Every one of us makes “To-Do” lists to help us on the way
So we won’t forget the many things we plan to do each day.
Every country has a “To-Do” list as well, and China, too,
Here’s a partial list of things that China’s leaders plan to do.

Build an artificial island in the middle of the sea;
Stick a flag in it and claim it for your nation’s sovereignty.
Claim the waters that surround it are your property as well;
Tell the world they must accept it or you’ll send them all to hell.

Take your citizens who gripe and round them up as dissidents;
Then destroy them in a way that helps establish precedents
For extending the oppression to whoever you don’t like,
While erecting concentrations camps like Germany’s Third Reich.

For example, make the Falun Gong and Uighurs disappear,
Carve them up and lock them down so they will never reappear.
Use barbed wire to keep them working in the Nike factory
While re-educating them to serve the CCP and Xi.

With technology invade the internet and use your clout
To manipulate elections, steal data, cancel out
Anything that stands between you and extending global reach
Into people’s private lives like some blood-sucking, cyber leech.

Grind morality and ethics underneath your sandaled heel,
Then manipulate and shape what people think and say and feel.
Stick your greedy, godless finger in the Dali Lama’s eye
And pretend that you’re as innocent as Mom and Apple Pie.

Lure investors from around the world into your lion’s den
Take their money and their souls, make them dependent on you, then
Turn the screws and threaten ruin if they fail to bow and scrape,
And pay Google lots of money to engage in data rape.

You’re inscrutable, a puzzle, enigmatic, parabolic.
You are single-minded, purposeful, determined, hyperbolic
Wielding iron-fisted rule in ways both modern and medieval.
You are wicked, cruel, unfeeling, diabolical and evil.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. 

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14 Responses

  1. Damian Robin

    Neatly said, Jim. Near to Gilbert and Sullivan. Have you thought of musical-ising it?

  2. Damian Robin

    An illustration of
    “Lure investors from around the world into your lion’s den
    Take their money and their souls, make them dependent on you, then
    Turn the screws and threaten ruin if they fail to bow and scrape,”


    It also shows the arrogance and dehumanising side of Musk’s future projections for mankind’s future.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Damian, you responded to what I consider one of the two best written and powerful lines in the poem. In this case, one that illustrates the truth of St. Paul’s words, “the love of money is (at) the root of all (or ‘many’) evil(s).” As well as the words of Jesus, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be, also.”

      We all too often seek ephemeral treasure and lay up great stores of what moth and rust will consume—all of which will prove to be worthless on our deathbed when we realize that our hearts have been in the wrong place all along

      As someone once said, “No one’s final words have ever been, ‘I’m so glad we finished that bathroom remodel. It turned out really well!’”

      We so easily succumb to temptation and eagerly trade our birthright for a mess of pottage and “gain the world” (or merely “Wales”) at the expense of our soul.

      Sadly, our misplaced treasure often come at others’ expense—even, at times, the cost of their other people’s lives—or Even, perhaps, the life of our own country.

      China knows this and, like the Sirens of myth, is playing the West for suckers, taking us to their bank, and leaving us stripped of our souls.

      The Prayer is worth praying: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

      I expect to hear an “Amen!” from the choir.

  3. Julian D. Woodruff

    Brilliant, brilliant, Mr. Tweedie! I only wish you’d taken on the CCP’s behavior toward the Catholic Church (to say nothing of the Vatican’s behavior towards the CCP).

    • James A. Tweedie

      Sadly, the PRC’s “to-do” list is too long to include everything—religious persecution, financial corruption and infiltration of higher education, the silencing of foreign nationals by means of torture and imprisonment of their families in China, the leveraging of natural resources (such as their massive reserves of rare earth) for political and economic concessions . . . And on and on. . .

      • Julian D. Woodruff

        Right. And I might have said that the omission I pointed out (or any of those you mention) in no way detracts from the quality or value of your poem.

  4. Paul Freeman

    Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, while Europe and America have been cutting back on aid, China has been carrying out infrastructure projects that recipient countries can’t possibly pay off (especially if the presidents and their cronies have embezzled large quantities of the investment money). This guarantees China a constant supply of cheap raw materials.

    China is also injecting entrepreneurial couples into towns and villages across the continent to run grocery stores, learn the language and keep an eye on things. It’s basically a return to old-style colonialism.

    • Paul Freeman

      I’m glad you’re highlighting the imperial-style expansion of China onto disputed islands like the Spratlys and the plight of the Uighurs, James. Until recently the world has been sitting on its hands on these two issues.

      We’re good at saying never again, not so good at making sure never again.

      • James A. Tweedie

        Sadly, Paul, human nature tends to seek immediate gratification. Perhaps this comes from the instinctual need to survive in the wild.

        Sacrificing in the now to secure something better for the future seems to be a discipline that has fallen by the wayside lately.

        Investors want dividends now, even if it means the company moves to China, 20,000 American workers lose their jobs, and the quality of the product degenerates to being near worthless.

        A curious illustration of this:

        I have, for the past several years, shaved with Gilette Atra blades. They WERE wonderful, but the quality of the blades ahs declined to garbage so, today, I switched and purchased a set of Gilette’s FusionFive blades and handle.

        I mention this because I just now (after the fact) looked it up on the internet and guess what? Gilette’s Atra blades are made in . . . drum roll . . . China.

        And the FusionFive blades? . . . drum roll . . . in the USA.

        And now Ford is telling UAW that they are planning to move a $900 million project from Ohio to Mexico.

        It’s all about the money.

        And China is laughing at us–not only behind our backs but in front of the whole world.

  5. Jeff Eardley

    Mr Tweedie, I love how your poetry says so much in such a lyrical way. “Blood-sucking cyber leech” is wonderful, as is “Dali Lama’s eye” with “Mom and apple pie.” I look forward to the day that you and the amazing SJB embark on a poetry tour of England. A wonderful and most disturbing piece, Thank you so much.

    • James A. Tweedie


      I have visited England six times and would love to have an excuse to do it again.

      Sign me up!

      And a joint visit with SJB (and Mike as chaperone) would be a double bonus!

      Thanks for the kind words.

  6. C.B. Anderson

    I cannot disagree with anything you have written, either in the poem itself or in the comment section, but China is such an easy target here at the SCP that I can’t give you full credit for bringing to light anything new. That’s ok, for today is, after all, Thor’s day.

    • James A. Tweedie


      CB, If I told the reason why I wrote the poem you’d understand. But I’m not telling.


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