from The Single Most Important Thing You Need To Know About China, A speech by Don Feder to The Awakening Conference, January 7, 2007 — The Cloister. Sea Island, Georgia
By Don Feder, Human Events, DC, USA, 01-11-07-
But neither China’s booming economy nor its alarming military growth is the root of the problem. In any discussion of China, the place to start is with an understanding of the reality of political power on the Mainland.
The People’s Republic of China remains what it was at its inception in 1949, at the end of the civil war — a ruthless, totalitarian state. As the name implies, a totalitarian regime attempts to exert near- absolute control over the lives of its subjects.
China is controlled by the Communist Party. Ostensibly, political power resides in the 3,000-member National People’s Congress. But the Congress is a rubber stamp. In reality, power is exercised by a 9-member standing committee of the CCP politburo. In other words, 9 individuals decide the fate of 1.2 billion people.
The New York Times — never known for hard-line foreign-policy positions — says of China’s current leader, Hu Jintao, that he “governs sternly and secretly, almost never grants interviews, and has overseen an unrelenting crackdown on journalists, lawyers, and religious leaders who defy one-party rule.”
- In its latest report, Freedom House observes, “The Chinese government continued to restrict political rights and repress critics of the regime in 2005. Restrictions on communications became more severe.” Also, Freedom House notes, “The Chinese state closely monitors political activity and uses vaguely worded national security regulations to justify detainment or imprisonment of those who are politically active without party approval.”
- In 2003, Amnesty International reported that in Chinese prisons, “Torture and ill treatment remained widespread … . Common methods included kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, shackling in painful positions, and sleep and food deprivation. Women in detention were vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse.”
- In China, there are over 1,000 “re-education-through-labor” camps scattered about the country.
- There are credible reports of organ harvesting from executed prisoners.
- In the People’s Republic, no fewer than 65 offenses carry the death penalty.
- China’s one-child-per-family policy has led to forced abortions, infanticide and a booming sex industry.
- Former CIA Director James Woolsey describes China as “the worst of the worst” dictatorships.
The communist regime has a morbid fear of opposition to its authority and the independent institutions from which such opposition could arise.
In China, all media are state-owned. There are no independent labor unions. The judiciary is a handmaiden of the regime. In politically sensitive cases, verdicts are directed by the Party. Religions not controlled by the regime are harassed or suppressed — witness the home-church movement and the Falun Gong.
Beijing regularly blocks websites it deems subversive. In 2005, the government shut down over a quarter of the nation’s 573,755 websites.
The same mentality that sent tanks rolling over demonstrators in Tiananmen Square 18 years ago (killing more than 3,000) continues to guide policy toward dissent.
According to Beijing, there were over 87,000 incidents which it terms “public order disturbances” in 2005, up 6.6% from the previous year. These range from scuffles with police to mass protests over land confiscation.
- In a demonstration last July, in a suburb of Hangzhou, riot police used electric batons to break-up a crowd of 3,000 Christians protesting the demolition of a home church.
- Last January, as many as 10,000 riot police were deployed in the village of Panlong in Guagdong province to counter a protest over the confiscation of land for a factory. At least 60 villagers were wounded and a 13-year-old girl was killed.
- In December, 2005 as many as 30 were killed in the village of Donzhou, when security forces fired into a crowd protesting the decision to locate a coal-fired power plant in their midst.
- In China, you can go to jail for taking part in a demonstration, for applying for a permit to hold a demonstration, for reporting on a demonstration, for posting information about a demonstration on the Internet and — if you’re an attorney — for representing someone arrested at a demonstration.
- Last year, a former garment worker at a plant in Shandong province was sentenced to 5 years in prison for trying to collect wages owed to him by a bankrupt state company. You can imagine the punishment for those who really get out of line.
Now, multiply all of this by hundreds of thousands and you begin to have an idea of the status of human rights in the People Republic.
The shimmering skyscrapers of Shanghai, the Western hotels in Beijing and the myriad products rolling off Chinese assembly lines to eventually find their way into American homes often obscure this grim reality.
In 1949, political power was seized with a gun. (Was it not Mao who said power comes from the barrel of a gun?) In China today, political power is literally maintained at gun-point.
America has a government. Britain has a government. Taiwan has a government. China has a regime. The only difference between the Chinese Communist Party and the Mafia is that the former is more successful at what it does, while the latter lacks an ideological rationale for its crimes.
Ergo, totalitarianism must be the starting point in any discussion of China. This is so because totalitarian regimes are inherently unstable. Totalitarian regimes are paranoid. Totalitarian regimes are expansionist. And totalitarian regimes require external enemies. (Extract)