The China Syndrome

China is known as the land of the panda bear. But the Clinton Administration's policy toward China reminds us of why some have called President Clinton the "pander bear." But the Administration is not alone in pandering to China. The Senate—and worse yet, the American people—are also complicit. That may sound like an extreme position. But how else can we characterize our nation's attitude toward the upcoming U.N. Conference on Women? This conference has become a multifaceted farce—one that's taken on a diabolical nature since the jailing of Harry Wu, a naturalized American citizen and China's premier human-rights advocate. But our nation's ho-hum attitude is an example of our readiness to sacrifice moral principles to the demands of extreme feminists. The politicized nature of the event was quickly sniffed out by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Vals. Navarro-Vals noted that the conference's 120-page draft document mentions gender—-that is feminist identity—300 times. But motherhood is mentioned fewer than 10 times. The word family occurs even less often—and usually in a negative connotation. The message is clear: Set women free, but the family—that's a repressive institution, one best put out of its misery. That's an interesting notion in light of the woeful problems our own country faces as a direct result of family disintegration. And consider the location of the conference. The sponsors say they want to discuss reproductive freedom. But in Beijing? That's the home of the notorious one-family, one-child policy where abortion is mandatory for families who violate this policy. Some freedom. No one has done more to expose atrocities like these than Harry Wu. Wu has revealed China's use of slave labor. And he's horrified the world with accounts of prisoners being executed so their organs can be sold. Arrested last month on a charge of espionage, Wu—a U.S. citizen—could face death. But Wu has been all but abandoned by his country. When Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole proposed withdrawing conference funding unless Wu is freed, he was blocked by Senate Democrats. Clearly, placating America's radical feminists is a higher priority than the safety of an American citizen. Astonishingly, Americans seem to agree. Where are the protests and demonstrations to free this patriot? Where is the national outrage? Compare this national shrug of the shoulders to America's moral stance 20 years ago. Back in 1973, President Richard Nixon sent me to Moscow to demand the release of Russian Jews. Our position was simple: Freedom is a God-given, inalienable right. No government can grant it, and therefore, no government can deny it. We made it clear through five days of tough negotiations. In the end the Soviets caved in and 35,000 Jews were allowed to leave. Today it's a different story. We not only tolerate moral outrages, we expect them. And patriots like Harry Wu can just go hang. I say it's an outrage, and you and I shouldn't be a party to it. Whenever we see our leaders sacrificing moral principles to political expediency, we ought to raise our voices in strong protest. Anything less would make us accomplices in pandering to atrocity.


Chuck Colson


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