The GOP has apparently decided to scapegoat China for the coronavirus pandemic. But this will be pointless unless it includes the immigration dimension. A ban on further Chinese immigration and the removal of Chinese nationals and Chinese government-funded institutions from U.S. universities are at least as important as ensuring American control of essential American industries. The GOP has to become the nationalist “Workers Party” that President Donald Trump promised in 2016 if it wants to avoid an electoral bloodbath, and immigration has to be at the center of that transformation.
Trump is correct to note that Democrats/ Main Stream Media outlets attacked him when he first implemented the Chinese travel ban on January 31. Many called him “xenophobic” and said travel bans “didn’t work” [After attacking Trump’s coronavirus-related China ban as xenophobic, Dems and media have changed tune, by Gregg Re, Fox News, April 1, 2020]. In early February, a massive pro-China parade took place in New York City, now the center of the outbreak. Democrat Mark D. Levine, chairthing of the New York City Council’s health committee (!), celebrated the “defiance” of the “coronavirus scare.”
Similarly, Democrats/ journalists are now complaining that President Trump’s recent immigration suspension is xenophobic [President Trump’s immigration suspension has nothing to do with coronavirus, by Carly Goodman, Washington Post, April 22, 2020]. Of course, Trump’s “immigration ban” is far from a complete moratorium. Foreign workers are not being sent home and the threat to American workers at a time of high unemployment continues.
President Trump has good instincts, but, as usual, poor execution. Once again Jared Kushner is pushing back against a full immigration moratorium [America has a Jared Kushner Problem, by Pedro Gonzalez, American Greatness, April 24, 2020]. Rep. Paul Gosar was right to comment that “the very last thing we need to do is import additional foreign labor” [Gosar Reacts to Executive Order Halting Immigration, Paul Gosar, April 21, 2020].
The MSM has been denouncing the “anti-China” strategy as politically motivated [GOP memo urges anti-China assault over coronavirus, by Alex Isenstadt, Politico, April 24, 2020]. It probably is, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Republicans are right to target China in theory, but unless there’s effective execution on Chinese immigration in practice it will not achieve decisive results, economically or politically. Ominously, however, the “GOP memo” cited by Politico makes no mention of immigration.
The three main lines of the memo’s argument are reportedly 1) that China “covered up” the initial outbreak, 2) that Democrats are “soft” on China, and 3) that Republicans will “punish” China. The first is true, the second is still in flux, the last could well be all talk.
Hong Kong researchers recently reported Chinese coronavirus cases were far larger than the government reported [China coronavirus cases may have been four times official figure, says study, by Helen Davidson and Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, April 23, 2020]. American intelligence has concluded the same [China concealed extent of virus outbreak, U.S. intelligence says, by Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, April 1, 2020].
Indeed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the “true leader of the free world” in many U.S. journalists’ eyes, sounds a lot like Republicans demanding investigations and transparency into China. “I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus,” she has been quoted as saying, “the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it” [Angela Merkel urges Chinese transparency, by Ebony Bowden, New York Post, April 20, 2020].
And, in fact, the Chinese government still may not have not defeated the virus. A new outbreak was reported in Harbin in the northeast and there is another lockdown in place [Chinese city tightens coronavirus travel curbs in biggest outbreak, Reuters, April 21, 2020].
MSM Democrats used to mock China. For example, one of urban liberals’ high priests, pseudo-comedian John Oliver, joked about Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his developing cult of personality. The ban on comparing Jinping to Winnie the Pooh came in for particular merriment. The televisions with legs known as urban liberals delighted in this mockery.
Now however, such images have been pronounced racist and xenophobic. Thus some Dissident Rightist has been attaching “Wuhan Plague” plaques on Atlanta businesses and streets [‘Wuhan Plague’ plaques found on Atlanta businesses, streets, by Raisa Habersham, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 23, 2020] and, incredibly, this is the subject of a police investigation with JournoFa screaming for action [These Racist ‘Wuhan Plague’ Plaques Are Popping Up Around Atlanta, by Trone Dowd, Vice, April 23, 2020].
“Racist” https://t.co/Iykg68e74y— Kevin McCashion 🇺🇸 (@Kevin_McCashion) April 24, 2020
MSM Narrative Enforcers now don’t want Democrats to target China because it supposedly fuels “racism” [An Anti-China Message Didn’t Work for Democrats in 2018—and It Won’t Work for Biden Now, by Jesse Myerson, The Intercept, April 22, 2020].
Currently Democrats are experimenting with the strategy of saying that it’s President Trump who is too soft on China [Democrats lay out rebuttal to Trump attacks on Biden over China, by Alexi McCammond, Axios, April 16, 2020]. Biden says Trump “rolled over for the Chinese” [Biden and Trump Battle Over Who Is ‘Weak on China,’ by Asma Khalid, NPR, April 22, 2020].
The latest conspiracy theory: Trump is weak on China because he supposedly owes millions to their state bank [Trump is personally indebted to China’s state-owned bank, by Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair, April 24, 2020].
Thus, we have an interesting case of the Narrative still being formed in media res—Democrats and their MSM allies can’t decide whether Trump is in bed with China (as they claimed he was with Russia) or whether taking an anti-China stance is itself racist.
Of course we know from watching the Dem/MSM flip-flop on whether or not it’s “racist” to report WuFlu’s racial incidence that they are quite capable of resolving this dilemma in shameless disregard of what they said previously. But right now they have provided President Trump with a golden opportunity: take the Biden campaign at its word and push forward even more measures designed to punish the Chinese government.
This would force the Biden campaign to either support him or say it’s not enough. But the latter would lead to more attacks from liberal journalists who think being anti-China is racist to begin with.
President Trump must plug the holes in his supposed immigration moratorium with three moves:
1) The H1-B program and other visa policies should be eliminated entirely and permanently.
Communist China runs second to India in the technical H1B visas, at about 22,000 new ones per year, and many times that number are renewed annually. But nationals of Communist China should not be working in crucial American industries, especially given the long pattern of Chinese espionage.
Already, the MSM is sob-storying that Chinese workers have lost their jobs in America; now would be a good time to for the Trump Administration to prevent them from getting them back. If that means buying one-way tickets, so be it. [Chinese workers in the US are losing their visas with their jobs, but flying home to China is too expensive, by Shen Lu, CNN, April 9, 2020].
2) Chinese nationals should not be studying at American universities in such enormous numbers. There are 350,000 Chinese students in the US, a number that has tripled in the last decade.
Even the MSM was reporting just before the pandemic truly hit that Chinese military operatives are allegedly obtaining visas to spy on American campuses [American universities are a soft target for China’s spies, say U.S. intelligence officials, by Ken Dilanian, NBC News, February 2, 2020]. NPR reported on American intelligence’s efforts to monitor these spying networks [FBI Urges Universities to Monitor Some Chinese Students and Scholars In The U.S., by Emily Feng, June 28, 2019]. The Chinese government-funded “Confucius Institutes” should also be shut down.
3) A total and complete immigration moratorium must be implemented—not just a “suspension.” Over ten percent of the million legal immigrants the U.S. has recently been accepting each year are from Communist China; there are more than 5 million Chinese immigrants now living in the U.S. [Key findings about U.S. immigrants , by Jynnah Radford, Pew, June 17, 2019]
I’ve obviously supported this kind of immigration moratorium for years, but the current situation makes it more important than ever.
Mass immigration, especially illegal, is a disease vector. So too are the de-facto foreign colonies that are being formed in our country. For example, even Bill Maher, no Trump supporter, is disgusted by the Chinese “wet markets” that the disease supposedly originated from [Bill Maher blasts ‘PC’ uproar over ‘Chinese virus’ label: ‘We should blame China,’ by Joseph Wulfsohn, Fox News, April 11, 2020]. However, “wet markets” and unsanitary slaughterhouses are in New York City itself, with one owner calling them “a big part of New York City culture, especially when you are dealing with different ethnic diversity” [Coronavirus News: Mounting calls to close live animal markets amid COVID-19, by Danielle Leigh, Eyewitness News 7, April 15, 2020].
There should also be a crackdown on American slaughterhouses and factory farming, which aren’t just unhealthy but notorious for their use of illegal workers. This policy would not just protect Americans from disease, but help unemployed Americans find jobs in the post-coronavirus recession.
The Trump Administration can’t afford more cheap talk and no action. “Blaming China” is pointless unless it is accompanied by an immigration crackdown.
Some of these proposed policies may well spook “the markets” or the large corporate interests dependent on trade with China. Yet it’s arguably because President Trump let their short-term perspective delay his response that we’re stuck in this pandemic.
He can’t make that mistake a second time if he wants a second term.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him |Tweet him @VDAREJamesK] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. His latest book is Conservatism Inc.: The Battle for the American Right. Read VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow's Preface here.