Monday, February 28, 2011

China Trips Itself up By Ignoring Human Rights

I used to buy into the whole China-will-one-day-rule-the-world theory.

At the time, it just seemed like the logical conclusion to accept. After all, China is a huge country that is quickly becoming industrialized and self-sustaining.

Additionally, that viewpoint was the only one I ever heard spouted by academics. And those economists, historians and political commentators made some extremely convincing arguments.

But just because something sounds logical doesn’t mean that it is logical… or that reality will act out logically regardless. And in China’s case, there are a few little problems that hamper its claim to fame, most importantly, its human right violations.

Back during the 2008 Olympics, Chinese citizens repeatedly got annoyed with the West’s depiction of their country’s human rights violations. They said that was the China of the past, that today’s China is something quite different and growing more positive every day.

But if that was true, why would protests in the Middle East spur more of the same in China?

China’s Police Force Try to Throw Cold Water on Protests

Elaine Kurtenbach reports how: “Large numbers of police – and new tactics like shrill whistles and street cleaning trucks – squelched overt protests in China for a second Sunday in a row… In Beijing, trucks normally used to water the streets drove repeatedly up the busy commercial shopping district spraying water and keeping crowds pressed to the edges.”

Such actions strongly indicate that China is not nearly as content as its political leaders want outsiders to believe. Unhappy workers are usually unproductive workers or, at the very least, unreliable ones. A nation’s future is only as strong as its people’s future is.

The Chinese government takes its power from keeping its people weak in one respect or another. So even while it tries to boost its citizens’ economic prospects, it still seeks to control the information they receive… hence the reason why Shangai police warned journalists to stay away from protests sites, physically blocking them at times.

Any country that so adamantly opposes the dissemination of free speech or the educational enrichment of its people has little hope of making any long-lasting splash on the international community, despite its current weight.

The U.S. might want to keep that in mind as it treads ever closer to tyranny itself.

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