Friday, January 13, 2006

On Communist China

Photo courtesy of the Wikepedia Organization.

A new social phenomenon is sweeping China. Millions of people have renounced their ties to the Chinese Communist Party since November 2004, when the Epoch Times published the first of “The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” which is the most vast and comprehensive account of the CCP, collected from many anonymous first-hand eyewitnesses, reports and testimonies. “It is perhaps the first, and by far most revealing, complete, uncensored history of the CCP.” As of October 2005, there were 5 million Chinese citizens, who, despite the threat of being imprisoned for up to 10 years for the “offense” of being anti-Communist, acknowledged their dissociation from the party. This trend is continuing in the 20,000 or more a day mark. Among the dissenters are high profile people like Chinese Olympic swimming champion, Huang Xiaoming. [1]

As a Canadian, there is a special reason to be attentive of what’s going on in China, because as the country is generally regarded as open, and ready for business with the west, the Party’s treatment of people within it’s own country, from the way protestors were shot and run over by tanks in 1988, at Tiananmen Square to the policing and harsh censorship of the Internet, this regime has unsettling similarities to the Germany’s Fascist Party of 1939. Chinese people need our support to be able to do what they believe. They need our support to have freedom of conscience.

In the last 160 years of China’s history, Chinese traditional culture has been wiped away and there have been 100 million unnatural deaths. [2] Bloody invasions were headed by the Anglo-French Allied Force in the early 1860’s, the Japanese in 1894 and Russians in 1906. Up to that point, since 1644, China was ruled by Manchurian Emperors. The first three ruled in what is considered the time of “peace and prosperity,” although there were several uprisings due to poverty. Intermarriage with Chinese was outlawed, and the form of government, adopted from the Ming Dynasty, favored Manchurians despite all positions being dually held by one Chinese as well.

As China opened up to Western trade, European missionaries influenced Chinese thought on science and the arts. Britain desired China’s silk and tea, but after they introduced opium, many became addicted, and much of the land that was useful for feeding the population was turned over to harvesting the drug. When this led to the abolition of the opium trade in 1839, the so called ‘opium war’ erupted with Britain. They lost the war, and in 1842, they were forced to hand over Hong Kong to Britain and re-open trade with Europe. Since the peace agreements weren’t carried out by either side, war broke out again in 1857.

Several internal rebellions over cultural and ideological issues caused a weakening of China, as it tried to achieve trade with Russia and protect itself from Japan, which had undergone Westernization. Meanwhile, emperors were getting younger and younger, and empress Tzu Hsi was opposed to reform. One day she had the emperor executed and died herself the very next day, but not before placing a two year old on the throne. His rule from 1909-11 strengthened revolutionaries, at which point they took over government and the Republic of China was born. [3]

Since that time, and more specifically the last half of this century, China has struggled against itself to become a major economic power, but at what cost? There have been more unnatural deaths in China since 1949 than there has been from the wars spanning 1921-1945 [4] They are not only a danger to themselves, but also the rest of the world.

In July 2005, China’s Major General Zhu Chenghu threatened to use nuclear weapons against the US if it intervened in the conflict over Taiwan. He added that “we…will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xi’an” (this is the area containing all of China’s major cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai) [5] Weeks later, joint military exercises were carried out with the Russian military. These were so called practice projects against “terrorist targets”, which oddly enough, involved amphibious exercises. [6] China and Japan continue to dispute borders in the sea.

This past summer (summer of 2005), tensions were rising in China. It was lobbying the EU to lift its ban on arms sales. The PRC has been claiming Taiwan as one of its provinces, saying it has no place in the UN. Right now the political status of Taiwan is unclear. It is a de jure state of China. In Febuary 2005, the US and Japan issued a joint statement that said easing the tensions in Taiwan was their “common strategic objective” and they called on China “to improve transparency of its military affairs.” [7] Since 1991, and more recently, the US is sending Taiwan ships, submarines and anti-missile defenses in an effort to boost its military against Chinese threat. The decision to increase spending from 2.5 and 3 percent of Taiwan’s GDP on military expenditures is currently awaiting approval. [8]

One recent example of China and Taiwan’s strained relationship is some creative public relations from China. It wanted to give Taiwan two pandas, but this could also be a test of some sort as well. They are in a cache 22 where by accepting the animals, they are acknowledging that they are a province of China, and that international transfer laws need not apply. If they don’t accept the lovable bears, they could disappoint Taiwanese, and increase tension between itself and China. [9]

Critics suspect that the recent maneuvers over Taiwan to appropriate it as China’s homeland is a political diversion to reunite nationals against Japan and the U.S. If the US continues to interfere (as it is compelled to do by law) things could get worse. In 2005, Defense Minister Chi Haotian outlines the two possible routes to the “Chinese century”: either biological weapons succeed against the U.S., or nuclear retaliation destroys about half of the Chinese population. In both cases, the emphasis is on unrelenting success, and you can see the ideology of Party values over Human values, as he states: “The population-even if more than half dies-can be reproduced. But if the Party falls, everything is gone, and gone forever!” [10]

The problem with the Communist regime from the start is that it doesn’t seem to have any consistency, so as a result, it doesn’t have any credibility. For example, on July 4, 1947, the CCP issued an editorial in the Xinhua Daily that stated that “Since a young age, we have thought of the US as a lovable country” because it had never attacked China and “[m]ore fundamentally, the Chinese people hold good impressions of the US based on the democratic and open-minded character of its people.” However, three years later, the CCP sent soldiers to fight Americans in North Korea and outlawed the publication of similar statements. In the Party’s 80 year history, it has revised its Constitution 16 times! It has been a mix of Marxist-Leninist ideology with the addition of Maoist thought, Deng theories and Jiang principles. Since 1950, the CCP has persecuted a whole gamut of enemies including intellectuals, those believing in personal property, anti-rightists, and most recently, the persecution of Falung Gong since 1999. [11] Of course, it denies this. While Falung Gong emphasizes truth, compassion and human values, it seems that the CCP is interested only in their opposites. It bases itself on struggle: “the forcible overthrow of all social conditions” [12] as if it is some political manifestation of a fanatical stoicism which states: “no pain, no gain.”

Marx justifies communism based on the exploitation of one class over another that happens in the capitalist model, but while he’s a material historian, he wishes communism to break away from documented history: “communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”[12] With this in mind, and utilizing the best of circular arguments, one could justify violence as a necessary means to societal advancement. Unfortunately, violence has been a part of history since the dawn of dinosaurs.

The CCP outlaws personal property, freedom of expression and privacy. For economic purposes, the CCP restored some rights to private property in 1980 (Marx promoted an abolition of private property as the abolition of bourgeoisie property) , which allowed China to become the country with such a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The CCP has imposed a rigid doctrine on the rights and freedoms of people in order to advance an ideology of brutality; a de facto survival of the most obedient. During the Cultural Revolution, its motto was “Battle with heaven, fight with the earth, struggle with humans –therein lies endless joy.” This seems the perfect inversion of traditional Chinese philosophy. For example, in the Tao-Te Ching: “Man follows the earth, the earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Tao, and the Tao follows what is natural.” [13]

When my sister came back from China, she brought back a little red book that her friends accepted of their hosts, because they were offered them everywhere they went. This book was Mao Zedong Manifesto, which outlines Party beliefs and principles. While this book is encouraged by the party as fundamental reading that students learn in school from an early age, being rewarded from quizzes for answering the politically appropriate (not necessarily the rational) answer, those who have been caught reading the Nine Commentaries of Communism have become victims of disappearance.

In January 2005, as a reaction to the publication of the Nine Commentaries on Communism, the CCP leaders launched a new indoctrination program that forced people in 31 provinces to attend political study sessions to “unify the thoughts” of people with CCP ideology. Part of this program demanded that all current Party members must re-register with the Party by July 1, 2005. It is unsettling to imagine what the alternative was. [6] Red Guards threw a man out of the window for denouncing the Cultural Revolution and called it a “suicide.” They’ve burned books in the thousands. They’ve mauled student protesters. They’ve tortured people. [1]

This dehumanizes people. In my country I take the ability to have my own beliefs for granted, but in a country like China, where there are few private spaces for the poor, the colonization of the mind is rampant. But reclaiming the freedom of expression has begun. Millions are denouncing the Chinese Communist party. Support the people to have courage. Support freedom.

In closing, here is a message from Lao Tzu:

Human beings are
Soft and supple when alive,
Stiff and straight when dead.

The myriad creatures, the grasses and trees are
Soft and fragile when alive,
Dry and withered when dead.

Therefore, it is said:
The rigid person is a disciple of death;
The soft, supple, and delicate are lovers of life.

An army that is inflexible will not conquer;
A tree that is inflexible will snap.

The unyielding and mighty shall be brought low;
The soft, supple, and delicate will be set above.
[14]

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[1] Browde, Jonathan.The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 2 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[2] "The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Part I: On What the Communist Party Is" Cited in The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 5 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[3] http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/china/later_imperial_china/qing.html
[4] "The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Part I: On What the Communist Party Is" Cited in The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 5 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[5] Lemish, Leeshai. The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 9 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[6] Browde, Jonathan. The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 1 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[7] http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-02/20/content_417697.htm
[8] http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_01-02/JANFEB-taiwan.asp
[9] http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/?feed=TopNews&article=UPI-1-20060109-17550000-bc-taiwan-pandas.xml
[10] Browde, Jonathan. The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 3 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[11] "The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Part I: On What the Communist Party Is" Cited in The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 6 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[12] http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html
[13] "The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Part I: On What the Communist Party Is" Cited in The Epoch Times, Special Edition, Jan 2005, p. 7 (ISSN: 1712-6487)
[14] Tzu, Lao "Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way" trans. Victor H. Mair (Bantam Books, New York: 1990)

6 Comments:

Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Excellent and informative post.

I think that China may one day turn out to be the seed of world power. They have the numbers, the people, and now, are garnishing the resources.

10:42 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Lao Tzu surely had his yogic baseball cap screwed on right.

Informative and thoughtful piece.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Maddy said...

Thankyou for being the change
you want to see in the world.
We should not "imagine" a better
world as Bono says - but act.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Captain Bee said...

Dude, you even have references. This stuff is amazing.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

you're unreal!
great post!
so smart!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

smartly researched and concisely written and such an inforamtive piece to read.
world watch out for china.

6:50 AM  

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