Asian-Americans Learn the Victim Game

The American Enterprise*, October/November 2002

The Committee of 100, an organization composed of prominent Chinese-Americans like cellist Yo-Yo Ma and architect I. M. Pei, has recently been busy apologizing for the communist regime in China. In July, the Committee wagged its finger at the U.S.-China Security Review Commission for reporting that the current Chinese government poses a grave challenge to U.S. national security interests.

According to the Congressionally appointed commission, Beijing supplies rogue states like Iraq, Iran, Libya, and North Korea with weapons of mass destruction; builds up its military in preparation for a takeover of democratic Taiwan; attempts to steal technology through Chinese nationals studying and working in the U.S.; undercuts the U.S. in international parlays; and brainwashes Chinese citizens with anti-Americanism to the point where many Chinese gloated over September 11.

Rather than condemning China for these abuses, the Committee of 100 denounced the Security Review Commission for engaging in “ethnic stereotyping.” The loyalty of all Chinese-Americans has been questioned by the commission, they squealed.

The Committee has quite a history of being outraged. When Congress investigated the mid- I990s attempts of the Chinese government to infiltrate American politics through illegal campaign contributions, the Committee cried racism. When National Review portrayed the Clintons and Al Gore in Manchurian garb in a caricature, the magazine was accused of racism by Asian groups, complete with street protests and television appearances. TAE’s own cover for July/August 1998-a photo of a scowling Chinese man-inspired similar howls.

With this latest posturing, the Committee of 100 has shown itself to be just another peddler of ethnic victimization, a group utterly unprepared to tell the painful truth about contemporary China. If they were truly committed to the interests of Chinese-Americans, they would start by channeling some of their abundant outrage against China’s oppressive government.

*The American Enterprise was the flagship publication of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. In 2006, the magazine was relaunched as The American.

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