Socialist update: Bernie praises Red China, AOC hails gutsy, well-read Millennials

by WorldTribune Staff, August 30, 2019

American socialists have had quite the week. While Sen. Bernie Sanders was touting communist China as a shining beacon of economic progress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was hailing “badass” Millennials as truly America’s greatest generation.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, where Chinese troops have been filmed crossing the border and arriving by sea, police arrested independence campaigner Andy Chan Ho-tin to prevent him from boarding a plane leaving for Tokyo where he planned to attend a conference of the Japan Conservative Union. Also, pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting were arrested on Friday for their involvement in an unlawful assembly, Hong Kong police announced.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, leaders in the massive Hong Kong protests, were arrested on Aug. 30. / South China Morning Post

In an Aug. 27 interview with HILL TV, Sanders said: “China is a country that is moving unfortunately in a more authoritarian way in a number of directions. But what we have to say about China in fairness to China and its leadership is if I’m not mistaken they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization, so they’ve done a lot of things for their people.”

“Wow. Talk about throwing America under the bus. And in such ignorant fashion, to boot,” Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote of Sanders’ proclamation.

“Let’s unwind,” Chumley continued. “First off, ‘in fairness to China and its leadership’ — why? Why do we have to be fair to tyrants and communists? So we don’t offend them?

“Second off, as much as China has indeed made gains in reducing poverty in recent years, the point is: China is communist. And corrupt. And oh yes, hmm, let’s see — communist.”

The United States, Chumley wrote, “is not China. America is not a country with an authoritarian government, with leaders who are free to control the economy as they see fit — disbursing dollars here, commanding higher wages there.”

The Washington Free Beacon’s Paul Crookston pointed out that in his praise for Red China, Sanders “did not address how China’s communist government has oppressed religious people and minorities, putting at least one million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps while instituting one of the most comprehensive surveillance states in history. In China, the Communist Party requires all religions to pledge ultimate loyalty to President Xi Jinping, who is atop a one-party system that does not allow political opposition.”

While Sanders did say trade with China is potentially bad for workers because of labor competition, “he did not address China’s violations of trade rules, such as intellectual property theft. As a socialist, Sanders has been a vocal opponent of free trade for decades,” Crookston wrote.

Another thing Sanders failed to mention is China does not allow dissent. Leftists in the U.S. love to wield the power of protest. In communist China, criticism of the government is prohibited and anyone who steps out of line on that rule is jailed.


Such was evident this week when Chinese government police carried out a wave of arrests Hong Kong pro-democracy activists after months of daily mass protests.

On Aug. 30, prominent pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow were arrested for their involvement in what police say was an unlawful assembly.

Police also arrested independence campaigner Andy Chan Ho-tin on Aug. 29. He was stopped from boarding a plane leaving for Tokyo at Hong Kong airport. Chan planned to speak at a meeting of the Japan Conservative Union.

Wong and Chow are leaders of the pro-democracy outfit Demosisto, which has been campaigning for democratic self-determination in Hong Kong.

Demosisto released a statement saying “We are very angry about the police creating a chilling effect and white terror through a large-scale arrest of protesters on the eve of August 31.”

Aug. 31 marks the fifth anniversary of Beijing’s stringent “831 Decision” on Hong Kong’s democratic reforms. Protesters had planned to launch another mass demonstration before they were banned by police, the South China Morning Post reported.

Crookston added: “Living standards in China are inferior to those of its democratic neighbors Japan and South Korea, but their economy has grown in recent years as it has instituted more capitalist structures in its economy. Contrary to what Sanders said, it has not been ‘moving’ toward authoritarian government, but rather has long had it. Its founding leader Mao Zedong was responsible for an estimated 35-45 million deaths in the 20th century, and even after he died, political dissent was suppressed repeatedly, most notably at Tiananmen Square.”

While Sanders was praising the communists, Ocasio-Cortez was stoking the egos of her fellow Millennials, the New York Post columnist Aaron Feis noted.

In an Instagram live video, AOC claimed that young people are more “informed” and “willing to go to the streets” in protest than earlier generations.

“I think they’re badass,” said Ocasio-Cortez of young people in the clip, a copy of which was tweeted by conservative political voice Caleb Hull. “I think young people are more informed and dynamic than their predecessors. I think they’re profoundly courageous, because they’re willing to puncture more taboos and have conversations that, frankly, older generations sometimes struggle to have.”

Immediately after saying that she didn’t “want to paint everybody with a broad brush,” the New York Democrat, Feis noted, “did just that, acting as though young people pioneered the concept of political activism — and apparently forgetting the Vietnam War protests and push for racial equality of the 1960s — let alone the WWII generation that saved the world from authoritarian rule and dubbed by former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw in his 1998 book, ‘The Greatest Generation.’ ”

Ocasio-Cortez went on to say: “Previous generations have just assumed that [the] government’s got it. Let me tell you something: You are the government. As a democracy, ‘we the people’ means you.”

Feis noted that, in June, AOC took to Instagram “to liken the Trump administration’s detention of illegal immigrants on the Mexican border to ‘concentration camps,’ drawing the ire of Jewish politicians and groups.”

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