Newt Gingrich Comes to Catholic University

Courtesy of Franchetta Groves

By Franchetta Groves 

CUA College Republicans hosted Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, to talk about his new book, Trump Vs. China, in Heritage Hall on November 19. In both his book and his talk, he discussed the threat that China places on the United States. 

The crowd was made up of students of all ages as well as attendees from the community, about a hundred individuals who came to hear from Gingrich. There were looks of both approval and disapproval from the crowd. One thing is for sure, though, Gingrich’s goal of starting a conversation with his book was achieved through his talk. 

“China will be one of the biggest challenges our generation will face,” Gingrich said about the threats to the United States. 

To substantiate this claim, Gingrich cited examples such as the People’s Liberation Army and China’s stealing intellectual property from the United States. According to Fortune Magazine, China is currently stealing $500 billion dollars of intellectual property each year. According to Gingrich, Trump’s reaction was “that of a businessman” and he decided to place tariffs on the Chinese in hopes of showing economic strength. 

The major threat comes from the People’s Liberation Army, or the military of the Communist Party, who is trained and on guard to hack into the U.S. to steal intellectual property. The Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, led by Xi Jinping, claimed their goal was to create jobs regardless of whether the methods used were capitalist or communist. However, the goal of Xi was to create a stronger economy for the dictatorship as opposed to creating jobs for the benefit of the nation as a whole. 

Gingrich also discussed the Hong Kong Protests and how the United States should respond. 

“If you are a dictatorship and people get the idea they can have a democracy, that’s a huge problem for you,” commented Gingrich on the protests and the Chinese government’s reaction. “We should be in favor of human rights while respecting Chinese sovereignty.”

Another problem and violation of human rights which Gingrich’s speech  identified was that of concentration camps in China. While these camps are justified by the government as simply being “boarding schools”, the human rights violations which he insinuated were inexcusable. Accounts of organ harvesting, gang rapes, and forced abortions have all been reported to have taken place in these camps. 

Gingrich’s goal in writing this book was to start the conversation around the relationship between China and U.S.  Solutions, such as boycotting products made in China was also discussed. This can be one way for students to send a message that we will not support human rights violations. 

Gingrich closed his talk by discussing the Chinese policy of censorship. China does not have the concept of freedom of speech that he United States enjoys. A recent example of this came from the regime’s banning of the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh. Gingrich spoke of why it is important to support these ideals.

 “Do you want to live in a world without Winnie the Pooh?”

Students were able to hear new perspectives on the issues surrounding China and the United States. 

“I really enjoyed the talk and thought it was worthwhile,” said freshman Audrey Wilenta. “He was so knowledgeable about the situation in China and the effects that it will have on the future of our country.”

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