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China’s Newest Exports

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This helps explain why the Chinese dictatorship is so determined to convince a global audience that the Second Amendment is a human rights violation. The dictatorship’s denigration of the right to keep and bear arms is, at its core, an attempt to give China’s harsh anti-gun laws a veneer of legitimacy.

Like most dictatorships, the Chinese Communists need repressive gun control. All over China today, you can buy Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book”—a collection of pithy quotes from the worst mass murderer in history. According to Mao: “Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.’” (From “Problems of War and Strategy,” Nov. 6, 1938.)

As applied by Mao, here’s what that quote means: Chinese Communists know they could never win a fair election, so the only way for them to take political power is by violence, and the only way for them to keep political power is using or threatening violence against dissenters.

This is why the Chinese Communist regime—like Nazi Germany and Eastern European Communists of the past, and North Korea’s Communist leadership today—have worked to keep the masses of the people disarmed. That is why even today, China has the death penalty for “serious” cases of illegal gun sales or possession.

Mao’s picture today is pervasive in China, including on six denominations of currency: 1 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 20 yuan, 50 yuan and 100 yuan. Imagine if you went to Germany today and found heroic portraits of Adolf Hitler hung everywhere—if schoolchildren there were forced to honor him and study his writings. Imagine if the German government today hesitated to admit Hitler made some “mistakes,” and insisted that all Germans revere him as their “great leader.”

That’s essentially the situation in China today. Unlike Germany, China has never confronted its genocidal past. Every government that has perpetrated genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries has ensured its victims were first disarmed. If the Chinese people had been as well armed in the Mao years as the American people are today, Mao would not have been able to murder so many of them.

Though continued repression of the Chinese people may be the Communist regime’s main interest in gun control, it is not its only interest.

First, there is the independent nation of Taiwan, which the Chinese regime wishes to annex. Since 1895, Taiwan and China have had the same government for only four years (1945-49). Before 1895, China long ruled western Taiwan but never
the eastern half.

Today, Taiwan is democratic, independent and sovereign—yet the Chinese Communists claim to own Taiwan. The new United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, set to be unveiled in July, will provide China with legal arguments to claim that all U.S. arms sales to Taiwan’s military violate international law. Details are available in a new report from The Heritage Foundation entitled “Arms Trade Treaty Could Jeopardize u.s. Ability to Provide for Taiwan’s Defense” (

Like the NRA, the Heritage Foundation is an excellent source of reliable information about U.N. gun control, and has several research papers on the problem. Unlike some groups that try to make a fast buck from hysterical and misleading e-mails, both the NRA and The Heritage Foundation are scrupulously accurate in their publications regarding the U.N.

Another strategic Chinese interest in global gun control is Tibet, a nation that was self-governing for centuries until Mao invaded and colonized it in 1951.

Before the Chinese invasion, Tibet had one of the most abundant big game populations in the world. But that population has been devastated by Chinese soldiers who hunt endangered species with machine guns. Przewalski’s gazelle, Tibetan antelope (“chiru”), boar, wolves, mountain cats, musk deer and many other species are being hunted to extinction.

The Tibetan wild yak, which once numbered in the millions, has been decimated. Giant herds of wild ass once roamed Tibet, and being unafraid of man would gallop alongside human riders for hours. So when the Chinese army arrived with machine guns they found it easy to slaughter 50 or 60 wild asses at a time. These “hunters” would then harvest the meat of just two or three of the dead animals.

What the Chinese Army has done to Tibet’s wildlife it is also doing to its people. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who won the Nobel Prize for exposing the horrors of Soviet Communism, called the Chinese rule in Tibet “more brutal and inhumane than any other communist regime in the world.”

One-sixth of the Tibetan population has been exterminated in prison camps or by starvation. Six thousand Buddhist monasteries, temples and other cultural structures have been destroyed.

Chinese soldiers garrison every major town in Tibet to prevent rebellion. Elite soldiers watch the regular troops to keep them from revolting.

Life in Tibet before the Chinese Communist invasion was pastoral, primitive and peaceful. Now the majority of the population in much of Tibet are Chinese immigrants living in concrete apartment blocks.

At the behest of Tibet’s spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama, most Tibetans have not attempted violent resistance to the criminal Chinese regime. But there is growing support for active resistance, especially among younger people. Tibetans have considerably greater ability to operate in the Himalayan country’s thin air and rugged mountains than do Chinese conscripts from the Pacific coast. Armed, determined resistance in Tibet could cause enormous problems for the dictatorship.

Again, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty will provide China with the legal tools to claim that any attempt to supply arms to Tibetan freedom fighters is a violation of international law.

Tragically, the Obama administration, unlike the George W. Bush administration, is actively supporting a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which is being negotiated as this issue goes to press. Today, thanks to NRA members who helped elect pro-gun candidates, there are enough votes in the Senate to block ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty. Yet the Senate can exert little control on what the Obama administration does at the U.N., and without U.S. leadership, there is almost no possibility that the Arms Trade Treaty can be stopped from being approved by the U.N. and becoming part of international law.

Like the Chinese regime, the U.N. itself claims that widespread citizen ownership of firearms is a violation of human rights. When John Bolton was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President Bush, the U.S. delegation pushed hard against this U.N. propaganda. Now, the U.S. delegation at the U.N. never objects to the libeling of the Second Amendment.

The propaganda of the Chinese dictatorship and the U.N. is meant to delegitimize the very idea of gun ownership. As a result, people in other democratic nations may be less likely to call upon their own governments to supply arms to freedom fighters who are resisting dictatorships.

Finally, you may have noticed that throughout this article, only the Chinese “dictatorship” or “regime” is referenced, and not the Chinese “government.” This is because, properly speaking, China today has no government. As the Declaration of Independence affirms, the only legitimate governments are those whose power derives from the consent of the governed. The dictatorial coterie of thieves who rule China today are a “government” only in the sense that a gang of robbers that has its victims trapped in an alley could claim to be the “government” of the alley. In both the alley and in today’s China, the form of government is kleptocracy—rule by thieves.

Like the petty robbers in the alley, the great robbers of China rule by force, not by consent. Like the petty robbers, the great robbers know that they can continue to succeed with their crimes only so long as their victims remain unarmed.

Thus, it is entirely sensible that when the Chinese kleptocrats try to poison world opinion about American freedom, their first target is our right to keep and bear arms—the inalienable and universal human right that, if it could be exercised in modern China, could lead to the end of the current kleptocracy. As the Chinese regime’s anti-U.S. propaganda implicitly recognizes, the right to keep and bear arms truly is America’s First Freedom.

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