MADE IN THE USA/Joel D. Joseph

Appeasement, Olympic Games and China

Seventy years ago the International Olympic Committee made its worst decision in history. In 1931 the IOC decided that the 1936 Olympic Games would be held in Germany. The IOC did not know then that Adolf Hitler would take over the reins of the German Empire two years later. Germany used the 1936 Games to showcase its power and prestige and promote its agenda for world domination. We should not allow China to do the same thing in 2008.

The International Olympic Committee may have made another historic blunder when it voted to hold the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Unlike 1931, we know that China is a brutal dictatorship that does not respect free speech or the free exercise of religion and has sold nuclear weapons technology in violation of international law. Recently Chinese police brutally beat a US reporter. Several months ago China held 24 US servicemen hostage after forcing their airplane to land in Chinese territory. For the past few years the Chinese government has outlawed a legitimate Eastern religion, the Falon Gong, jailed its leaders and beaten many of its members. China is now treating the Falon Gong worse than Germany treated its Jews in 1931. We should not reward China with the Olympic Games.

President Bush's decision to be neutral on China's Olympic bid is the most appalling example of appeasement since British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain gave his blessings to Hitler taking over part of Czechoslovakia in 1938. It is interesting to note that both Bush and Chamberlain led conservative parties and thought that appeasement of their country's largest potential enemy was the path to peace. Both Chamberlain's and Bush's appeasement are blunders of historical significance. While Chamberlain's errors led the way to the leadership of Winston Churchill, we can only hope that George Bush's mistake will lead to his replacement by a leader willing to stand up to human rights abuses and stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

China has the largest army in the world. It has stolen nuclear weapons and missile technology from the United States. China sells weapons of mass destruction and war material to Pakistan, Iran and other Third World nations in violation of international law. The Peoples Republic of China has threatened to invade Taiwan by force and annually conducts war games near the coast of Taiwan.

Our booming trade deficit with China has lined the pockets of China's military establishment. The Peoples Liberation Army is one of the largest industrial manufacturers in China. The PLA's profits are turned into military hardware which one day may be used against US forces.

If President Bush does not consider China a military threat to the United States, he has not yet read Congressman Chris Cox's Report on China. The California Republican chaired a select committee on the Chinese military. The report found:

The PRC has indeed used the profits from its burgeoning commercial economy to purchase a number of advanced weapons systems. The most notable of these include the purchase from Russia of 50 Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighters and the production rights for 200 more, two Kilo attack submarines, and two Sovremenniy missile destroyers.

The People's Republic of China has stolen classified information on all of the United States' most advanced thermonuclear warheads, and several of the associated reentry vehicles. These thefts are the result of an intelligence collection program spanning two decades, and continuing to the present.

The State Department prepares a detailed annual report on the human rights record for every nation in the world. China has failed every report. In the 1999 report, the State Department found that China went into reverse on human rights and continued "to commit widespread and well-documented human rights abuses." In the next report the Department noted that "we have seen a marked deterioration in China's human rights record." And the most recent State Department report, prepared under Secretary Powell's direction, found that China's "poor human rights record has worsened." China in 2001 looks a lot like Germany did in the 1930s. Both built up their military might while amassing human rights records that shocked the world. China deserves the 2008 Olympic Games as much as Germany did in 1936. President Bush and the International Olympic Committee ought to rethink China's effort to secure the Olympic seal of approval.

Joseph is chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicating to promoting American-made products around the world. His email address is

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