Human rights: the White House and China
Last week the White House reversed another Bush administration policy and sent a report to the UN Human Rights Council outlining America’s supposed human rights violations. President Obama’s litany of abuses by the United States includes discrimination against and oppression of minorities, women, gays and the handicapped, and even takes Arizona’s new immigration law to task. Our president also modestly adds the grand work he is doing to save us from ourselves, like his healthcare program.
In November, Human Rights Council members from nice places like Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico will consider the White House confession of American cruelty and then draw up a remedial plan for Washington to carry out under UN supervision. In a stroke, President Obama will have ceded even more American sovereignty to international organizations. On the other hand, do you know what the Peoples Republic of China does about human rights? You should.
Every time the UN or NGOs like Amnesty International confront China with proven reports about its systematic persecution of Muslim Uyghurs, Christians, Tibetans, the Falun Gong religious sect and other minority groups, Beijing does exactly the same thing the Soviets did: deny everything. President Obama is not China’s role model. China does not write self-indicting reports and certainly does not permit the UN or any other international body to oversee Chinese government actions and internal affairs. Laudable as that attitude may seem to us as we suffer the kakistocracy now running amok in Washington, we best remember that displays of Chinese pride stem from the fact that China is a communist authoritarian state.
With over a billion Chinese citizens available to them, life is cheap for China’s commissars. It is so cheap that in 2007 they executed the head of their equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration for taking a few bribes. Then they shot Wang Zhendong for swindling some folks out of a mere $385 million by selling them boxes of ants. If Worldcom CEO Bernie Ebbers had been a Chinese citizen when he made $11 billion disappear, Beijing would have drawn and quartered him instead of sentencing him to 25 years in a comfortable jail.
Amnesty International reckons that China accounts for 80% of all executions reported in the world. That is probably a low figure since a member of the Chinese legislature has bragged that his government executes 10,000 people every year. Nevertheless, because China finances our huge debt, talks like a free-market nation, and sports a kind of stock exchange, we want to think they are like us. We seem to overlook their demands that we get out of the Pacific and leave them in charge. But even as President Obama makes humble bows to China’s president, there are still those who remind us of the true nature of that Asian workers’ paradise. This week there were two such reminders in Washington.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Kennedy Center again featured Shen Yun, a display of Chinese dance, song, and music that can only be described as an extravaganza. Those fortunate enough to have tickets to the production sponsored by New Tang Dynasty Television, the Falun Dafa Association, the Asia Vision Foundation, the Landos Foundation, and the M&S Grill, had their senses overwhelmed by colors and sounds that are difficult to adequately describe. And through it all ran a silken thread of Buddhist philosophy and a prayer that the “Red Regime” and the “Red Tide” will sink. The ambassador from Beijing was not in audience.
If you missed Shen Yun this time, it will return. In the meantime, do not miss seeing Mao’s Last Dancer, an award-winning film now running in local cinemas. Based on the best-selling autobiography of Li Cunxin, it tells the fascinating story of 11-year-old Li, one of six brothers born to an impoverished Chinese peasant family. Selected by Madame Mao’s Ballet Academy for ideological and artistic training, Li became one of the first exchange students the Mao regime allowed to visit America. Dancing with the Houston Ballet, Li discovered freedom and refused to return to China. That led to an abduction standoff at the Chinese consulate that made world headlines.
Since Li Cunxin now lives “down under,” it’s not surprising that the film was directed by Bruce Beresford, the Australian who brought us dozens of films like Tender Mercies, The Contract, and Driving Miss Daisy. The movie is another of his masterpieces. Whether you like ballet or not, you will be taken by Beresford’s mesmerizing blend of dance, drama, and romance until, like me, you find yourself applauding the perfect finale. Then, like me, on the street outside the theatre you will remember it was the rulers of Mao’s communist China who caused the anguish in Li’s life.
The brutal masters of today’s China are no different.
Chet Nagle is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of Iran Covenant.