It’s easy for folk to have an impression of China as a modernized, economically booming country. After all that’s been the narrative pushed by mainstream media since the 1980s and China’s restructuring of its domestic economy. It became a market-orientated economy, awarded by the USA Most Favored Nation status (from which human rights were eventually decoupled on the dubious assertion that unfettered economic engagement would lead to political democratization). Allowed entry to the World Trade Organization in 2001 the Chinese economy has gone on to become a dominant global force. The reportage of this transformation has become something of a cliché and become firmly placed in popular perception of China.
What’s been less reported is that this economic metamorphosis has enabled massive investments into China’s military occupation of Tibet and other occupied territories such as East Turkistan and Southern Mongolia. Nor has the mainstream media devoted any meaningful coverage to a parallel increase in the concentration of political power within the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed some would say that China’s embrace of capitalism and free trade was in part designed to maintain and strengthen the position of the regime. This has resulted in even greater repression, censorship and human rights concerns, which have been largely ignored and tolerated by other countries. Meanwhile China’s President Xi Jinping has consolidated to himself supreme political control, with the mass applause of the ‘National People’s Congress’.
Throughout the years China’s communist authorities have used fear and corruption to ensure control and that process has intensified, especially for the peoples of occupied Tibet and East Turkistan.
In the past few days so-called Tibet Television has been broadcasting a series targeting ‘anti-corruption’ and the ‘regulation’ of communist party members. Coded language for another propaganda drive to suppress any dissenting Tibetan voices within its administration. Another purge against Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, as there’s no tolerance for any belief apart from the dictate of China’s communist party, as commentated upon in the Global Times (a conduit for China’s propaganda) by Xiong Kunxin, a lecturer at the so-called Tibet University in Lhasa:
‘The CPC remains an atheist organization. Thus, CPC members are banned from religious beliefs, because they can only believe in Marxism; believing in other religions means betrayal of their chosen belief and it will shake their belief in Marxism and separate them from the Party’.
China may well have opened the doors to global trade, it’s cities and manufacturing transformed by an economic revolution, but make no mistake at its political heart it remains a totalitarian state which murders, tortures and enslaves to retain power.