China’s Dangerous Nobodies – Guy Sorman

A commentary on Pakistan’s Daily Times says: The regime’s true ambition is to invent an alternative to Western : an enlightened despotism under the tutelage of a meritocratic Communist Party. The Olympic Games are being designed to promote this alternative model

Ever since their reinvention by Pierre de Coubertin, the Olympic Games have always been politicised. The first took place in 1896 in Athens in order to embarrass the Turks still occupying Northern Greece. The Berlin Games in 1936 celebrated the triumph of Nazi ideology. The Seoul Games in 1988 opened the door to South Korea’s democratisation.

This summer’s Olympics in Beijing will be no less political, but will it resemble Berlin or Seoul? Will it mark the apotheosis of an authoritarian regime or the beginning of its demise?

Many optimistic observers of China, often mollified by their close relations with the Communist regime, bet on a soft transition from despotism toward an open society, but recent events don’t support such a benign interpretation. Since the beginning of this year, repression of human rights activists, lawyers, and bloggers has been harsher than ever.

The exact number of democratic who have been incarcerated, or worse, is unknown. There is no way to account for ignored victims, or why some are condemned to death and shot. We don’t know how many are sent without trial to “re-education centres.” In the absence of reliable statistics, let us focus on two iconic figures of China’s pro-democracy movement: and Chen Guancheng.

Also from The Global Voices blog:

And likely very skinny ones at this point, having been locked away from journalists and lawyers and bringers of milk formula for over a month now.

Since AIDS activist-turned house arrested blogger Hu Jia’s arrest, he’s been described as a one-man human rights organization, that bloggers like him are the kind The Party fears most, and that for every Hu Jia silenced, ten more bloggers like him will pop up to take his place; shame, say some, and smooth move others.

Guy Sorman is a French philosopher, economist, and the author of many books. His book about China, Empire of Lies will be published this year.




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