In my previous blog in this series, I argued that Margaret Chan has a long record of sacrificing public health at the behest of the Chinese government. In return, they have strongly backed her rise to Director-General of the WHO. I believe that she made her odious statements defending North Korea’s public health status at the urging of the government of China.
I have seen a number of news stories by reporters who seem puzzled as to why Margaret Chan would support the Communist Dictatorship in North Korea. They seem not to know that she is a citizen of a country with a Communist Dictatorship (China) and that she owes her job to those same Communist Dictators. They also seem to have forgotten that the United Nations (led by the United States) fought a war with China over Korea. One that nearly ended in a nuclear exchange. But at least one reporter, Joel Brinkley, seems to understand why China would seek to underplay the crisis in public health in North Korea. Because they own the crisis in public health in North Korea, that’s why.
From, the San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, 2010:
Over the last several years, China has given North Korean government officials jewels and precious stones worth $4 million, perfume and cosmetics worth $4.7 million, furs valued at $3.8 million as well as alcohol and tobacco products worth $44 million, all in direct violation of a 2006 United Nations Security Council sanction that China voted to approve.
We can legitimately ask why China holds up a regime that allows its economy to remain in such “dire straits” that “a considerable share of the population is on the edge of starvation,” as a Congressional Research Service report puts it. Meantime, China feeds the political and military elite cigarettes, jewels, perfume and yachts.
Government and NGO reports from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan detail China’s luxury-good exports and show that they actually increased by 40 percent in the year after the first nuclear-weapon test. The congressional report says most of the luxury items “come into North Korea largely cost-free.” If anyone is to blame for North Korea’s renegade behavior and the misery of its people, it is China.
UNICEF reports that almost half of North Korea’s children are so malnourished that they grow up stunted, both physically and mentally. The problem is irreversible and so prevalent that the military had to lower its height requirement for new troops, to meet its recruiting goals. The average height for a 17-year-old boy now is 5 feet.
During the 1990s, as many as 2 million people starved to death. Now, World Food Program data show that the number of malnourished adults has grown by one-third over the last decade. And yet China blithely sends along steaks, oysters and lead-crystal glassware for Kim and his cronies.
China’s motives are clear enough. Its leaders know that if they back away from North Korea, reduce or eliminate aid, the regime will quickly collapse. Almost everyone in the world would welcome that except China. The Chinese worry about millions of refugees pouring over the border, about a new government in Pyongyang dominated by South Korea and its ally, the United States.
This series is entitled Margaret Chan versus Amnesty International, but that’s not quite accurate. It’s really Margaret Chan versus Amnesty International, the FAO, the World Food Program, UNICEF, the Congressional Research Service, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and pretty much the rest of the free world.
The stakes are high for the Korean people. Millions have already died as a direct result of the Chinese government’s support of the North Korean dictators. Now, they are using their puppet at the WHO, Margaret Chan, to feed the world false information about the public health status of the people in North Korea. If her lies are believed, millions more North Koreans may die.
And that may be precisely what Margaret Chan’s sponsors in Beijing want. Korea would be more “manageable” that way.
The next blog will describe how the Chinese government has employed agents who operate in the West to promote Margaret Chan and smooth her way with both the mainstream media and the blogosphere.