Today China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the country with a military parade and strong words from President Xi Jinping:
“Today, a socialist China is standing in the east of the world and there is no force that can shake the foundation of this great nation,” Xi told a crowd of carefully vetted guests under smoggy skies in the center of the capital. “No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation from forging ahead.”
But the Wall Street Journal argues the “great nation” is already being shaken by both economic and cultural forces to which China has responded with ever greater efforts to control the population:
At home, economic reforms have stalled as the Party maintains political control over finance and refuses to reform state-owned industries. Donald Trump’s policies have exposed a vulnerability in China’s export-dependent economic model that relies too much on theft and predatory behavior against foreign companies. Beijing must impose currency controls to stop capital flight by Chinese who want a safe haven abroad.
This retrenchment in economic reform has coincided with increasingly draconian political control at home. Self-confident regimes don’t jail human-rights lawyers, crack down on churches, or create a Great Firewall and employ tens of thousands of censors to control the internet. Most horrifying has been the effort to eliminate the culture and religion of the Uighur Muslim population in the western region of Xinjiang. The use of AI and facial recognition to control the public calls to mind Orwell’s nightmare of state control.
For the Muslim minority in Xinjiang, 1984 is a documentary. CNN published a series of charts today, one which shows that since 2010 China has spent more on “domestic security” than it has on external defense. In other words, for all the big-ticket military items you see in the parade today (video below), China is spending even more to maintain tight control it’s own people.
Jay Nordlinger offers 70 million additional reasons not to celebrate the existence of the Chinese dictatorship:
The Communist dictatorship in China has killed something like 70 million people. It is hard to focus on millions of people, as I was saying the other day. Let’s try one — one person.
A few months ago, Wang Meiyu held up a sign calling on Party boss Xi Jinping to step down and for free elections to be held. Wang was tortured to death. His wife could not recognize the body. Wang was 38 years old and had two young children.
This photo shows what will get you brutally murdered by the state in China:
Human rights activist Wang Meiyu is dead. He was 38. Picked up two months ago in perfect health, trundled off to a military prison. "When I saw his body, it was like another person; he was totally unrecognizable," said his widow, Cao Shuxia. https://t.co/XnpaaP6Gff
— Terry Glavin 格立文 (@TerryGlavin) September 25, 2019
Last year, Jonah Goldberg pointed out that in addition to being ruthless, China is also racist, though you don’t hear much about that from the American left:
In China, there is systemic discrimination against non-Han Chinese. Ethnic minorities — about 10% of the Chinese population — are routinely denied access to elite universities and urban job markets in the name of Han supremacy. Under China’s internal passport system, many non-Han aren’t permitted to even look for work outside of their rural provinces. Tibetan and Uighur citizens are often barred from using Chinese hotels.
Not only does China have its own version of Jim Crow, it still has its own version of slavery. Under its prison labor system, Laogai — “reform through work” — millions of slaves churn out all manner of “Made in China” wares and even provide many of the organs for transplant surgeries in China.
When you add all this up, communist China’s 70th anniversary is a sad day for the Chinese people though of course, they don’t dare say so. Here’s a bit of the big celebration:
And here’s how they’re celebrating Xi Jinping in Hong Kong:
Some protesters have stuck portraits of Xi Jinping onto Nathan Road pic.twitter.com/23qfb5pfOb
— Elaine Yu (@yuenok) October 1, 2019
— Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) October 1, 2019