Wed, Mar 01, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Hu is sixth-worst dictator

By Dai Kaifeng

Parade magazine recently selected "The World's 10 Worst Dictators" according to independent human-rights organizations including Freedom House, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders. Criticized for terrorizing and abusing the rights of his own people, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) was ranked sixth.

Although some Chinese have taken advantage of economic liberalization to become rich, up to 150 million Chinese still live on US$1 a day or less in this poverty stricken nation. Between 250,000 and 300,000 political dissidents are held in "reeducation-through-labor" camps without trial. Less than 5 percent of criminal trials include witnesses, and the conviction rate is 99.7 percent. There are no privately owned TV or radio stations. The government opens and censors mail and monitors phone calls, faxes, e-mails and text messages. Last but not least, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, at least 400,000 residents of Beijing have been forcibly evicted from their homes.

The world's largest search engine company, Google, has announced that it is cooperating with China's demand to run a special version of its search engine, which limits online searches for sensitive topics. Both Google and Microsoft have also been enforcing Chinese censorship rules. What's worse, Internet users have been sent to jail because these companies have cooperated with the Chinese government. The result is that freedom of speech is curtailed.

From the facts above, we can see the dictatorship characteristics of communist China as well as its human-rights abuses. Don't be influenced and deceived by its image of rapid economic growth and favorable policies toward Taiwan. This will ensure we don't fall into China's united front trap.

Dai Kaifeng

Taichung

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