April 11, 2008


A Glimpse into China's Closet (Dan Rabkin, 4/14/08, FrontPageMagazine.com)

In light of China’s achievements, it is not surprising that they want to show their progress off to the rest of the world. However, does China really need the world’s spotlight shining into its closet -- a closet that has the skeletons of Tibet, “re-education camps,” Darfur, and Burma lurking inside? [...]

Domestically: Ever since 1949, when Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China with the words, "the Chinese people have stood up,” tens of millions of Chinese people have lost their lives in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the largest peacetime death toll in history.

In today’s “new China” things are not a whole lot better for those without CPC connections.

A judicial decision is still not required to send members of “banned organizations,” like the Falun Gong, and petty criminals to “re-education camps.” Your run-of-the-mill police force has the authority to detain citizens without charge for three months (a limit that is rarely enforced) or, more than that, to send them to re-education/labor camps for up to four years. Currently, hundreds of thousands of these “criminals” are being held in camps across China.

People are being detained across the PRC for exercising their basic rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of association.

Only organizations that are approved by the CPC can exist; all others are considered “illegal” and membership in them is considered criminal. Participating in public worship without government authorization, for example, is against the law; as is exposing children under the age of 18 to religion.

Censorship of the Internet, books, and television is rampant, and according to the bureaucracy, all news coverage is required to be “80% positive.” Text messaging that is interpreted to “endanger public safety” is also a crime in the “new China.”

By the PRC’s own admission, millions of political dissidents, Christians, human rights activists, environmental activists, and others are languishing away in China’s prisons and detention centers (places where torture, beatings, and execution are commonplace) for simply speaking their minds.

Don’t Go (The Editors, 4/10/08, National Review)
Sometimes we are fortunate in our mistakes.

It was a mistake to allow a cruel dictatorship to host the Olympics. China’s rulers wanted the Olympics because they thought this would be a p.r. triumph. Instead the Olympics are turning into a p.r. disaster for the Communist autocrats. As the torch wends its way to Beijing, shouts of protest meet it at every turn. It’s almost comical to listen to thugs in bureaucrats’ clothing as they denounce the machinations of the “Dalai clique.” That’s the way Mao Zedong talked. That isn’t what the “New China” is supposed to sound like at all — that land of skyscrapers and 10 percent growth and a happy populace with no need for elections, so wise and benevolent are its “leaders.” [...]

Let us consider ourselves lucky, then, that the IOC’s mistake provided an opening to show China how it is seen, rather than an opportunity for Beijing to ratify its self-image. President Bush: Don’t go.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2008 8:05 AM

In fairness, the neocons -- or at least the Standard -- have been beating the China drum for over a decade.

Posted by: Chris at April 12, 2008 10:35 AM