Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Robertson Linked to Lippo; TV Host's Credibility Hurt
In a move one observer called "a devilish deal,"televangelist Pat Robertson has quietly set up a financial partnership with the Lippo Froup, a notorious clan of billionaire Chinese speculators, to mass market television in communist China.
Mocchtar Raidy's Lippo Group is partners with the Red Chinese in the Hong Kong Chinese Bank through the China Resources Holding company, a company owned by the Communist Peoples Liberation Army.
"You might also call it 'profits before patriotism,'" added portfolio analyst Cornell Toth. "The gold rush to make a fast dollar in mainland china has paid off big for corporate promoters and wheeler-dealers like the Lippo syndicate. But it's murdering the U.S. economy."
Regional observers, queried by this populist newspaper at the annual meeting of the World Bank held in Washington last month, expressed similar concerns.
"During Clinton's first term, the Chinese sold us an avalanche of merchandise worth $132 billion more than the goods -- mostly manufacturing equipment -- they bought from us," said Dr. Emil Beizmann, an economist specializing in Asian studies at Johns Hopkins University.
According to the standard measure of 17,000 industrial jobs lost for every billion dollars of such a trade deficit, more than 2 million American workers have either found themselves idled or forced into taking lower-paying employment as a result of Washington's ardent courtship of China.
This dizzy imbalance is caused by China's curbs and restrictions on what the White House likes to call 'free trade' an outright lie," says Rolon O'Connor, a commerce analyst at the Overseas Investment Council of New York. "In reality, our chumminess with China depends largely on lies of one sort or another."
To make his point, O'Connor cited the ongoing debate between the administration and Congress over granting China the low tariffs and other preferences reserved for a Most Favored nation (MFN) - the legal status enjoyed by most U.S. trading partners.
"I bet half the politicians holding forth about his issue have next to no real notion of what MFN really is," O'Connor explained. "That particular legislation, going back to 1934, provided preferential tariffs only for the exports of nations with which we had an even-handed, wholly reciprocal trade relationship."
Under MFN, a country could send its wares to America only to the extent to which is allowed U.S. goods into its own markets. But China has never even remotely met that fundamental requirement of the law, these sources say.
China blocks American imports with "an enormous web of trade barriers, including high tariffs, quotas, import taxes, labyrinthine licensing requirements, state subsides and other restrictions," concluded a recent study compiled by Dr. Greg Mastel and Andrew Szamosszegi for the Economic Strategy Institute of Washington (ESI).
What this means is that Washington's willingness to grant Red China MFN status year after year is not merely "deceptive but illegal," argues Prof. Joachim Larrain, who specializes in international trade law.
The result is that this year "China has grown into the largest bilateral source of U.S. trade losses," with a surplus now reported at $41.22 billion and rising, motes the ESI survey.
The study warns that "Chinese exports that directly compete with U.S. firms and workers, such as electronic and transportation equipment, are growing rapidly."
Given these facts, why should the White House encourage ever-closer business relations with Red China? The answer may lie in the illegal contributions and under-the-table payoffs reportedly received by Clinton's campaign organization from the Chinese Communists, World Bank sources privately says.
The Lippo Group -- the business partners of Christian Coalition leader Robertson -- is now under intensive federal investigation for having allegedly engaged in just such criminal influence-buying in Washington on behalf of China's brutal communist rulers.
Spokespersons for the Robertson organization, queried by The SPOTLIGHT about the broadcast evangelist's joint ventures with the scandal-ridden Lippo syndicate, would respond only with a stiff "No Comment."
Let's hope Robertson comes up with a better answer when he is questioned by the FBI about his backroom ties with these Oriental influence-mongers," Toth said. "Otherwise we may never know whether his efforts to squeeze fat profits from one world's most ruthless-Godless-slave economies were bless by providence."