A communist apparatchik is unhappy with a column I wrote on Taiwan. How sad.
Recently, I did an opinion piece for The Washington Times on the rejection of Taiwan’s latest bid for United Nations membership. In it, I commented on the palpable unfairness of denying a voice in the international forum to the 23 million people of Taiwan.
This elicited a letter to the editor from Chu Maoming, Press Counselor at the D.C. embassy of the so-called People’s Republic of China. (The "people" have no more to do with running the People’s Republic than I have with running General Motors.)
"There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China’s territory," Chu lectured. "China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will brook no division." The authoritarian tone here ("will brook no division") is reminiscent of the way China’s emperors used to sign their decrees: "Hear and tremblingly obey!"
To validate China’s claim to the people of Taiwan, the PRC flak cited the fact that more than 160 nations recognize the "one-China" principle and have diplomatic relations with Beijing.
And prior to World War II, almost every nation on earth (this one included) had diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany.
Before the fall of communism in Russia, most governments recognized the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the official name for the Bolshevik conspiracy that seized power in 1917. Today, the average Russian is free to admit that the U.S.S.R. had no legitimacy or rightful authority.
Marxists can’t seem to understand that controlling territory and people confers no right to do so – no moral authority. If I take possession of your home at gunpoint and hold you hostage, am I your government? What if – through bribes and intimidation – I could get your neighbors to recognize my rule?
But Chu was on a roll. "The Chinese government has been consistently engaged in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and achieving the peaceful reunification of China," Chu declared. Of course it has – in the same way that Japan consistently engaged in maintaining peace and stability in East Asia from 1937 to 1945.
Beijing’s peace-and-stability offensive has included 1) stationing 800 medium-range missiles on its coast near Taiwan 2) increasing military spending by double-digits for better than a decade 3) test-firing missiles toward Taiwan in 1996, to intimidate its people during their first direct presidential election 4) passing its infamous Anti-Succession Law in 2005, pledging to invade Taiwan whenever it believes the Taiwanese are taking unspecified steps toward "independence" and 5) periodically threatening nuclear war if the U.S. attempts to interfere with "reunification."
War is peace. Slavery is freedom. And the Chinese communists need spokesmen whose pronouncements sound less like propaganda posters.
Two things must be understood at the outset: Firstly, Taiwan has a government; China does not. China has a regime – a gang with guns that rules by brute force and with no one’s consent but its own.
Secondly, this is not about Taiwan’s "reunification" with China, but the incorporation of 23 million Taiwanese into the People’s Republic of China – the aforesaid ruthless, vicious totalitarian state.
Over the last century, Taiwan’s connection with the mainland has been tenuous, at best. Since its establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China has not controlled Taiwan for so much as a day.
When Beijing’s flunkies speak of "reunification" they’re talking about consigning the people of Taiwan to one of the most dismal dictatorships on earth.
In its 2006 survey ("Freedom In The World") Freedom House, perhaps the premiere human rights group, has this to say about Taiwan (which it rates one of the two freest nations in Asia) – "Citizens of Taiwan can change their government democratically," "The Taiwanese press is vigorous and active," "Taiwanese of all faiths can worship freely;" "Freedom of assembly and association are well respected:" and "Taiwan’s judiciary is independent, and trials are public and generally fair."
Of the People’s Republic of China, Freedom House observes:
• "The Chinese government continued to restrict political rights and repress critics of the regime in 2005. Restrictions on communication became more severe."
• "The Chinese state closely monitors political activity and uses vaguely worded, national security regulations to justify detainment or imprisonment of those who are politically active without party approval."
• The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) "possesses a monopoly on political power." The nation ostensibly is governed by the 3,000-member National People’s Congress. In reality, the Congress rubber-stamps decisions of a 9-member standing committee of the CCP Politburo.
• "Freedom of expression is severely limited in China. All media are owned by state or party institutions and barred from criticizing senior CCP leaders, government policy and state ideology."
• "China regularly blocks websites it deems politically threatening." In 2005, Beijing shut down over a quarter of the nation’s 573,755 websites.
• "Though constitutionally recognized, religious freedom is accorded little respect. Atheism is taught in the schools."
• "Chinese workers are not allowed to form independent labor unions."
• "The party controls the judiciary. The CCP directs verdicts and sentences, particularly in politically sensitive cases." Verdicts are predetermined; trials are window-dressing.
• Sixty-five criminal offenses carry the death penalty.
• According to official figures, in 2005, there were over 87,000 "public order disturbances" – everything from scuffles with the police to peaceful protests – most brutally suppressed.
That’s an overview. To get the full flavor of daily life in this police state, you need to look a bit deeper.
• The nation’s one-child-per-family policy has led to forced abortions and infanticide and fueled the nation’s sex industry, due to a shortage of women.
• Even the mildest protest can result in harsh treatment. In December 2004, a housing advocate in Beijing was arrested for "disturbing the social order." His crime was applying for a permit to hold a demonstration.
• The regime has over 1,000 "re-education-through- labor" camps scattered around the country. At these slave-labor camps, as well as in the rest of China’s penal system, torture is ubiquitous.
• Amnesty International reported that in 2003, in the PRC: "Torture and ill-treatment remained widespread in many state institutions. Common methods included kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, shackling in painful positions, and sleep and food deprivation. Women in detention were vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse."
• In August 2005, Chinese journalist Zhu Wanxiang was sentenced to 10 years in prison for reporting on rural unrest. Also in 2005, independent journalist Shi Tao received the same sentence for "leaking state secrets abroad." The state secrets? The presence of overseas dissidents in China to commemorate the 15th. anniversary of Tiananmen Square.
• In the Marxist Middle Kingdom, you can go to jail for taking part in a demonstration, applying for a permit to hold a demonstration, reporting on a demonstration, posting something about a demonstration on a website or representing someone arrested during a demonstration. Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer, hasn’t been seen since he was seized by police on August 15.
• Conditions in China’s factories are abysmal. In the toy industry, wages range from 6 cents to 40 cents an hour. Workers as young as 12 (the average age is 15) work up to 19-hour days handling toxic chemicals in 104-degree temperatures.
• Also last year, Li Xintao, formerly a worker at the Huamei Garment factory in Shandong province, went to prison for 5 years for "disturbing public order and government institutions." His heinous offense consisted of trying to collect wages owed him by a bankrupt state company.
• There are credible reports of organ harvesting, in Chinese prisons and labor camps. Victims include prisoners of conscience, among them members of the Falun Gong.
• On July 29 of this year, police in a suburb of Hangzhou used electric stun batons to break up a demonstration by 3,000 Christians who were protesting the demolition of a house church (as all unauthorized churches are called).
• On July 19, 2003, Deng Shiying died two days after her release from the Jilin Women’s Prison in Changchun City. Deng, who was serving a seven-year sentence for producing and distributing material describing human rights abuses committed against Falun Gong members, was beaten by other inmates at the direction of guards.
In China, the regime goes to extraordinary lengths to suppress any religious activity it can’t control. Catholic bishops loyal to Rome (as opposed to the puppet Patriotic Catholic Church), are routinely imprisoned.
The regime has a morbid fear of any organization which could conceivably challenge the party – be it a church, labor movement, independent association of journalists or lawyers or even a meditation cult. The more popular the cause, the more brutal the repression.
That’s what China is today – a huge, border-to-border detention facility for 1.2 billion inmates where human rights are non-existent and democracy is a distant dream.
At the end of the "reunification" road lies a maximum-security prison for the people of Taiwan.
When communist apparatchiks speak glowingly of the goal of "achieving peaceful reunification of China" that’s the destination they have in mind.
The people of Taiwan are being ordered to submit to rule by a criminal gang that has spent the past 57 years starving, torturing and killing Chinese on the mainland – from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution to the Tiananmen Square massacre to the suppression of Falun Gong to yesterday’s raid on a house church.
Would you like to be reunified with the People’s Republic of China? Neither would the Taiwanese.
Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.
This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com.