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Fri. December 08, 2023
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The Chinese Are Coming!
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The Chinese Are Coming!
By Richard Neil Lorenc

A Chinese world invasion has begun.

But before you begin hoarding gallons of bottled water and cans of Spam, consider this: this Chinese invasion began quite a while ago. In fact, at this very moment, armies of idea-hungry academics and bureaucrats have penetrated so far beyond China’s borders that they are marching freely through the halls of the United States Department of Labor, the European Parliament, and the human resources departments of hundreds of successful corporations worldwide.

Now that I have your attention, forget that I used the word “invasion”. In fact, replace it with “visitation,” as it would have been more appropriate, and since everyone likes a friendly visit.

The Chinese are benefiting greatly by sending a dedicated public force throughout the world to observe and report on how other societies treat their ill; governments tax their citizens; and schools teach their students. In a break from one of its most ingrained imperial attitudes, China has learned to learn from other countries, particularly in regard to free market reforms, and has found that appropriating extra-Sino ideas is paying off.

So it is worth noting just how significant last week’s meeting of the Chinese National People’s Congress was, especially in regard to its nominal appropriation of the once exclusive American legal concept of private property rights.

China’s rubber stamp legislative body recently passed unanimously a bill that elevates the idea of personal property to the level at which the government has long enforced its own such right. One cannot help but wonder just how much recent courtroom events in the United States have influenced Chinese leaders in their decision to codify these rights at this particular point in time.

Timing aside, this development is mostly symbolic because although China has many, many laws, it does not have the rule of law. The Chinese Communist Party leadership has complete autonomy to pass into law an idea that it likes, or repeal it just as quickly when it is found to tie the party’s hands.

Despite its lack of an independent judiciary, this new property rights law is a significant step for China as it again takes its place as a great–and hopefully free–world power. China watchers will be looking for court decisions that test this new law, and will have to judge its real meaning on those results alone. One would hope that in the face of an eager developer, it would not be only the homeowner with government connections whose land is spared from the bulldozer. One would also hope that well-connected developers would also be compelled to respect the law, and refrain from moving ahead on a project if an owner refuses to sell. We hope to see fewer scenes like the three-story home in Chongqing that now sits alone atop a 40 ft. high mound of earth because its owners decided to stay put amid the demolition of their entire neighborhood [http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=40673&in_page_id=34&ito=newsnow].

It will take time before China’s leaders see that it is in their best interest and the interest of China as a whole to afford legal protection for all individual rights, not just private property. For this to happen, China’s emissaries must be welcomed, and their visits encouraged. Constant cooperation–economic, political and ideological–is one way that we can ensure that the current Chinese invasion is the last.

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