Criticisms of corruption, a poorly managed bureaucracy and uninformed, unprincipled or unaccomplished policy in China are often met with harsh punishments. Many protesters in the “blank paper movement,” for example, have been disappeared by the authorities.
Meanwhile, the WHO has asked China to provide data on its COVID-19 situation, with the Chinese government choosing to disseminate propaganda instead.
The first amendment of the US Constitution, written in 1791, prohibits the US government from abridging the freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, or religion. More than 200 years later, China, the world’s second-largest economy, still lacks the freedoms of speech and the press, among others.
A democratic government of the people, by the people and for the people would listen to people’s complaints, as power originates from people. Freedom of speech is essential to achieve that purpose.
On the contrary, an autocratic government, which derives its power from a dictator, would not hesitate to suppress people’s voices and ignore their concerns.
It has been reported in China that some people who had received three doses of the Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine have died, while some unvaccinated people have survived COVID-19 infection.
Although there is no statistical data to confirm its scientific merits, the efficacy of one or two doses of the Sinovac vaccine has consistently been shown to be much lower than that of mRNA vaccines in all age groups. Therefore, it is scientifically puzzling that earlier studies have said three doses of the Sinovac vaccine matches the efficacy of mRNA vaccines.
That Sinovac’s inactivated vaccine does not provide effective protection against the Omicron subvariants of SARS-CoV-2 supports the argument that such vaccines might divert the immune system toward multiple targets, compromising its resilience against the mutated virus.
China and the WHO should find out the facts and quickly supplement the vaccines currently on offer in China with mRNA vaccines to save lives.
As former US president Thomas Jefferson said: “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
Only weak people are afraid of truth. Truth makes people, and consequently a country, strong.
The ills and grievances of a society cannot be treated if truth is not revealed. Journalists serve as the eyes of the public. Without freedom of the press, society can hardly be managed properly, as problems can be swept under the rug and lessons from past mistakes cannot be learned.
Since the beginning of this year, the term “human mine” has been circulating on the Internet among Chinese dissidents. This disturbing word in its darkest meaning has to do with live organ harvesting.
A 15-year-old high-school student named Hu Xinyu (胡鑫宇), carrying the same rare blood type as that of a high-ranking Chinese official, disappeared from his school campus in October last year. Concurrently, a eulogy to retired Chinese official Gao Zhanxiang (?占祥), who recently died of COVID-19, explicitly described how he had had numerous organ transplants. Suspicions have been expressed online how these stories reflect a horrifying picture of the rampant organ harvesting “business” in China.
Laws are the standard operating procedures of a society, which accumulates wisdom from aspirations, ideas and mistakes.
Crimes against humanity must be punished and laws must be enforced to prevent them from happening again. Unfortunately, an autocratic government simply wants to cover them up and pretend “there is no there there.” As a result, several serious human right issues in China have not been properly addressed. Would this be similar to a pressure cooker ready to explode? The truth will come out in the end.
In the meantime, tearing down China’s cyberspace “iron curtain” by using satellite communication or other means has become ever more urgent to save lives, protect human rights and dismantle autocracy. Only truth will set the country free.
James J.Y. Hsu is a retired professor of physics.
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