China’s State Council Information Office on Sunday issued a white paper, Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China, proclaiming that Chinese enjoy real democracy and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has made regular contributions to the international cause of human rights.
The paper said that living a happy life is the primary human right, along with the rights to subsistence and development, and vowed that China would continue to uphold cultural diversity and work with the international community for progress in human rights worldwide.
As a work of satire, the paper is a minor masterpiece, but unfortunately for Chinese, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not known for its sense of humor, so the only explanation for the paper’s ludicrous claims and proclamations is hubris.
The paper was simply the latest piece of pro-party propaganda ahead of Tuesday’s celebrations to mark the PRC’s 70th anniversary, key because by reaching 70, the PRC would have surpassed its old ally and nemesis, the Soviet Union, which only made it to 69.
China has undoubtedly progressed economically over the past 70 years and vast numbers of Chinese are living substantially improved lives, materially speaking, than their parents and grandparents even dreamed of — but at what cost?
How much more developed, how much better off would the nation be without the damage and wounds inflicted by the CCP in its quest for power and prestige, and its rampant paranoia?
Think of the tens of millions who died of starvation during the Great Famine of 1959 to 1961, thanks to the CCP’s policies under Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) Great Leap Forward; the untold numbers killed during the purges of the Cultural Revolution; the Tiananmen Square Massacre and related killings and imprisonments; the hundreds of thousands of farmers who caught HIV in the early 1990s from the government’s primitive — and profit-driven — blood and plasma collection drives; the number of academics, scientists, physicians, lawyers, writers and students who could have contributed to the nation had they not fallen foul of the CCP by criticizing its policies or standing up for the rights enshrined in the constitution.
This month there have been several reminders of the human cost of this progress — and not just in Hong Kong: the footage showing hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men, believed to be Uighurs and other minorities, being transferred by train in Xinjiang; the death in custody of 38-year-old activist Wang Meiyu (王美余), who was arrested in July after calling on the president and premier to resign, and whose body showed clear signs of torture; and the loss of Wang Shuping (王淑平), who died in the US last Saturday at the age of 59, having been driven into exile after exposing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV among poor villagers through plasma drives in the early 1990s.
Her resolve to tell the truth cost Wang Shuping her job, first marriage and her home, but she later told interviewers that the price had been worth it because she had “helped save the lives of thousands and thousands of people” — a sentiment undoubtedly shared by many of the CCP’s critics over the decades who were silenced by prison terms, death or both.
The Great Firewall and other censorship efforts have been in overdrive this year because of the anniversary, but what the CCP has, perhaps, failed to realize is that technology is a double-edged sword.
It has given the party ever-more intrusive tools by which to try to control its people, but it has also made it easier for academics, analysts and the average person to investigate and find evidence of the CCP’s machinations and crimes against humanity.
As so many times in the past, the CCP has been hoisted by its own petard, to quote the Bard.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday last week announced it would impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a vast paramilitary organization that is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been linked to human rights violations against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions follow US travel bans against other Xinjiang officials and the passage of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which authorizes targeted sanctions against mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to Beijing’s imposition of national security legislation on the territory. The sanctions against the corps would be implemented
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose