Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

BBC Article
The mother of a dissident Chinese web journalist who vanished last week says he has been taken into police custody.

Huang Qi had not been seen or heard from since he was bundled into a car in Chengdu, the capital of the quake-hit province of Sichuan, last Tuesday.

It is thought Mr Huang may have been detained for posting an article about an academic held for criticising the government's response to the quake.

Mr Huang finished a five-year jail term for subversion in 2005.

Boy, I'm so glad that I'm not a citizen of PRC. I would probably be in a jail cell next to this guy for criticizing the communist government. How can one claim that there's rule of law in China when he gets 5 years in jail for posting articles about 6/4 while corruption is rampant.

I've been talking to my friend who is attending college in Chengdu. Even though she is studying business administration, she has to take a class on "Mao's Thoughts." Unlike most other college classes however, you're not allowed to question anything in the textbooks, much less tell everyone you think Mao was insane (my opinion). How do you learn anything if you're not allowed to discuss and disagree, unless the purpose is not education but indoctrination. Any system, whether political or religious, where you cannot question the orthodoxy, is corrupt. The U.S. political system is far from perfect, but we're allowed--even encouraged--to criticize and to participate to make it better. In China, that just gets you thrown in jail.

I truly believe that people in the Chinese government and those that join the communist party are in it for themselves, i.e., wealth and power. In China, any dissent on any topic is seen as a challenge to the political elite and must be censored and repressed immediately. How ironic. Of course, politicians in the U.S. are probably looking out for number one as well, but at least I can criticize them and vote them out of office.

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