October 11, 2005


China activist survives beating (Quentin Sommerville, 10/11/05, BBC News)

Chinese activist Lu Banglie has been speaking of his beating by unidentified men as he tried to visit a village at the centre of a corruption dispute.

Mr Lu had been supporting the villagers of Taishi in their campaign to remove local authorities who are accused of embezzling public funds.

He remembers being dragged from a car by a group of around 30 men.

His attackers beat him until he was unconscious, and his next memory is waking up in hospital.

Where are the President and Condi Rice to speak out about this?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2005 8:15 AM

I'm happy to hear that Lu survived the beating, but this still doesn't change the fact that the PRC is a criminal state.

This case also provides an interesting contrast between the old Taiwan that was dominated by the KMT and the China of today, and shows the differences in the potential for democratization between Taiwan back then and China today.

Back in 1984, a Chinese-American journalist named Henry Liu was assassinated near San Francisco. He had written a Chinese biography of Chiang Ching-kuo, who was the son of the deceased Chiang Kai-shek and was the President of the Republic of China. In the book, Liu revealed that Chiang had been a fervent Communist during his sojourn in the Soviet Union many decades earlier. Although this bit of history had long been an open secret among many knowledgeable people, for his act of lese majeste, Liu was murdered by killers from the Taiwanese underworld on orders from the Military Intelligence Bureau of Taiwan's Ministry of Defense. There were also rumors that one of Chiang Ching-Kuo's own sons might have been involved.

The assassination was very big news in Asia at the time. I myself remember watching it being reported on prime-time TV news in Hong Kong. No one questioned back then that there were strong criminal elements in Taiwan's regime.

What subsequently happened, though, showed the very real difference between Taiwan and China. Chiang Ching-kuo became very angry when he heard the news about Liu's murder. There was absolutely no doubt he had not ordered or authorized it. Chiang was famous for saying that if he was rightly criticized by anyone, he deserved it, and that if he was wrongly criticized, he would be defended by those who supported the truth. In his last days, Chiang also repeatedly stressed that no one from the Chiang family would succeed him as the leader of Taiwan. Finally, against the vehement protests of the KMT's hard-line party elders, he legalized opposition political parties in Taiwan, and initiated the process of liberalization that would culminate in the island's complete democratization after his death. In short, in the legacy he left Taiwan, Chiang completely repudiated the criminal elements in the island's regime. Liu's assassination proved to be the exception rather than the rule, and very likely accelerated the democratic transformation of Taiwanese politics. Chiang was not a saint, but unlike his contemporary Deng Xiaoping, who had been in Moscow at the same time he had been, he gave his people in Taiwan not just the gift of economic prosperity but the chance to govern themselves too if they so chose.

In contrast, in China today, Lu's beating is more the rule than the exception. As Deng's heirs, the Communists continue to wage war against their own people. Many millions of followers of Falungong and of Christianity will readily attest to that. Unlike in Taiwan, China's criminals have't been repudiated by its regime. They run it.

Yes, oj is right. Why haven't President Bush and Condi Rice spoken out for freedom?

Posted by: X at October 11, 2005 10:54 AM

Y'know who will speak about this? Hillary, in the summer & fall of 2008. China was the primary foreign policy obsession of Clinton-Gore '92, and she's not exactly an original political thinker, is she?

Posted by: b at October 11, 2005 11:24 AM

b, She may not want to go there given the questionable dealings her husband's administrations appears to have had with the Chinese.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 11, 2005 11:39 AM

jd: Perhaps not. But her press coverage will require the coining of a new word, since "fawning" won't nearly convey the truth. And the one thing that she'll welcome more than anything is the opportunity to slam her husband's administration's failures...

Posted by: b at October 11, 2005 11:58 AM

JDK's right:

If history is any guide, Hillary -- or maybe she'll just send a bagman, maybe Obama -- will be at some Budhist temple accepting a auitcase full of cash from the PRC.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 11, 2005 12:02 PM

Unfortunately, the PRC's leaders know all about the weaknesses of the American political system, and it only deepens their contempt for this country even as they fear it and see it as a last refuge if they should ever be overthrown.

Posted by: X at October 11, 2005 12:31 PM

It'll take someone with the cojones to actually be conservative to speak out against this. Bush ain't got the stones, nobody in that family does, bunch of pragmatist wimps.

Posted by: Scof at October 11, 2005 12:32 PM


To the contrary, only the Bush wing of the party will speak out about this. The Economic wing just sees customers.

Posted by: oj at October 11, 2005 12:53 PM