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March 11, 2005

Trade Has Been the Trojan Horse for the Gospel in China

The discussion that my blogger-in-law Doug at Considerettes has with Bill Bennett on Homespun Bloggers Radio program #6 about his concerns that engaging China in the world economy will keep us from holding them accountable for their human rights record reminds me of my secret project to keep China open to trade.

Several years ago, when Congress voted each year on whether to maintain China’s Most Favored Nation trade status, I took on a public relations project that served the cross purposes of Christians ministering in China and the U.S. business community. Hired by individuals whose identity remains secret to this day (I’ll reveal them when they die), we worked to target key congressman with the message that keeping China open to trade also kept open the channel through which the Gospel was being delivered. Business was—-and is—-a Trojan Horse for the Gospel in China.

We created the Association of Christian Ministries in China, which was comprised of a group of U.S. missionary-sending organizations working in China. Many of these organizations had to remain anonymous. But the ACMC was real and the organizations wanted trade to remain robust and China to remain a Most Favored Nation.

With so many anonymous partners, this campaign drove the media crazy and infuriated other Christian leaders who were opposed to MFN status for China.

Today, we need to keep the pressure on China’s human rights performance. But we can best do that as we engage them in business. However, we have to step through these open doors and seek more freedoms for the Chinese people. Otherwise, we’re just stuck with all the cheap Chinese products in our stores, with no impact on the faith and freedom in China.

Posted by Jim at March 11, 2005 08:00 AM

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» KINGDOM BLOGS - Around the Sphere Today! (3/11) from The SHEEP'S CRIB - Issues
Here is a view of the nexus between capitalism and missions relative to 10/40 countries that I honestly had not considered ... and I appreciate the knowledge, sketchy as it is. [Read More]

Tracked on March 11, 2005 09:13 PM


Another reason that this question isn't completely settled in my mind. It's a toughie.

Posted by: Doug Payton at March 11, 2005 08:44 AM

There must be a combined approach that uses trade to open the doors and pressure to create protections for human rights. The balance between these approaches seems far from ideal at present.

Posted by: RLG at March 12, 2005 05:45 AM