(SMH) Peter Hartcher—China is on wrong side of history

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Australian Parliament had been scheduled yesterday to debate a resolution calling on China to free the Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Liu, 54, was sentenced in December to 11 years in jail. His crime? To co-write Charter 08, a manifesto calling on the Chinese government to give real force to China's constitution. This would separate the ruling party from the state, allow a truly independent judiciary and create a real parliamentary democracy.

The peaceful pursuit of these rights - rights enjoyed by the citizens of every other big power and grandly proclaimed in the constitution - was judged by China's courts to be an "incitement to subvert state power".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaAustralia / NZEuropeSweden

2 Comments
Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

The standard communist governmental structure features the Party and the State.

In order for a communist country to remain under communist control, the Party must totally dominate the state.

The Party is really a ‘private club’ that usually incorporates only about 5% to 10% of the population and it rigidly and strictly enforces non-representative/non-democratic communist orthodoxy on that 5% to 10%.  This is particularly true at all levels of the Party below the Party’s executive level.

The party’s executive level usually consists a very small percentage of that 5% to 10% of the population that belongs to the Party.

This very small percentage of the Party at the executive level in fact constitutes a dictatorship that has nothing to gain and everything to lose by surrendering its control over the state.

It would be wonderful for China to rid itself of Party dominance, but as long as the Party and the Red Army are able to dominate China’s population, appeals to its communist leadership are unlikely to have much effect since by surrendering Party control means that senior Party members will become useless appendages with little control over China.

The only way in which democracy can come to China is through a base surge of political action on the part of the Chinese people seeking a representative government that is free of interference from the Party and the Red Army.

The Party counters tendencies toward representative government by playing on the xenophobic attitudes of many Chinese toward the world outside of China and by allowing just enough free enterprise/private ownership to give the Chinese people a sense of improving economic well being while trying to make their perception of Party dominance as unobtrusive as possible.

So, while ‘looking in’ at China we might say that “China is on the wrong side of history,” but when the Chinese “look out’ from China, they may see that state-controlled free enterprise (an oxymoron) is giving them a better standard of living, the Party is bothering them less than before and that Chinese ethnocentricity requires that the Chinese people must stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the non-Chinese world. 

Sort of sounds like Germany during the mid-1930s, doesn’t it?

October 26, 10:34 am | [comment link]
2. GBob wrote:

Well done, Australia!  It is heartening to see a major nation vocally and publically pushing back on Chinese pressure.

October 26, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
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