- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2001

Before he seized power in 1949, Mao Tse-tung pledged publicly that he would these are his words "submit to a democratic decision of the people of the whole country the question of whether the Soviet system of society is to be adopted by the whole of China or not."

Mao never did any such thing, of course. There was no "democratic decision." Mao lied, confirming what Robert Conquest once wrote that Leninism "had as one of its main characteristics falsification on an enormous scale." Marxism-Leninism triumphed in China with Mao´s Big Lie. The misbegotten People´s Republic of China (PRC), which under Mao´s direction killed perhaps 50 million people, exists with lying as its modus operandi.

What we heard from Beijing about the Hainan POW´s sweating it out in the Hainan Hilton is on a par with the Soviet lies which were told to explain away the 1983 destruction of the civilian Korean airliner during the two-year reign of Yuri Andropov, the ex-KGB chief.

China has never been more dangerous to peace in Asia than it is today because its leadership is in a state of panic. It doesn´t quite know what to do to maintain the dictatorship. Its leadership is seeking the impossible to fit 19th-century Marxism-Leninism into 21st-century globalization. Under "market socialism," people not the fictitious proletariat make their own decisions. The communist dictators fear the inevitable the fall of communism, as in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They are, therefore, determined to prevent a Chinese "perestroika" from leading to an overthrow of the party dictatorship as Mikhail Gorbachev´s "perestroika" did in the Soviet Union.

China´s blustering behavior in blaming the United States for the death of a Chinese jet pilot is normal Marxist-Leninist lying. The crash into the U.S. plane was, I believe, a premeditated suicidal-homicidal act with no survivors. It was intended to put our country on a collision course with communist China and thus arouse in the Chinese people the kind of nationalist spirit which would restore the party´s legitimacy even among the reformers and what in Mao´s day were contemptuously called "capitalist roaders."

Remember that China´s Communist Party still venerates the greatest mass murderer in world history, Mao Tse-tung. His embalmed corpse is still on display in Tiananmen Square, scene of the 1989 massacre of Chinese students who wanted to see genuine democracy in China. It is also the scene more recently of the arrest and imprisonment of a group of harmless, elderly Chinese members of the Falun Gong.

Let us also remember what the 1999 Cox report on Chinese nuclear espionage reported to Congress, that the PRC has stolen design information on the United States´ most advanced thermonuclear weapons, and that China´s penetration of our national weapons laboratories spans at least the past several decades and almost certainly continues today.

The Chinese dictatorship might even welcome a return to the era of Mao. When Deng Xiaoping announced some two decades ago that Marxism didn´t have all the answers, he opened up Pandora´s box. When he said the color of the cat didn´t matter so long as it caught mice, capitalist cats emerged everywhere and China suddenly was in the middle of an economic renaissance as never before in Chinese history.

Marxism-Leninism may be passe but the Chinese Communist Party´s will to power is not. Joint ventures with American firms, admission to the World Trade Organization, technology transfers, capital flows and all those other good things endanger the communist regime. And who personifies all those good things? The United States and its human-rights crusade. Next crisis in less than 10 days when the United States authorizes arms sales to Taiwan.

When the Hainan POWs are finally freed, it will not be the end of communist intransigence and hostility. Jiang Zemin and his allies have had a choice a modernized, democratic China or a China ruled by a dictatorship founded on a defunct ideology. They have made their choice and the Hainan POWs were the latest victims. More to come.

Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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