Ludwig von Gress
The official commentators are too afraid or too polite to say it, but the Communist China is a menace either way – if it collapses, the flood of refugees will overwhelm the rest of the world; and if not we, enfeeblened Westerners can expect ever increasing Chinese domination, both economic and political.
So, soon we will not have to worry about “human rights”, at least about those defined by the cabal of Human Rights and Anti Discrimination commissars in the Western world. Chinese politburo’s notion of human rights is best grasped from its record – over seventy seven million dead and still counting.
Assorted apologists and carpetbaggers, academics, businessmen and venal politicians try to make us believe that the Chinese communists are not what they used to be. Partially, it is true; they are even sneakier.
It is thus pleasing that at least some writers do not see China and its dictators through rose coloured glasses.
Wall Street Journal Nov. 17, 2013: China’s Potemkin Reforms –
First the headlines. On Friday, the Chinese Communist Party released a policy document that suggests it will relax its “one child policy,” allowing married couples to have a second child if one of the two parents is an only child. It will also abolish the system of “re-education through labor,” under which hundreds of thousands of people are held in forced-labor camps without trial.
Now the reality. The one child policy will only change slightly. The forced abortions, sterilizations and fines used to enforce the ban on second and third children for hundreds of millions of Chinese will continue. Local authorities resist change because they earn revenue from controlling reproduction. They regularly strip families who dare to have an illegal child of their livelihood, housing, education and other rights.
It’s unlikely this proposed change would have helped Feng Jianmei, a woman in Shaanxi province whose case attracted international attention last year. Local authorities arrested her when she was seven months pregnant with an illegal second child and injected her with a chemical that killed her baby. A photograph of her in a hospital bed next to her child’s dead body aroused anger across China. A similar case occurred in Shandong in September.
The motivation for even this modest policy shift is less about human dignity than economics. The one-child policy has contributed to a rapidly aging population that could make China the world’s first nation that is old before it is economically developed. According to U.N. forecasts, China’s labor force will begin to shrink after 2015. The slower growth that results could have political consequences, but Beijing’s leaders still can’t see past their desire for exercising current political control.
The abolition of labor camps is also less than it appears. Even if re-education through labor does disappear, China has another, much larger gulag of forced-labor camps, known as “reform through labor,” or laogai. Inmates, believed to number in the millions, have to be convicted of a crime, but that is not a high bar in China’s primitive criminal justice system. Once a suspect is arrested, conviction is virtually guaranteed.
The re-education camps may reopen under new names, such as “drug rehabilitation centers.” Ten years ago the police practice of locking up rural migrants in the cities and shipping them home was abolished. But in place of the old “custody and repatriation centers,” authorities created a network of “black jails,” illegal detention centers where all the same abuses are carried out.
Over the past decade, the Communist Party has turned away from the pursuit of the rule of law and a nonpolitical legal profession. Instead it has embraced the “mass line,” which is code for judges ruling as the Party decides and the police acting with impunity. This allows Beijing to construct a Potemkin legal structure that seems to be moving closer to international norms but doesn’t interfere with human-rights abuses. That means nobody should take last Friday’s reform plans at face value.