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The economic growth of China in the past decade has been phenomenal; it has completely weathered the downturn and is comprehensively on its way to usurping the USA as the world’s biggest superpower within the not too distant future. In fact, some will have you believe that the so called improving social side of China is also making the country highly liveable and developed. If you stay on the right side of the law, you can apparently achieve huge success through low to non-existent taxes, entrepreneurial opportunities around every corner and a quality of living that is shooting through the roof.
However, living on the right side of the extremely strict Communist Party law has always been fairly difficult in China, and it seems to be getting worse as the country has announced that it is soon to pass a bill which will make it perfectly legal and in the ‘national interests’ to arrest people for free speech and other banned activities, and not have to inform anybody, including their families, of their whereabouts.
The famed rebel artist Ai Weiwei has recently been released from his latest ‘disappearance’, and has already spoken out over the nightmare of abuse he has endured. This is despite his knowing full well that he is subsequently highly likely to be violently arrested yet again by Chinese authorities for the remarks.
Another high profile ‘disappearance’ is that of Gao Zhisheng, a former lawyer and rights campaigner. He was brutally captured by more than a dozen secret police officers a few years ago, and despite a brief reappearance early last year, has now spent just shy of 1,000 days reportedly being abused, tortured, starved and threatened in prison. This is, of course, by international standards, completely unjust and illegal activity by the Chinese authorities, although this new law will make such ‘disappearances’ completely legal and commonplace in China. It is also worth mentioning the many hundreds, or potentially even thousands of other people who are in a similar situation in the country, simply because they have attempted to air their views in public or take it upon themselves to live a life of freedom.
Whilst we are always thinking of our own right to civil liberties, free speech and personal responsibility, it is sometimes worth reflecting on the situation in other countries such as China. The Communist Party of China (CPC) needs to, but unfortunately probably never will, realise that real development and progress needs to involve a positive and free society, not solely overseas investors and flashy building developments.
- Freedom in the City on 22nd May with JP Floru on May 22, 2013 12:30 pm
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
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