Next summer’s Olympics will showcase a China of glittering skyscrapers and overstuffed store shelves. But the government responsible for this economic miracle continues to imprison political activists, restrict religious freedom, tightly control the media and Internet, and protect its citizens only haphazardly from pollution and unsafe food and consumer products, a congressional panel reported Friday.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China credited Communist Party leaders with increasing legal protections for those who abstain from unauthorized political and religious activities, but noted the safeguards are selectively enforced. “Against persons the Party deems to pose a threat to its supremacy, officials wield the legal system as a harsh and deliberately unpredictable weapon,” the panel concluded in its annual report on the state of human rights and rule of law in China. [Full Text]