- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
DECKER: Back to the future in Beijing
As China becomes richer, the people are not becoming freer
The Chinese government celebrated the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre in predictable fashion: by rounding up political dissidents. The occasion marks the days 23 years ago this week when Communist Party leaders in Beijing sent tanks into the main square of the capital and other cities to crush pro-democracy protesters, killing thousands. Propaganda aside, not much has changed on the human-rights front in the Middle Kingdom.
The Chinese Communist Party remains the largest, most brutal regime on the planet. The Chinese masses don’t have the benefit of any of the basic rights most in the West take for granted. There is no freedom of religion, with permits required to worship even when a mere few want to gather to pray together in a private home. Violators are fined, jailed, have their possessions (including their Bibles) confiscated and their houses bulldozed. In the underground Catholic Church, “At least 40 unregistered Chinese bishops are in detention, home confinement or surveillance; are in hiding; or have disappeared under suspicious circumstances,” according to the 2011 annual report produced by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith of New Jersey.
There is likewise no freedom of speech or association. The Chinese government employs an army of computer whiz kids in its war to bottle up the Internet. Beijing’s techies have been busy deleting entries on message boards and blocking articles, photos, conversations and even search terms related to the Tiananmen anniversary. For example, “China’s censors have blocked Internet access to the terms ‘six four,’ ‘23,’ ‘candle’ and ‘never forget,’ ” Reuters reported. In past years, popular social-media sites such as Twitter and YouTube have been shut down to curtail access to information in the communist state. Belonging to pro-democracy groups or associating with individuals deemed to be troublemakers - such as human-rights lawyers - can get Chinese citizens kicked out of school, fired from their jobs or taken away, never to be seen or heard from again.
There is no right to life, the most fundamental human right of all. To enforce its brutal one-child-per-family policy, the Chinese regime forces mothers to have abortions and undergo sterilization against their will. The judicial system is a tool to control the population and make a profit. The People’s Republic, which executes more prisoners annually than the rest of the world combined many times over, uses capital punishment to supply organs to the global black market for transplants.
There is a myth that Chinese society has opened up since the Tiananmen massacre. The opposite is actually true. The communists were becoming more lenient up until the 1989 showdown, but the mass demonstrations and resulting violence convinced the butchers in Beijing that they needed to maintain stricter control in the future. The middle class has grown as has the number of wealthy industrial titans, but the new richer classes are beholden to the party for their positions and possessions. There are no property rights, so going against the regime means losing everything. The communist grip on power is as strong as ever, which means more than a billion Chinese souls will continue to suffer under the totalitarian yoke.
Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Brett M. Decker, former Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Times, was an editorial page writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, Senior Vice President of the Export-Import Bank, Senior Vice President of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, speechwriter to then-House Majority Whip (later Majority Leader) Tom DeLay and reporter and television producer for the legendary Robert ...
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Get Breaking Alerts
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats’ pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- EDITORIAL: Enforce the Law Act aims to hold Obama accountable
- EDITORIAL: Relief from 'homeowners association nightmares'
- EDITORIAL: Lawyers encouraging pursuit of jackpot justice
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same