February 21, 2021


Biden's sturdy resistance to China (George Will, 2/21/21, Albany Herald)

These should begin with an immediate announcement of a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, whose current viciousness is comparable to that of Germany at the time of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. And there should be at least public shaming of U.S. corporations which, while ostentatiously woke at home, seem not to think that Uighur lives matter. Let us identify corporations that import goods made with forced Uighur labor or export to China goods (e.g., surveillance technologies) that could facilitate Beijing's genocide.

Twenty percent of the world's cotton comes from Xinjiang, the region of the genocide: How many U.S. clothing brands are using products of forced labor? The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which last year had 87 co-sponsors in the House and 33 in the Senate, would create a statutory presumption that products from Xinjiang are produced by forced labor. Which U.S. corporations will lobby against this bill?

While China screws down the lid of tyranny on Hong Kong -- making schools instruments of political indoctrination; removing library books that "endanger national security" -- Beijing continues to add to the (at least) 380 Uighur "re-education" camps. If U.S. transactions -- diplomatic and commercial -- with China are unaffected by the finding of genocide, this will, in the words of Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University's Scalia Law School, "make a joke out of genocide."

Primo Levi, an Auschwitz survivor, said: "It happened, therefore it can happen again." U.S. policy now insists that genocide is happening in a nation tightly woven into the fabric of world commerce. China is crucial to globalization's supply chains, but these chains are also crucial to China. They can be instruments of political leverage for the United States and other signatories to the aforementioned convention who are committed to take measures to "prevent and to punish" genocide.

Posted by at February 21, 2021 12:00 AM