No Stamp of Approval
Business is booming in China. It is now throwing open its doors to the world after long years of closure. The international community is just as eager to include China in the family of nations, to offer encouragement through business deals, and opportunities to sell us its shoes, clothes, computers, televisions in greater and greater numbers. While China may show the rest of the world a new more open face, its body remains a Communist dictatorship whose main objective is to keep itself in power whatever this means to its people. We are shown evidence of this new wealth in its vast skyscrapers and sprawling new towns. But factories in all too many cities create a perpetual smog and attendant health problems. How can a state which does not have the health of its own people at heart be a safe player on the world stage?
As more openings are made with the West, increasing numbers of Chinese citizens are making contact with Western ideas. How will they deal with freedom of speech, of thought? Some Chinese students arriving in England recently showed how totally the government line is still stamped on its citizens’ minds as they reiterated the national double-think: on the one hand they claimed the Tiananmen Square event never happened ?on the other hand that if anybody was killed there they deserved it.
Make no mistake, China is not in safe hands. With over 600 coal fired power stations underway, China is threatening the future of the rest of the world in its race for super-powerdom. This is the country which upholds stability at any cost – and therefore ruthlessly stamps out anything it perceives as struggle. It has consistently moulded the truth to fit its ideology and is bitterly determined to hold onto the power grabbed through violence. China has tightened the screws on freedom of thought, ignoring appeals for human rights as the State perpetrates violence against its own people, torturing and even executing those it deems dissident.
The 6-10 Office is a massive nationwide organisation, using vast amounts of GNP, with branches in every village, city, school, government agency and so on, and with one sole purpose: to intimidate, crush, torture even kill all those who practise the meditation and exercise routine of Falun Gong and live their lives guided by truth, compassion and forbearance. To those of us brought up in countries which inherited democratic ideas and Judaeo-Christian ethics, truth, compassion and tolerance could be considered as essential planks underpinning civilised human society. Just as they underpin the spirit of the Olympic Games with their desire to promote international understanding through sporting competition.
And so we may ask: How can a meditation and exercise routine, combined with a commitment to three benign principles, threaten any government? How do Falun Gong practitioners deserve political persecution? A state committed to atheism does not have to punish those who follow other ideas. But in China, choosing truth, compassion and tolerance as guides to life is tantamount to dissent, and dissent against the CCP is being against China; and being against China, in the Leaders’ mindset, deserves any punishment they choose. For of course these principles run counter to everything the Chinese Communist Party stands for. A Party which gains power through violence and struggle, then sets about systematically destroying any inconvenient events of its past is bound to be uncomfortable with citizens living by those three high moral principles.
For China this new wealth comes in handy for restocking vast arsenals of torture equipment, and building ever more labour camps. 6-10 Officers are set quotas of political dissidents to brainwash week by week, with a range of torture equipment to use. A quick jab with an electronic prod – sold for use on cattle – sends powerful shock waves through its victim. There is an endless flow of detainees to whip, shackle and prod. And there are even more humiliating options: to dispense with all equipment and force your charges to squat all day long with their hands clasped behind their backs, staring motionless at the floor and bawling Communist gibberish: this torture induces a loss of proprioception, even making standing impossible. This is 6-10 office reeducation through physical pain as detainees shout themselves back into conformity through the demoralising reiteration of senseless slogans. 6-10 officers may blithely torture their charges to death knowing there will be no reprisal and that all fatalities will be recorded as suicide. There is no due process of law for practitioners, the proper legal procedures are simply by-passed. Once you are arrested you are immediately on the conveyor belt of detention centre, labour camp, brainwashing, torture.
We happily buy the New Life and New World products flooding the West. But these products are all made by slave labour of people illegally detained. And they range from hand-knitted sweaters to single use chopsticks. Yes, the cynicism of the names takes some beating, for the New Life and New World producers face nothing new except further torture until they denounce Falun Gong. It is said that 6-10 Officers deprive political prisoners of sleep until their product passes the most stringent quality control.
In Nazi Germany Dr Mengele and his gang tortured many thousands for the longterm purpose of purifying and perfecting Aryan stock. But China has refined even his torture methods, in a gross and original manner. In years to come the world will be truly horrified by what is known now to a few. In China today the State rewards its wealthy, politically correct members with longer, healthier lives by stealing organs from Falun Gong detainees. A cruel harvest indeed. The 6-10 Office is acting as nurse, surgeon and organ salesman providing those who have succeeded in the present regime with new lungs, kidneys and hearts, meanwhile labeling Falun Gong as an evil cult. This smokescreen serves to make people fearful, after 24 hour television programmes denouncing practitioners have outlawed Falun Gong in the public mind. So the government has demonised one group, and given itself a free hand to blame all of society’s ills on that group. Where have we heard that before? And is there not a further similarity with Nazi Germany when Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games as a world platform to promote his ideology? Are we not in danger of celebrating the Olympic Games next year with just as vicious a host country?
But there is hope: one unexpected response to this repression, is that millions of people have become emboldened into leaving the Chinese Communist Party over the last few years. But why do people agree to join it in the first place? If you are faced with pressure from work mates to join the Party you would be forced into a most uncomfortable position. To refuse would make your future very dim and leave you open to suspicion. For one of the questions on the application form reveals the government’s profound paranoia; are you or any member of your family Falun Gong practitioners. The same goes for passport applications. If you are a practitioner your commitment to truth forces you to answer honestly. Who would wish to condemn family members to detention without trial? To answer yes condemns your own family members to almost immediate detention; to answer no, submits the whole family to an anguished wait for the inevitable.
We must support the Chinese people in their struggle to change their government – by telling them the truth about the Party, about their Leaders, and their history of bloodshed, persecution and torture. Do not be fooled by the apparent openness, do not be seduced by the new prosperity. Every citizen remains a potential dissident under the present regime – which exists to show who is boss and to show that this boss will tolerate no thought processes but its own. It is urgent that we redouble our efforts to make both China and the rest of the world a safer place, to release the 1.4 billion Chinese from their murderous Leaders and prevent the Olympic Games being smeared with the ordure of contact.
How can we trade with a country which has an annual execution toll of about 10,000 petty criminals? How can we visit, compete and celebrate together in a country where a terror regime of torture continues? How can any visitor be comfortable in a host country which does not uphold the basic tenets of human rights? How can democratic countries stamp their approval on China by sending their athletes to compete in the Olympic Games?