CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA – Some worry President Trump's trade war with China is dangerous business, pitting the world's two largest economies against each other. And they say the president doesn't really know what he's doing when it comes to the Asian giant. But a leading Chinese dissident now on the faculty at Washington's Catholic University of America says Trump is tackling that dictatorship just like it should be taken on.
Why does it matter what Chen Guangcheng says on this matter? Well, he was a dissident imprisoned and tormented for years by the authorities in China, and he says that taught him exactly how the Chinese Communists need to be handled.
Respects Only Power & Money
"I've had a lot of experience in dealing with the Chinese Communist Party and I understand them," Chen told CBN News.
Trump's taking hits for waging this trade war with China and escalating tensions with the Middle Kingdom.
But in a recent Washington Post op-ed entitled "Trump has the right strategy on Beijing. As a Chinese dissident, I'd know", Chen writes, "…as someone who has spent years with the knife edge of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) bearing down on my throat for my human rights work, I know that the president is on to something. Tariffs and economic threats may be blunt tools, but they are the kind of aggressive tactics necessary to get the attention of the CCP regime, which respects only power and money."
'A Party of Hooligans'
"The Chinese Communist Party is a party of hooligans," Chen said in his interview. "If I had to describe it, I would say it's a party that has taken all the worst from authoritarian regimes around the world to use for its own benefit."
Chen writes in that op-ed, "Trump, whatever his flaws, grasps this reality. Unlike many of his predecessors in the White House, Trump appears to understand innately the hooliganism and brutality at the heart of the CCP." And he adds, "The only way to make progress is by landing pointed blows."
During much of the Cold War and even after, many in the West appeared to feel the Soviets were the bad Commies, but the Chinese were the nicer ones, not so dictatorial.
'Sending Out a Lot of Propaganda'
"The reason a lot of Westerners might think that the CCP is better than the Soviets is that they really don't understand the CCP or they haven't dealt firsthand with it. They don't know that what the CCP has been showing people is kind of what it's created itself," Chen argued. "And it's sending out a lot of propaganda to distort the image."
Chen says Trump sees through this propaganda and the dissident concludes in his op-ed, "Trump is the first president in recent memory to seriously say to this communist dictatorship: If you want to keep doing business with us, you have to change."
Chen insists you can't just listen to what the Chinese Communists say. You have to pay attention to what they do and have done. And over their 70-year rule, they've killed some 40 million of their own citizens. And still today they imprison and persecute millions more. Chen says handling them with kid gloves is exactly the wrong thing to do.