Communism for Profiteers

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


previous

Among the plenary workshops and panel discussions in development for the conference are “Making Money in China Today,” “Business and the People’s Liberation Army,” and — congressional investigators take note — “Expanding China’s High-Technology Industrial Base.” In the interest of diplomatic sensitivity, there will be no discussion of impolitic topics like human rights. Not surprisingly, that angers some activists.

“There are positive messages you can send and there are those that condition Chinese authorities to believe they can get away with unacceptable international behavior,” says Minky Worden, who lived in Hong Kong for six years and is now a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch. “This sends an implicit message to Chinese officials that the [current] crackdown is just super with U.S. companies.”

To such criticisms, Fortune spokeswoman Terry McDevitt responds, “We’re a business magazine, not a political magazine. Human rights is not one of the things we normally cover.” She added, “Though I don’t want that to sound like no one here thinks about that.”

The Global Forum will also provide for one of those marvelous moments of media synergy. Time-Warner Inc., which publishes Fortune, is putting the production on. Another of Time-Warner’s subsidiaries, CNN, plans to air coverage of the event.

“It’s natural and appropriate for CNN to cover this gathering,” says Eason Jordan, president of international news for CNN. “The Forum brings together Chinese leaders and many of the world’s top business leaders in the world’s most populous nation on the 50th anniversary of its establishment,” he said. The potential conflict-of-interest will be avoided in the usual way, according to Jordan: “CNN in its reporting on the Forum will disclose what many people already know — CNN and Fortune have the same parent company, Time-Warner.”

Fortune’s Web site urges that interested parties recommend speakers for the magazine’s conferences. You might suggest Bao Tong, the government official who served seven years for speaking out in favor of the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. Send your own recommendations to Fortune at fortuneconf@pathfinder.com.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate