans, are racist, especially against Asians. In June, she condemned Nevada congressional candidate Mark Amodei for “using China as a scapegoat for the recession” in a campaign ad criticizing Obama’s tax-and-spend policies. Chu called the ad part of a rising tide of “anti-Asian” sentiment. The ad attacked those who would make America dependent on the Chinese dictatorship, not ethnically Chinese people, but Chu shamelessly tried to tie Amodei to the ugly racism that led to the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American beaten to death by Chrysler employees 29 years before.

If Chu truly wants to champion the rights of Chinese-Americans here at home, playing shill for the regime that’s killed more Chinese people than ever set foot in America sends the worst possible message.

— Charles C. Johnson, winner of the 2011 Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism Award, is a Robert L. Bartley fellow at the Wall Street Journal


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