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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

China like Beijing a Conjuror's Trick

She calls it a "city of the future", a  
 
"..vast ‘Star Trek’ city of huge glass domes, mirrored skyscrapers reflecting the sun in a thousand directions, neatly gardened boulevards, and mammoth expressways that circle the city, some of them 10 lanes wide and all with traffic that seemingly never sleeps."

But unlike so many of our politicians and captains of our industries, journalist Georgie Ann Geyer can see past this facade that is modern day Beijing.

In her article "China's Communist party Governs In Name Only" journalist Georgie Anne Parker recounts a recent trip back to Beijing, a city she first reported from 21 years ago as a correspondent/columnist and which she has has visited several times since, the last over 10 years ago.

Parker talks about the new Beijing, it sensuousness, it’s color, it’s embrace of everything new. Of how, in a resort city she visited there are pictures of  "smiling Mao Tse-tungs, Chou En-lais and Deng Xiaopings, all telling visitors in Chinese lettering to please enjoy themselves in China."

But this new Beijing, this new China does not fool her as it does others. She rightly points out that

"It was easy in the "old days," she says, " when I first came here, to feel and see how repressive it truly was."

Something that the world seems blind to but Geyer sees


"One of the tricks of this complex new order is that the sheen and glitziness of the cities make it easy for foreigners to think everything has changed. "

"Yet underneath that seductive surface, no one seems to care too much about the old concepts of human rights"


Now the endless line of foreign dignitaries and captains of industry jostling for position to sup at the table of this emerging world economy are greeted by an illusion. An illusion of breathtaking change that they either actually believe goes right through the fabric of Chinese society or perhaps "choose" to believe it in an attempt to assuage their own consciences as they line their country's or company's pockets.

Behind this facade that is the "New China" remains the" old China." The China of cruel repression, of false imprisonment and death. As the glass skyscrapers of the new China catch and reflect the light so a person can not easily see inside so to does the new China attempt to hide itself behind the "sheen", as Geyer puts it, of modernity. But it is but glass and despite the glare it can be seen through if one wants to.

Only 15 years last month the Tiananmen Square massacre occurred. The world was justifiably outraged. The European Union slapped on an arms embargo the Australian prime minister of the the time even cried at the news.

Five years ago this month the persecution of the Falun Gong began which has according to some sources seen the deaths of up to 5,000 people and the torture and incarceration of up to 30,000. The world initially took notice but despite the persecution continuing unabated the world no longer seems to care.

Seven weeks ago China, without one skerrick of concern for international opinion, kidnapped and held incommunicado Dr Jiang Yanyong a man of international prominence. The world for all intents and purposes ignored it.

22 days ago the Chinese government executed an Uygur for "subversion" and separatist activities, the third to be executed within ten months despite not a shred of evidence that there has been one "terrorist" type incident carried out by the Uygurs since 1998.  The politicians and the captains of industry response? They do not care of this death or the others.

Ten days ago the Chinese arrested 100 underground Church leaders holding a meeting in Xinjiang. Were they plotting to overthrow the government to warrant such a heavy handed response from Beijing? No, they were meeting to discuss some strategies to convert Uygur muslims to Christianity.

We see what we want to see, we believe what we want to believe.

Magician’s tricks are truly magic if we want to believe them to be so or are  correctly seen as just sleight of hand if we do not. In China's magic act we seem to want to choose to believe the conjuror.

We have given China the Olympics supposedly a movement that mirrors the highest and purest ideals of humanity. What have we got in return? 12 pieces of silver for selling our souls.
 
 
Link Read Rating:

Georgie Ann Geyer, "China’s Communist party governs in name only". Yahoo News 20/7/04 (viewed 21/7/04)


100 Christians Arrested World Net Daily

 

Stephen Sullivan "Jiang Yanyong" China Letter