China's Scary Human Rights Record

August 1st, 2020 | AR

This is the second part of a series that explores China's many abuses. Read part one here.

China has been growing, unabated, for more than thirty years. We have exported our manufacturing to the Chinese, sold them cheap oil, allowed them to buy up real estate in Canada and capitulated to their demands. As they charge two of our citizens with espionage and we debate whether to allow their corporate tech company, Huawei, to use our telecommunications infrastructure, the Chinese must be laughing at our weakness. Throughout the years, China has played Canadians and the rest of the world for fools. The time has come to turn the tables on the communist dictatorship before it is too late.

With its tentacles firmly planted into the United Nations and in several countries around the world, China's record on human rights goes mostly unquestioned. As we explored in the first part of this series, China has invested billions into creating spy, sabotage and propaganda networks inside foreign countries. Weaker, more pliable nations like Canada and Australia have made easy targets for China's ongoing efforts to wash over its horrific record. Using their influence in Western media, China has been able to buy a "China Friendly" narrative, which has often translated into a likewise policy in countries around the world.

Here, we will explore China's horrific record on human rights that our media has been keen to ignore.

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Re-Education Camps For Muslims/Radicals

In China's Xinjiang autonomous region, internment camps have been in operation since 2017. With very little attention from Western media, these camps were installed outside of many of China's legal boundaries with the purpose of re-educating muslims and ethnic minorities who are said to have "extremist" views.

In China, there is very little known about what constitutes "extremist views" and many innocent ethnic minorities and members of various Islamic sects have been reported to be detained at these camps. It has been reported that supporters of Tibet's independence movement have also been detained at the Xianjiang internment camps. 

Most of those detained at these camps have been detained with no trials or criminal charges. 

It has been reported that more than one million, or three million, Chinese citizens may be detained at these camps:

Former detainees have described to Reuters being tortured during interrogation at the camps, living in crowded cells and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of party indoctrination that drove some people to suicide.

Some of the sprawling facilities are ringed with razor wire and watch towers.

“The (Chinese) Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps,” Schriver told a Pentagon briefing during a broader discussion about China’s military, estimating that the number of detained Muslims could be “closer to 3 million citizens.”

China has said the camps are designed to discourage Islamic extremism, but those held captive are said to be bombarded with pro-Communist Party ideals and tortured into compliance. The camps have been described as "re-education camps" with the purpose of indoctrinating and brainwashing captives into supporting pro-Chinese ideologies. 

Government officials who have spoken out about the internment camps or leaked documents about their true nature have been punished and expelled by China's Communist Party. 

In 2019, documents were leaked to the New York Times  by an anonymous Chinese official, outlining 400 pages of classified information about the camps. The papers quoted Chinese president, Xi Jingping, saying he will "show no mercy" in China's struggles against "terrorism, infiltration and separatism". The papers also show Xi's willingness to put security over human rights, using the United Kingdom as an example of what not to do. 

CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBC and most of North America's cable news networks have been silent on China's re-education camps. 

Similar detention facilities are not new in China. The country has had "black jails" as far back as 2012, when it was reported by ITV. That report can be viewed here

Racism Against Blacks

It is surprising to see mainstream news networks report on China's ongoing racism toward Africans and blacks living in the country. As the Coronavirus spread across China, state propaganda has blamed the virus on everything else, including the US military and foreign agents from Africa. 

While China accuses Donald Trump of racism for various reasons, including his border policies, China has spent the past two decades with some of theo world's most strict border policies. Combined with state propaganda, resentment and fear toward foreigners has been increasing across much of China. Even in the country's most international city, Beijing, acts of racism toward blacks and foreigners has been extensively documented on social media since 2018.

"Acts of racism toward blacks and foreigners has been extensively documented on social media since 2018."

In April, following social media posts from China, ABC News covered China's cultural and systemic racism:

For Andrew, a black American living in China and teaching English for the past two years, life had been pretty good. “As a black foreigner, because China was closed for so long, there is a novelty about seeing foreigners,” he said. “It’s part of life that you just get used to here, and it’s never been malicious.”

But about two weeks ago, that all changed, he said. As COVID-19 cases originating in China appeared to decrease, and cases that the government said were brought into the country from abroad increased, being foreign in China, and especially being black, meant feeling unwelcome in certain places.

We must give mainstream cable news some credit for attempting to cover the country's racism at all. 

According to other reports, systemic racism has been a part of China's culture for many years, particularly toward those of African descent. Africans living in Beijing have expressed feelings of isolation and discrimination long before the pandemic. 

In April, the Los Angeles Times posted one of many videos of racism in China that appeared on social media during the height of the pandemic.

NBC News covered racism in China: "If you come from African country, you can't go in our building."

Tiananmen Square

The closest China ever came to revolution was in 1989. Unforgettable and iconic images of protesters standing in front of tanks remind us, even today, of China's brutal, authoritarian leadership. What we are seeing now should come as no surprise. 

As protests gripped the country, China's crackdown was unmatched in its brutality and "success". Few regimes have survived international scrutiny and sanctions for similarly brutal crackdowns like China did in 1989. Although it was extensively covered by media and the events produced iconic imagery, China has not yet paid the price for its record on human rights, or for its abuses in 1989. 

In May of 1989, China declared martial law and student protesters were put under surveillance, while some were rumoured to have been murdered. Gathering places were wiretapped, protesters were kidnapped and interrogated, and cruel and unusual punishments were handed down to anyone who participated in protests. 

Following the crackdown and "Tank Man" incident, the Chinese government attempted to cover up the casualties and skew the death toll. According to Chinese authorities, civilian casualties are estimated at 300. International groups and humanitarian organizations have placed the number in the thousands. Switzerland estimated the casualties to be around 2,700, while other international organizations have put the number near 3,400. 

Over decades, China has not been made to answer for its crimes. War crimes against Tibet and Taiwan have also gone unquestioned by the United Nations. Not to mention the country's age-old tradition of gender selective abortion that was created to favour a higher male population. With the world facing an economic crisis and a pandemic, we may be coming closer to a time when China will be forced to answer for its deeds. 

China's time may finally be up. 

© 2020 Poletical