Donald Trump ramped up hostility towards China by announcing last week that the Chinese consulate in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, Texas must by permanently closed by Friday, July 24. Secretary Mike Pompeo made the unproven, likely bogus claim that China was “stealing intellectual property” as the reason for the consulate’s imminent closure. The Houston consulate was just one of five Chinese consulates in the United States outside of the one in Washington D.C. and was likely singled out because it was the first of the five to be established. Trump has stated that he might consider closing additional Chinese consulates in the future.
On July 23rd, a group of demonstrators gathered in front of the consulate to denounce the closure and the apparent attempt by the United States to scapegoat China for its own failure to adequately address the coronavirus pandemic. This distraction was addressed directly by Gloria Rubac of Workers World when she stated, “With the virus getting worse and worse and jobs getting scarcer and scarcer, people cannot pay their rent. We already have tent cities everywhere in Houston. Well, they’re fixing to have bigger ones if Donald Trump gets his way. We demand that this consulate be reopened and that the United States government focus on the needs of the people here.” Here are some additional remarks from an activist attending the demonstration:
The People’s Republic of China is increasingly scapegoated for the failures of the U.S. government. Since the Communist Party came to power in 1949 and the People’s Republic of China was established, a total of 600 million people have been lifted out of poverty. That is a lot more people than even live in the United States today. In the meantime, during that same timeframe the United States has managed to reach #1 in all of the worst areas. The U.S. is:
The world’s #1 weapons exporter, exporting mechanisms of death to nearly 100 countries in only 5 years.
The world’s #1 possessor of weapons of mass destruction, among them a mind-boggling 6,200 nuclear warheads.
The world’s #1 spender when it comes to its military budget, with a true cost of $1 trillion a year and counting. That’s almost as much as the rest of the world spends on defense combined.
The world’s #1 location for mass shootings, with nearly 1/3 of all mass shooting massacres occurring in the United States.
#1 when it comes to caging human beings behind bars, with its incarcerated population dwarfing the rest of the world’s. Despite having just 4% of the earth’s population, it holds an astonishing 25% of the earth’s incarcerated population.
And now, with the government’s complete and utter failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic China warned it about as early as January 3rd, the US has more COVID-19 cases and deaths than anywhere else in the world by a long shot.
What these numbers demonstrate is that the U.S. government has a hell of a lot more to be concerned with than the Chinese consulate in Houston.