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CECC Report 2018 Shows Increase in Chinese Regime's Repression PDF Print E-mail
Global Stage
China Uncensored   

When  the  Congressional-Executive  Commission  on  China  (CECC)  was  established  in  2000,  the  prevailing  wisdom  underpinning U.S.-China relations maintained that increased trade and economic  interconnectivity,  as  well  as  diplomacy  and  robust  cultural exchange,  would  lead  to  greater  openness  and  political  liberalization within China.

In  the  years  that  followed,  the  Chinese  economy  grew  dramatically, while the Chinese Communist Party became even more deeply  entrenched  in  the  political  power  structure  and  deeply  committed  to  preserving  its  monopoly  on  power  through  state-sponsored  repression,  surveillance,  and  indoctrination.

Now,  under  the  leadership  of Xi  Jinping,  we  see  an  ascendant  and  increasingly  aggressive  China,  seeking  to  take  center stage in the world, and in so doing, determined to shape new global norms on development, trade, the internet, and even human rights.

No improvement in human rights and rule of law

All the  while,  the  fundamental  authoritarian  character  of  China’s political system remains the same.

The  Chinese  government’s  disregard  for  human  rights  and  the rule  of  law  most  directly  affects  the  Chinese  people—as  evidenced by  the  more  than  1,300  active  cases  of  political  and  religious  prisoners  contained  in  the  Commission’s  far  from  exhaustive  Political Prisoner  Database.

The  Commission’s  Annual  Report  painstakingly documents  rights  violations  in  ethnic  minority  regions,  religious freedom  violations,  harassment  of  rights  defenders  and  lawyers, suppression  of  free  speech,  large-scale  forced  evictions,  onerous  restrictions  on  civil  society  and  more—all  of  which  are  the  markings  of a repressive, one-party state.

The  report highlights  the  dire  human  rights  situation  inside  China  and  the  continued  downward  trajectory,  by  virtually  every  measure,  since  Xi  Jinping  became  Communist  Party General  Secretary  in  2012  and  President  in  2013—the  latter  post  likely  to  be  his  beyond  2023.

Of  particular  concern  is  the  mass,  arbitrary,  internment  of  as  many  as  1  million  or  more  Uyghurs  and  other  Muslim  ethnic  minorities  in  ‘‘political  reeducation’’  camps  in western China.

Reports indicate that this may be the largest incarceration  of  an  ethnic  minority  population  since  World  War  II,  and  that  it  may  constitute  crimes  against  humanity.

Local  officials  in  the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have used alarming  political  rhetoric  to  describe  the  purpose  of  this  government  policy,  including  ‘‘eradicating  tumors’’ and  ‘‘spray[ing]  chemicals’’ on  crops  to  kill  the  ‘‘weeds.’

Communist influence in the west

China’s  authoritarianism  at  home  directly  threatens  our  freedoms as well as our most deeply held values and national interests.

Inside  China,  American  citizens  are  targeted  with  exit  bans  preventing them from leaving China, often in order to resolve business disputes  or  pressure  their  family  members  or  colleagues  to  cooperate  with  Chinese  courts;  American  citizens  are  detained  or  deported  for  sending  private  electronic  messages  critical  of  the  Chinese  government;  American  journalists  are  harassed  and  intimidated;  and  American  business  interests  are  threatened  by  rampant intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

The ‘‘long arm’’ of the Chinese Communist Party extends  beyond  China’s  borders  and  is  increasingly  pervasive  and  multifaceted  under  the  direction  of  an  enhanced  United  Front  Work Department, a Party institution used to influence Chinese individuals  at  home  and  abroad  to  neutralize  possible  challenges  to  its  ideological  and  policy  agenda.

The  Party’s  efforts  to  export  its authoritarianism  abroad  takes  a  multitude  of  forms,  including  but  not  limited  to  the  following:  interference  in  multilateral  institutions; threatening and intimidating rights defenders and their families;  imposing  censorship  mechanisms  on  foreign  publishers  and social media companies; asserting ‘‘cyber-sovereignty’’ and ‘‘national internets’’; influencing academic institutions and critical analysis of China’s  past  history  and  present  policies;  and  threatening  American companies who do not conform with China’s narrative on ‘‘sensitive  topics’’  like  Tibet,  Hong  Kong,  and  Taiwan.

The  importance  of  ‘‘religious  work’’

The  Chinese  Communist  Party  agenda  has  undergone  an  ‘‘unprecedented  increase’’  with  ‘‘major  innovations’’  under  Party  General  Secretary  Xi  Jinping,  according to an article published a few weeks before the October 2017 19th  Party  Congress
in  the  major  Party  journal  Seeking  Truth.

Party  and  government  officials  emphasized  several  key policy principles in religious affairs during this past year:

Actively  guiding  religions  to  adapt  to  socialist  society.

As  explained  by  Party  and  government  sources,  this means  ‘‘guiding’’  religious  groups  to  support  Party  leadership and  the  political  system.

The  State  Council  Information  Office stated in an April 2018 white paper that this principle also includes  ensuring  that  religious  believers  are  ‘‘subordinate  to and  serve  the  overall  interests  of  the  nation  and  the  Chinese people.

Read section on religions in China here

The report concludes that:

As  American  policymakers  revisit  the  assumptions that  previously  informed  U.S.-China  relations,  and  seek  to  chart  a  new  path  forward,  it  is  vital  that  our  foreign  policy  prioritizes  the  promotion  of  universal  human  rights  and  the  protection  of  basic human dignity, principles the Chinese Communist Party is actively trying  to  redefine.

Read full report here

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 October 2018 09:07


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