Corporate and University Divestment from China

by | Feb 28, 2022 |

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I spent the morning of July 4, 2020, thinking about the predicament of the people of Hong Kong – especially the young. This coincided with my reading of the Roman poet, Horace. 

The plight of freedom for the Hong Kong souls who are persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party’s new “anti-protest law,” which extends China’s legal jurisdiction over Hong Kong is beautifully exemplified by Horace’s Epistle I, 20 (Addressed to His Book), in the poet’s contention that innocence and beauty are corrupted when exposed to vulgarity.

The conversation in Epistle I, 20 involves Horace communicating with a book. The poet hopes to be read by the wider world. He tells the book to remind future readers that he grew up in humble circumstances; his father was a freed Venusian slave.

The inspiration and hope of Epistle I, 20 can be applied to the youth of a free Hong Kong. Horace writes, “And still, when some temperate sun/Brings you more readers, tell them/Who I was; son of a freeman, taught/To fly on wings too wide/For my nest. So add to my talent/What you take from my birth.”

A temperate sun will one day shine again on Hong Kong for the world to witness. The warm glow of liberty will bring to light once again the importance of goodwill – crushing communism once and for all – in a revolution to end the demonic impulse of resentful and power-hungry people. 

For the time being, how can Western democracies help Hong Kong? Are Western democracies even willing to extend a hand in the name of liberty? 

The Chinese communist government law makes “subversion,” “terrorism” and “collusion with foreign governments” illegal. 

After reading that, thoughtful Westerners are left bewildered. Does collusion with foreign governments also apply to the 53 nations that voted for the new law in a recent United Nations resolution? Leading the way was the communist government of Cuba. That is truly puzzling. 

The new law vanishes the “one country, two systems” agreement that allowed Hong Kong to enjoy 27 years of semi self-rule. Many realists doubted how long that would last. 

The graffiti sprayed around Hong Kong these days: “Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves” resonates with people in Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, communist nations that are allies of the CCP.

One effective measure that can be taken is divestment from Chinese government-owned companies and international companies that do business with the communist government. 

A seemingly endless array of American and multinational companies profit from doing business with the CCP. Remember, collusion with Communist China, we now understand in 2022, is what international leftism has meant all along by globalism. That is lamentable, but at least these companies are easy to identify. 

Companies that invest in China display massive hypocrisy through their cowardice, affectation, and the handpicked fashionable causes they embrace. The new law warrants conscientious divestment by stockholders of these companies. CEOs must take the lead. 

Am I being too naïve?

In 1962 the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 1761 that declared a “United Nations Committee Against Apartheid” in South Africa. The UN needs to pass a similar resolution today regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses, declaring: “A Committee Against Human Rights Violations by the Chinese Communist Government.”

Communism is forced apartheid that is mandated by party elites – the members of the Communist Central Committee – over entire nations. The central committee pigs that rule in George Orwell’s Animal Farm remind us of this, when they declare, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

Human rights abuses in China and Hong Kong are a humanitarian crisis. Yet the cynics among us, those jaded souls who have lived under and witnessed the totalitarian claws of communism, understand the spread of that cancer in Western democracies, circa 2022.

Another effective form of divestment from China must come from universities throughout the world. This is a historic moment to call the bluff on human rights of many university presidents and the board of trustees of universities who are in bed with the CCP.

Many American universities are invested in Chinese government companies that do business in biotech and research. In turn, Chinese nationals, many of who are employed by the CCP, have free rein to study and do research in American universities. This has resulted in extensive documented espionage by the Chinese communist government. 

This was also true of Soviet spies in Western nations, especially after WWII, and throughout the Cold War. The Venona papers, de-classified in 1995, demonstrate the extent of Soviet penetration into the US government, dating back to the 1940s.

Nicely packaged “student exchange” programs between Western universities and the Soviet Union created legions of communist fifth columnists in Western democracies.

The difference with the CCP is that communist China has massive leverage over Western financial, health, and cultural institutions. 

Is there a more effective and long-lasting way to educate young people today about justice than university presidents and trustees teaching them about human rights violations in Communist China?  This would provide misinformed and affected youth an opportunity to gain real-world knowledge about oppression, and thus release them from the chains of theoretical and utopian notions of Marxism, critical race theory, and identity politics.

Dr. Pedro Blas González

Pedro Blas González is Professor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. 

He earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy at DePaul University in 1995. Dr. González has published extensively on leading Spanish philosophers, such as Ortega y Gasset and Unamuno. His books include Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega’s Philosophy of SubjectivityUnamuno: A Lyrical Essay; Ortega’s ‘Revolt of the Masses’ and the Triumph of the New Man; Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality and Autonomy;Dreaming in the Cathedral and Fantasia: A Novel.

He published a translation and introduction of José Ortega y Gasset’s last work to appear in English, “Medio siglo de Filosofia” (1951) in Philosophy Today Vol. 42 Issue 2 (Summer 1998). 

His book Philosophical Perspective on Cinema will be published by Lexington Books in May 2022.

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