There is a new crackdown underway on the 23rd Anniversary of the massacre of protesters/dissidents who were calling for a freer China in 1989. Arrests of dissidents calling for a more open political system with greater transparency and democratic accountability is only part of the suppression. The rights of ethnic/religious minorities including Tibetans and the Uighurs have long been suffocated. Ironically the more China seeks to suppress the more apparent is the continuing failures of China’s political system. See our Blog for Film: "Unprecedented Scrutiny of China Human Rights"
Our confidence as global citizens in China as world leader is impacted by both its domestic and international record. The support that Beijing effectively provides to the brutal Assad Regime in Syria only reinforces suspicions that the core has not changed much in China’s political methodology. While industry and commerce have transformed China into a global economic power, it does not garner much respect for its human rights record. The recent escape of China’s “blind dissident” from house detention has been resolved expeditiously but manner reflects a continued absolutism in trying to control, not just manage, dialogue on political freedom and dissent. See our Blog for Video – “China’s New Human Rights Headache”
While many of us continue to buy Chinese made products and endeavour to learn more of the culture and history, we have inclination to give what many Beijing leaders believe is its due deference. Simply stated, this political hierarchy has evidenced a lack of cleverness as well as openness. Expediency is not clever. While many of us are not particularly content with status of human, political, social and economic rights in the “West” either, China appears to be largely pre-occupied with wealth accumulation at both the personal as well as national level. Read our Blog for Film: “Is People’s Republic of China New Elitist Haven?”. I’m not impressed with the new conspicuous consumption, but I will be when China recognizes its full past, not just ancient, and reflects upon the full and still ongoing suppression brought on by the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
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Bottom UN Photo - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, inside the Fujian Room at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.