How Much Do You Trust a Communist Dictatorship? – by Ambassador Cornstein

July 31, 2020

One of the most important things in life is knowing who your friends are and whom you trust.  As a successful businessman I often look to numbers, and polling around the world shows that people don’t trust what the Chinese Communist Party has to say. But as a life-long New Yorker I often rely on something else as well: good old-fashioned common sense.  I was reminded of this when I saw comments made by my counterpart from the People’s Republic of China, who described as “lies” a number of hard truths I shared in my interview last week with M1. I respect the people of Hungary deeply enough to know they have the common sense to understand what a communist dictatorship stands for on one side, and freedom and democracy stand for on the other.

You can see the Chinese Communist Party’s intentions crystal clear — just look at their mass religious persecution of Christians, Muslims, and others; their recent evisceration of Hong Kong’s freedoms; their actions in the East and South China Seas; and of course their response to COVID-19. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated recently, “Today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else.”

The people of Hungary know all too well from their own history that communist dictatorships are oppressive not only at home but abroad, and withhold critical information from their own people and the rest of the world. We’ve seen this in repeated reports from press and medical staff in Hungary and around the world about over-priced, poor-quality medical equipment that supposedly came as “gifts” of the Chinese Communist Party. Likewise, the people of Hungary understand clearly that companies based in communist dictatorships – such as Huawei or ZTE – are obligated to obey their government’s orders to cooperate with their intelligence services. I believe the people of Hungary know whether they can and should trust such regimes.

Your success and security in life are often determined by the friends you keep.  I’ll let the Hungarian public decide which friends are better for them and their country’s future.  That choice is clearer by the day, between freedom and democracy on one side and tyranny and authoritarianism on the other.  I feel confident which side Hungary and the wonderful, freedom-loving Hungarian people will choose.