Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1625-W1184



Release Date: December 18, 2023



Topic: Can Free Trade Still Fool People? -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:自由贸易还能忽悠人吗? -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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Can Free Trade Still Fool People?

-- Wei Jingsheng



There are various Western economic theories, one of which is called free trade.  The theory is that as long as there is free trade in the market economy of international trade, all aspects will be reasonable and optimal.  The premise of this theory is wrong: human society is complex and rarely has an optimal state -- there is neither a standard market nor hundreds of millions of people with consistent standards.  Therefore, economic policies in actual operations must be based on reality, that is, consistent with reality.


But in the past number of years, the idea of free trade suddenly became popular.  What's the reason?  Wages in developed countries are getting higher and higher, and the profits of capital have been compressed, thus companies look to find ways to increase profits.  They found that it was a good way for some people to take advantage of the low wages in poor countries and earn excess profits in the markets of developed countries.  How should they expand the scale of this kind of business and make it reasonable and legal?  The theory of free trade fits well with this hope and can enable capital to expand at a high speed.  So it was praised to level of the skies.


The two generations of Chinese Communist leaders, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, seized this opportunity and united with big Western capital to stage a big deception.  As a result, they obtained a permanent free trade agreement with the United States and even joined the world free trade organization.  Allowing big capital to freely utilize China's cheap labor was exchanged for economic transfusions from the West to China.


While capital and technology flowed into the unfree market of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), excess profits were divided in half.  The big capitalists were making a lot of money, and the CCP's moneybags also made so much money to the degree that the CCP claimed “rising of the east and falling of the west” and admired itself as a powerful nation.  Then, the rapid development of the CCP’s military power and its wolf warrior diplomacy first made people of insight in Western countries dissatisfied, and then made Western voters begin to doubt this free trade that led to their impoverishment and insecurity, which led to the decline of democracy around the world.


Recently, the President of the United States has publicly talked about the decline of democracy, and U.S. Trade Representative Ms. Katherine Tai also talked about the need for realistic trade policies and the necessity of tariff protection.  American public opinion has finally seen the seriousness of the problem, and it is difficult to turn around.  Therefore, the Xi Jinping clique’s wish to rely on Western blood transfusions to save the Chinese economy will definitely not work.  Without political reform and without ensuring the normal operation of the domestic economy, it is impossible to save the economy in China.


Some recent phenomena are enough to illustrate the importance of political reform in China.  The speed and amount of capital flight from China to overseas has reached an alarming level: not only foreign capital is fleeing, but Chinese capital is also fleeing, and China's economy is gradually being drained.  The main reason for the flight of capital is the intensification of political oppression, such as the Espionage Act and the establishment of the CCP branches in the corporations that  has increased the intensity of political interference with the economy.


In addition to pursuing profits as Karl Marx said, capital also pays attention to a safe operating environment.  During the Jiang Zemin era, foreign capital enjoyed superior treatment in China, and security also enjoyed superior treatment over  the average Chinese.  Therefore, the profit-seeking nature of capitalists was brought into play with capital flowing into China in large quantities.  After the relatively relaxed environment during the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao eras, the current environment has become unbearable for some people.  Driven by some smart people, the exodus is gradually accelerating.


Domestic business operations in China are also not optimistic.  The overall trend is shrinking, not only production is shrinking, but consumption is also shrinking.  That is what scholars often call deflation, which is not just deflation, but contraction overall.  The next step would be the entire Chinese economy accelerating its decline.  This really responds to Comrade Xi Jinping’s call that everyone should be prepared to live in a life of tight budgets.


To be fair, free trade is necessary within a country, and it mainly has positive meanings.  This is a necessary policy to improve the market economy.  But in countries with different political systems and widely varying economic levels, the results are very complicated.  We cannot use idealized policies to generalize, otherwise the consequences will be unpredictable.


Now Western countries have realized the unrealistic nature of this theory.  So it is definitely impossible to obtain additional blood transfusions by a big fooling of the others.  The only way to save China is to reform the political system honestly.



(This English version is translated by Ciping HUANG, without any compensation.  Wei Jingsheng and the Wei Jingsheng Foundation appreciate her decades of contribution, especially for allowing the use and distribution of her translations of these commentaries.)


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(Written and recorded on December 17, 2023.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia on December 18, 2023.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article: A1625-W1184



Release Date: December 18, 2023



Topic: Can Free Trade Still Fool People? -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:自由贸易还能忽悠人吗? -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生



西方的经济理论五花八门,其中一派叫做自由贸易。其理论是在国际贸易的市场经济中只要自由贸易,就是各方面都合理,最佳状态。这个理论的假设前提就是错误的:人类社会纷繁复杂,很少有最佳状态 -- 既没有标准的市场,也没有亿万人一致的标准的人。所以实际操作中的经济政策必须按照实际来,也就是符合实际。







































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