Embarrasing China

Internal dissent:

The Weekly Standard
Tomorrow Beijing will put on trial one of its most ardent human rights campaigners. Hu Jia, 34, faces charges of “inciting subversion of state power.” Evidence to be used against him includes articles he posted on an overseas Chinese-language website and statements he made during interviews with foreign journalists.

For his work as an activist, Hu, a devout Buddhist, has been called “modern China’s conscience.” He called attention to the plight of AIDS orphans whose parents were victims of a scandal involving tainted blood at public blood banks. In June 2004, he was detained for attempting to lay a wreath on Tiananmen Square to honor the victims of the 1989 crackdown on democracy demonstrators.

In February 2006, Hu was abducted by agents of the Beijing public security bureau, driven with a hood over his head to a rural location, and held captive for 41 days. Although suffering from hepatitis-B, Hu was denied medication while his kidnappers interrogated him concerning a hunger strike he had joined to protest police brutality in China.

Upon his release, Hu was kept under house arrest until February 2007. During this time, his wife was tailed by security agents wherever she went. In May 2007, Hu and his wife were both put under house arrest for “endangering state security.” A video diary titled “Prisoners in Freedom City” depicting their life under surveillance

Tibetan Riots:

While the evil deeds in these stories are bad, the feedback they generate for Beijing is good. It’s important that the Beijing Olympics not be boycotted, but it’s also imported that the Chinese citizens who use the Olympics to magnify their voices be heard. The solution for China will ultimately be further liberalization, a more harmonious society that spreads opportunity.

That goodness for the Beijing Olympics, and the embarrassment its helping to generate.

12 thoughts on “Embarrasing China”

  1. Where is a discussion of the virulent Chinese nationalism that ignores these basic abuses and problems and blames outsiders for hypocrisy and double standards?

  2. Eddie,

    Where is a discussion of the virulent Chinese nationalism that ignores these basic abuses and problems and blames outsiders for hypocrisy and double standards?

    How would you incorporate that discussion?

  3. The Chinese media’s reporting is so slanted as to offer no perspective as to why Tibetans could be protesting or unhappy with Chinese rule. It breeds a nationalist “us vs them” attitude that will only make the situation worse not only in Tibet but in other dicey issues like Taiwan, Japan, America and various offshore oil claims.

    I’d incorporate by well, mentioning it. Not to mention understanding that even some of the human rights advocates and “liberals” are some of the most fierce nationalists. That both sides play with fire and its highly unhelpful and even destabilizing.

  4. Eddie,

    The Chinese media’s reporting is so slanted as to offer no perspective as to why Tibetans could be protesting or unhappy with Chinese rule. It breeds a nationalist “us vs them” attitude that will only make the situation worse not only in Tibet but in other dicey issues like Taiwan, Japan, America and various offshore oil claims.

    Agreed. My assumption is that US news coverage of the wars against the Great Sioux Nation were quite similar.

  5. The rest of the world couldn’t have cared less about the Great Sioux Nation.

    An ignorant of the world (and their own country) Chinese population is a quite dangerous proposition, both for the kinds of policies they could eventually come to support as well as the precarious nature their views would place their leadership in at moments of crisis and opportunity.

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