The United States should always show respect to the wishes of allies and ‘friends’ however, we should stop being a door mat because a nation is a profitable business partner. China’s deplorable human rights record, environmental abuses, and production of unsafe goods are clear indicators that our political leadership is more interested in making a buck than doing what is best for those who elected them.

Nixon opened the door in the 1970s when it was infinitely better to have a friendly China. In the 1980s we went back and forth about China. Our rhetoric over their abuses was toned down considerably as they began to emerge as an economic power. Then Clinton seemed to decide all was forgiven and forgotten in favor of ‘most favored nation’ status. This means they can impose enormous tariffs and restrictions on our goods but we don’t reciprocate. Bush Junior after getting elected sunned himself in Hawaii with drinking buddy Deng. So the circle was then complete, both sides of the aisle decided abuses be damned, China was again a place to make money.

Based on this historic change of tune about China the issue is simple. While China treats us with disdain we take the abuse because American corporations are making record profits thanks to cheap Chinese labor and substandard products. Those same businesses pay huge contributions (bribes) to elect leaders who keep the gravy train rolling.

I would caution that using language like ‘retaliate’ is a bit Junior High School. I think our rhetoric and actions should reflect a mature and firm determination that while China may be a profitable trade partner it does not buy that nation the right to dictate and enjoy unfair terms with the United States.

Truly a ‘do unto others…’ mentality would be appropriate. If China does not want our naval vessels to make port in Hong Kong or other destinations then we have every right to extend the same ban on their vessels. The problem is the leaders who would act in such a manner do not currently reside in Washington D.C. Cold hard reality is that both Democrats and Republicans are drawing enormous bribes, I mean campaign contributions from Chinese, Asian, and American businesses to keep things just as they are.

Very often United States foreign policy follows the dollar. We tell Europeans to stay out of the Americas thanks to the Monroe Doctrine only to violate it when it suits our need for profit which politicians try to justify with veiled attempts at stopping communism, terrorism, or any ism that endangers profits. Same thing in the Middle East. Sure removing Saddam from power was a good thing but sticking around to try and turn Iraqis into citizens of a democracy is more about money than any enlightened desire for freedom.

China is one on a long list of ‘allies’ who treats our nation with disrespect, but we take it because those in power to do something are making too much money to stop it. Clinton knew about China’s abuses of people and environment only to decide money was more important. Bush Junior was likewise well aware of dangerous products coming into our nation from China and the use of military personnel as forced factory labor (aka slaves) but decided swimming in Hawaii with Deng was more profitable than some pesky principles related to human rights, environmental controls, and protecting American consumers from substandard and dangerous products.

Therefore, China calls the tune that we are forced to dance to thanks to representatives who can be bought. In short corporate and Chinese money talks and American politicians are listening.