Dec 15, 2020 18:55 IST
Beijing [China], December 15 (ANI): Numerous academics, journalists and politicians have been detained or arrested for “anti-patriotic activities” since China imposed a national security law in Hong Kong earlier this year, yet the matter has attracted little comment from the international community so far.
The democratically-minded international community has been too consumed with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to express anything more than a “sputtering reprimand”. Instead of being an excuse, the pandemic should be another reason to re-evaluate the way China should be regarded, especially the China Communist Party (CCP), wrote Dr Robert S Spalding for Real Clear World (RCW).
The first step to curb the influence of the CCP would be to recognise and address the differences of the nation with its Western counterparts, as the world cannot afford to underestimate the CCP by championing false equivalencies.
“Until the day real stability–not oppression–is restored to Hong Kong, business with China should never be business as usual,” remarked Dr Spalding.
As the pandemic continues to rampage across the world, the fact that Beijing has emerged unscathed is a worrying sign that the influence of authoritarian regimes like the CCP is being accepted across the world.
This includes the activities of the regime to silence whistleblowing doctors and citizen journalists in Wuhan, which allowed the coronavirus to spread unhindered during the initial months.
Though the actions undertaken by the US government like banning Chinese apps, blacklisting companies and restricting Chinese media access have been termed as hypocritical, the criticism misunderstands, or purposely ignores, key fundamental differences such as the unaccountability of Chinese media, business and government, which do not comply with the rule of law essential to their Western counterparts.
RCW further wrote that the communist nation does not have a higher law or an enforceable social contract with the CCP. The party considers all mainland corporations and those operated by the Chinese abroad as extensions of the CCP.
“When Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, criticized Chinese regulatory law, President Xi Jinping personally halted the multibillion-dollar public listing of the Ant Group, an affiliate of the private financial giant,” wrote Dr Spalding.
Furthermore, Chinese media, which operates primarily for the CCP, are better classified as propaganda networks, while foreign media is banned in order to enforce CCP’s control to censor information and produce self-serving narratives.
The article argued that it would be a mistake to treat Chinese organisations as independent entities and an even bigger mistake to believe they can be held accountable to a system, which does not exist in the country.
According to RCW, the Chinese market provides a powerful incentive to normalise interactions with Chinese entities, which leads to other companies and governments being involved in grave human rights violations like the suppression of freedom in Hong Kong, and the mass genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
This comes after a number of former pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested in the month of October over protests after the draconian national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing. The law criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms, and came into effect from July 1.
Several countries have criticised China over the matter, with the European Council saying the move to disqualify opposition lawmakers constituted a “further severe blow” to freedom of opinion in the city and “significantly undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy.” (ANI)