Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
My staff is taking a break to celebrate the Fourth of July with their families and enjoy a well-earned vacation week. But don’t worry, we’ve prepared plenty of newsletter material in advance. Today's newsletter is focused on China and includes my recent posts on the topic plus our Bible Verse of the Day:
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Worried About China
- This Would Be Good News, If It’s Accurate
- U.S. Companies Please The CCP, Use Chinese Forced Labor
- UPDATE On Chinese Defector, And Some Intriguing Context
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Worried About China
By Mike Huckabee
This is a premium article from the Epoch Times, but even if you’re not a paid subscriber, you should know the basics of what it says.
It details how Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts went from being a big proponent of international trade to working to reduce China’s influence on his state and America. His evolution started with a trade mission to China, where he was welcomed with open arms and puff pieces in the media. But he soon realized deception was baked into the alleged reforms he was told about. He said the CCP talks right, but goes left. He and his staff were also followed and monitored, and one had his hard drive stolen from his computer.
But what really opened his eyes was when China tried to retaliate against Trump’s tough trade policies by targeting Midwest farmers, which backfired when they stood by Trump. Also at that time, Ricketts began to learn of their horrific human rights abuses.
Now, Ricketts is not only trying to separate Nebraska from China’s influence (he’s even banned Chinese-owned TikTok from state government devices), he’s also warning other leaders to be wary of dealing with China’s communist government. He says they have a long-range plan of dominance while too many American politicians and corporations only care about short-term gains. He’s trying to warn Wall Street that anything American companies put into China will no longer belong to them, including trade secrets. He said, “So many publicly traded companies are driven quarter-to-quarter by earnings. And so that tends to make them more short-term oriented, rather than seeing the bigger, long-term picture.”
Sound like any company you can think of, or does that reference go “Swoosh” over your head?
This Would Be Good News, If It’s Accurate
By Mike Huckabee
The International Institute for Strategic Studies just completed a two-year assessment of the cybercapabilities of 15 nations, and they believe that China has been exaggerating its power and is at least a decade behind the US.
The study ranked nations in three tiers, and the US was the only one that ranked in the top tier with “world-leading strength” in all categories. The second tier of nations with world-leading strength in some categories included China, Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Russia and the UK. The third tier of nations had strengths or potential strengths in some categories but significant weaknesses in others. It included India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea and Vietnam. For more details of those categories and which strengths and weaknesses different nations had, click the link above.
The study warned that since the early 2000s, China has been engaging in “industrial-scale espionage” to acquire cyber technology and is likely to catch up to the US by 2030. So this report offers no reasons to get complacent and every reason to shore up our cyber defenses and not trust China. We also have no reason to get complacent about the non-cyber capabilities of China when it’s engaged in an aggressive military build-up while our military leaders seem more concerned with promoting transgender rights, driving patriotic conservatives (who are traditionally the backbone of the military) out of the ranks, and planning how to defend America from its #1 threat: straight, white Trump voters.
U.S. companies please the CCP, use Chinese forced labor
By Mike Huckabee
Last week, we took a look at the latest developments concerning China, including information reportedly provided by a high-level Chinese defector linking the Wuhan lab with the military bioweapons program, and also the crack-down by the CCP on academics and billionaire business moguls to keep them in line. Today, we see how they must have put the screws to Nike, as that corporation’s Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe said in a phone call to Wall Street analysts, “Nike is a brand that is of China and for China.”
That statement, part of a transcript released by Nasdaq, seems oddly inconsistent, considering that as recently as March, Nike expressed concern about “reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” In a statement, they said that “Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we uphold international labor standards...Nike does not source products from the XUAR and we have confirmed with our contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region.” Read the whole statement, and it sounds as though they were concerned and being quite diligent about this.
But the inconsistencies are stark. According to an article in THE FEDERALIST, there are believed to be over 1 million Uyghur Muslims being held in Xinjiang and used for forced labor to deliver 80 percent of Chinese cotton. And last November, when the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act was making its way through the House –- overwhelmingly passed 406 to 3 –- Nike joined with Coca-Cola and Apple to lobby against it. The bill prohibits “certain imports” from Xinjiang and imposes sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations in that region. Why would American corporations have been lobbying against THAT?
Nike is the biggest sports brand in all of China. Donahoe’s revealing phone call came as a new earnings release shows Nike’s sales in China for the past three months at $1.9 billion. This is 17 percent higher than the same time last year.
Incidentally, Nike gave over $604,000 in campaign donations in 2020, 80 percent of which went to Democrats, no doubt because they prefer the Democrats’ looser policy towards China.
“We’ve been in China over 40 years,” Donahoe said in the phone call, “and the biggest asset is consumer equity...it’s real; I saw it in my first week on the job.”
We did a little research to try to understand what Donahoe meant by “consumer equity" regarding their marketing plan in China. In general, this term translates to “the present value of the total revenues that the customer base will generate in its lifetime.” This value is driven by three factors: perceived value for the money, emotional connection to the brand, and loyalty to the brand. The greater the consumer equity, the more future revenue can be derived over the lifetime of its clients.
And apparently, in his first week on the job, Donahoe saw evidence that these measures of long-term profitability are strong in China. When it comes to China, Nike is playing the long game, and so they have to stay on the CCP’s good side.
In light of that, a story in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER made some sense out of Nike’s flip-flopping. Apparently, after Nike’s statement in March, they were hit with a backlash on China’s social media. Looks as though the CCP has pulled Nike back into line.
In March of 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute reported that “the Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labor, Uyghurs are working in in factories that are in the supply chain for 82 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.”
According to this report, “Since 2017, more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Turkic Muslim minorities have disappeared into a vast network of ‘re-education camps’ in the far west region of Xinjiang, in what some experts call a systematic, government-led program of cultural genocide.” Inside these camps, detainees are forced to undergo political indoctrination, to renounce their culture and religion, and even in some instances to undergo torture. It’s a harsh, military-style life in which the workers are under constant surveillance and the threat of detention.
“There is mounting evidence that that many Uyghurs are being forced to work in factories within Xinjiang,” the report says. “...Some factories appear to be using Uyghur workers sent directly from re-education camps.”
This report is an eye-opener, a must-read. In addition to outlining exactly what China is doing to essentially enslave its ethnic minorities, it also contains a long list of companies, mostly American, “potentially directly or indirectly benefiting” from forced labor. Nike is just one, sharing the honor with many well-known brands. “Some brands are linked with multiple factories,” it says.
I would add that some of these corporations are going overboard right now trying to build an image of “woke-ness” in the United States. How “woke” are they to the idea that slave labor is a bad thing?
Don’t miss Case Study #1: UYGHUR WORKERS MAKING NIKE SNEAKERS IN QINGDAO. It even has pictures.
According to this report, these people who apparently make Nike shoes are not free, are not allowed to practice their faith, and must undergo political indoctrination in “night school” after work. They live and labor in a compound surrounded with barbed wire and watchtowers and are monitored everywhere they go.
Under Case Study #3, about workers making selfie cameras for Apple iPhones, the report says their work assignments were “highly politicized.” According to a local Xinjiang newspaper, the workers “were expected to ‘gradually alter their ideology’ and turn into ‘modern, capable youth’ who ‘understand the Party’s blessing, feel gratitude towards the Party, and contribute to stability.”
In its conclusions, the report says, “The tainted global supply chain that results from these practices means that it is not difficult to guarantee that products manufactured in China are free from forced labor.” Can you say, “MADE IN THE USA”?
This report is quite long and detailed, but I hope you’ll read the whole thing. As for Nike, I would say that hearing from their CEO that the Nike brand is “of China and for China” should be enough to tell us that it’s not for America. Nike's marketing plan seems to be based more in China, anyway. And if they’ve decided it’s worth humoring the CCP to maintain “consumer equity” in China, well, they can have it.
But I hope Americans will renounce any brand loyalty THEY might have had and go to the trouble of looking for shoes, sporting gear and clothing made here –- or at least not in China –- by people who choose the work they do, can think and worship as they please, and don’t exist behind barbed wire.
Finally, if you have access to THE EPOCH TIMES’ “premium” reporting, I recommend a related piece, about the CCP’s manipulation of American companies (like Nike) to shape public opinion, influence government decisions, and acquire U.S. technology.
UPDATE On Chinese Defector, And Some Intriguing Context
By Mike Huckabee
Gordon Chang, expert on China and author of THE GREAT U.S. - CHINA TECH WAR, appeared on TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT Monday to speak further on the likelihood that Dong Jingwei, the 57-year-old head of counterintelligence for the Chinese Ministry of State Security, had flown from Hong Kong to California on February 10 and defected to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, bringing with him a treasure trove of secret information.
Chang reiterated that he thinks the story is true.
China is denying that this happened, of course, and both BEIJING DAILY and the Hong Kong publication SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST have reported that Dong is in China doing whatever spooky things he normally does in the land of Chinese spooks, such as giving presentations at spy-catcher seminars.
Chang does not believe their reports, as “China has every reason in the world to parade this guy in front of the cameras. That would squelch all sorts of rumors that are damaging to the regime. Now, China hasn’t done that, and that to me says that we have him, and that he, in fact, defected.”
RELATED READING: Info from Chinese defector might change the course of history
Incidentally, the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST story makes reference to the “new anti-espionage regulation released in April” that applies to “not only Chinese government departments, but also social groups and businesses, supplemented with lists of Chinese entities that are assigned counter-espionage responsibilities.” This onerous new law has received very little press in the United States, so I'm taking the opportunity here to describe it. Under this law, once entities been designated by the government, they're required to watch for and prevent foreign espionage activity. They must “vet and train personnel, particularly ahead of foreign trips, after which they must be debriefed about any national security issues.” This law treats even universities and private businesses as if they’re “sensitive government agencies.”
More on this soon, but for now, back to the Chang interview. Tucker brought up the fact that the media are suddenly changing their tune on the origin of the virus, as if they knew...somehow...they could no longer get away with spouting their original fairy tale about bat soup. And Chang noted what seems to be a similar shift of opinion among officials of the Biden administration. This story out of Australia mentions that same shift as evidence that the defection probably happened.
Chang said this could be due to any of a number of things, perhaps political pressure, but he thinks it’s because they now have evidence of a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Even more important is the information that the Chinese military was working with that lab as part of its bioweapons program.
As for China intentionally releasing the virus, Chang believes this scenario is possible but unlikely, given that they didn’t yet have a vaccine. He thinks it was a mistake, and that China “wasn’t able to contain it.” On the other hand, he noted that while foreigners typically believe the leak was accidental, Chinese nationals are more likely to think it was released on purpose. They know their government all too well.
We came across another report from that same Australian news outlet that provides a lot of context for this alleged defection. It says that no “convincing” photo of Dong has been released since last September, and the one that's purported to be him isn't persuading anyone. This story also includes some intriguing background on Dong’s daughter.
All we’d seen in the press about Dong Yang was that she'd been studying at a California university, but now there’s more: She’s reportedly the ex-wife of Alibaba executive Jiang Fan. Alibaba, an international tech firm, has been in the crosshairs of the CCP in recent months. The company is being scrutinized for alleged “antitrust” and “corruption” issues. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s CEO, “disappeared” for several weeks earlier this year.
Since that time, Ma has reportedly “embraced supervision.” (Ah, there’s a euphemism for you.) And he rarely appears in public or makes public statements. The CCP appears to be cracking down in general on billionaires and academics. Interesting case in point: at the same time we were hearing denials of a nuclear accident of some kind at the China Taishan power plant, one of its leading nuclear scientists, Vice President of Harbin Engineering University Zhang Zhijian, reportedly “fell” from his building. No details were given.
Another billionaire, the chairman of a Chinese high-tech firm, got in hot water and was ordered to “keep a low profile” after publishing a historic poem as part of a media campaign. This poem was critical of an ancient emperor. In China, criticism of emperors is banned on social media, as it could be interpreted as criticism of their current leader-for-life, Xi Jinping.
(Wow, you thought censorship on American social media was bad! On the other hand, this story gives us a peek at just how bad it can get, and almost certainly WILL get if we don’t weaken the power of Big Tech.)
Another billionaire, this one in agriculture, lost control of his business after being arrested over a minor property dispute. He’s since been charged with “seeking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
So our speculation is that this kind of crackdown by the CCP might have had some impact on Dong’s daughter, considering her ties, and might even have something to do with the defection. Just a hypothesis. We’ll see if anyone else makes this connection.
I’ll leave you with the words being (falsely?) attributed to Dong from that seminar, as they relate to the way China is cracking down on business moguls and, ironically, might even describe what Dong himself has done by defecting: “In particular, some individuals are willing to be ‘internal traitors,’ secretly colluding with foreign spies and intelligence agencies and hostile forces to engage in anti-China activities. Individuals ‘act behind the scenes’ and send funds to hostile forces through illegal channels to support anti-China activities. These ‘traitors’ and behind-the-scenes gold masters’ have severely endangered the country’s political security. They will eventually be nailed to the pillar of shame in history.”
Translation: we need to keep this man, and his daughter, safe.