Costco is a hit in China. No doubt. On the opening day of Costco in Shanghai, thousands of customers thronged and jammed the store, fighting in front of shelves packed with meat and other produce, grabbing as much as possible. People had to wait three hours to find a spot in the parking lot; two-hour wait for check out; pork and beef sold out within a couple of hours. In the end, the store was so inundated with eager shoppers that it closed early owing to “security concerns.”
Pricing is a key strategy to the success of Costco, a U.S. wholesale chain. Even Xinhua, the propaganda arm of the Chinese government, reported that “Prices of general merchandise in Costco are 30 to 60 percent lower than market prices and the food sold there is 10 to 20 percent cheaper.” However, Xinhua did not, does not, and will not report the source of the good price, that is, good products and produce made in the USA.
Economics 101 tells us that when demand is greater than supply, price goes up, and vice versa. In 1949, the Communist Party began ruling China. For three to five years, the government confiscated all private businesses and properties. In less than a decade, the regime completely destroyed the Chinese economy by “redistributing” wealth, implementing ideological production plans, and fabricating GDP. Then, the Party created a three-year “natural disaster” and millions of Chinese starved to death. Mao, the leader of the Party, rejected any foreign aid, just like what Maduro is doing to Venezuelans today.
I grew up in the Communist rationing system. A family of four – my parents, my brother and me – had an allocation of one dozen eggs, a pound of sugar, a pound of pork, and 500 ml of peanut oil monthly. During the summer vacation, many parents, like my father, sent their children to stand in line at the grocery store to wait for vegetables to arrive. We were always excited at guessing what vegetable – cabbage, tomato, cucumber, or eggplant – would be unloaded from the truck. Under the planned economy, there was no diversity of agricultural produce. If the truck brought us tomato, every family would have tomato for dinner.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently praised the Chinese government for making “more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization.” However, history repeatedly shows that it is the Communist Party that creates and causes poverty. History also tells us that the Communist Party uses poverty to manipulate people.
Poverty gives the Communist Party an excuse to redistribute wealth and to make poor people believe that it is the Party that lifted people out of poverty. Sadly, people living in the free world are lulled by the lies of the Chinese Communist Party. The recent U.S.-China trade war once again has proved the nature of the Communist Party.
The trade war hurts people in both countries. President Trump has relented in some of his stances because he thinks of how they may affect the American people’s Christmas shopping. Meanwhile, President Xi sacrifices the dinner table of millions of Chinese for his ambition of dominating the world. Had the Chinese government implemented and respected the WTO agreements, the Chinese people would have had a better life than just being “lifted out of the poverty line.” Had the Chinese government traded fairly with the United States, today the Chinese customers would enjoy abundant food at affordable prices.
China’s reality is cruel. The Chinese people hunger for U.S. products, but the Chinese government prefers to say NO to ending the trade war against the United States. Sun Tzu (The Art of War), a famous strategist in ancient China, said, “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” In the current trade war, China is bound to be defeated by the United States, not only because of the impact of tariffs on the Chinese economy, but because of the nature of the Communist Party.