“When over 100 million people in China can get on the Net,” said former President Bill Clinton in a statement lobbying for Congress to grant Communist China permanent status in the World Trade Organization, “it will be impossible to maintain a closed political and economic society.” Impossible?
Unfortunately, the old French proverb, “the more things change the more they stay the
same,” seems especially applicable to Communist China, regardless of pronouncements of U.S. presidents.
China can proudly boast of its construction of 18 new suspension bridges over the Yangtze River — each one longer than the Golden Gate Bridge. Then there are the four- and eight-lane super highways that meander from Shanghai to Chungking, skirting Kashmir and into Tibet and Afghanistan. Beijing can also boast of several new airlines with planes that are technologically superior to Western planes, as well as a new mega-dam which has displaced millions of ethnic Chinese, most of whom have conveniently moved on to colonize Tibet.
This great leap forward for China’s domestic infrastructure would not have been possible without Western technology, capital and joint ventures. However, while the West has been busy feeding the Red Dragon, China’s domestic crackdowns on Christians, political dissidents and the Internet have recently accelerated at a breakneck pace.
“Since China gained entrance into the World Trade Organization,” said a congressional staffer on a top House committee, “China has really let her hair down in terms of cracking down on any and all domestic dissent. Remember the carrot and the stick approach? Now that China is holding the carrot firmly in her mouth, she has taken the stick into her own hands to bloody those who would provoke the ruling elite.”
Have you never been mellow?
For those thinking that gaining entrance into the WTO would mellow China’s ruling elite — think again. Earlier this month, Zhu Bangzao, a Chinese foreign ministry official, stated the Tiananmen Square massacre was “highly necessary to the stability and development of China.” Zhu added that Beijing “had already made a correct conclusion about the political disturbances that took place in Beijing at the end of the spring and the beginning of the summer in 1989 and that the conclusion would not change.”
Zhu’s statements were made in reference to a newly published book, the “Tiananmen Papers,” which was compiled from top-secret documents secretly taken to the U.S. from China by a Communist Party official seeking to defect to the West and promote democracy within Mainland China.
The papers document the minutes of various high-level politburo meetings. Some of the minutes from the meetings show that it was former premier Li Peng who almost single-handedly recommended deploying the Chinese PLA against the pro-democracy students on June 4, 1989. Li’s actions resulted in the massacre of scores of the students. The minutes also demonstrate conclusively that former premier Deng Xiaoping was troubled by the notion that the entire ruling state apparatus would dissolve unless the pro-democracy protests were put down with the full force of the state.
In a proactive effort to ensure that no more “Tiananmen Papers” will be published in the future, the Chinese government has blacklisted the writings of economists such as Cao Siyuan, Professor He Zuoxiu (a critic of the outlawed spiritual movement Falun Gong), bankruptcy expert Mr. Cao and liberal thinkers like professor Liu Junning, sociologist He Qinglian, economist Qin Hui, historian Qian Liqun, as well as two associates of the Chinese Academy of Social Science — Mao Yushi and Fan Gang.
Further, China will soon establish a special paramilitary anti-riot police force to deal with possible unrest. Under a recent Public Security Ministry order, each major municipality such as Beijing and Shanghai will set up a more than 300-person anti-riot police force. In each of the provincial capital cities the number of police officers for the special force would be no less than 200. The special forces would be run like the armed forces with all members living together in camps and receiving strict training, standing by around the clock to deal with riots. Until now, regular police forces, backed if necessary by People’s Armed Police, a branch of the military, have done the job.
With the country experiencing increased organized and violent crime, street protests by laid-off workers and ethnic separatist activities in various regions, Beijing is increasingly concerned about social stability — never mind that China itself might be causing some of the instability.
Mao’s book of martyrs
Both the so called “house churches” and underground churches in China are under increasing oppressive persecution. Most Christians live in fear of “Religious affairs rule No. 5,” which states that “Christians must actively cooperate with the government to carry out Party’s religious politics to the letter. They shall not persuade and force others to believe in Christianity. They shall not brainwash teenagers under 18 with religious beliefs. They shall not bring children to religious activities.”
Joseph Kung, nephew of the late Cardinal Kung (who has been considered for cannonization by the Catholic Church), explains that “The underground church in China has no church buildings, no property and no collections. Most of the Holy Masses are offered in deserted fields regardless of the weather condition. The underground Church asks not for its comfort, but for the dignity of the Blessed Sacrament.”
Of the estimated 14 million Catholics in China, only about 4 million belong to the “official” and government-controlled Chinese Catholic Church, while the other 10 million recognize the authority of the pope at the Vatican in Rome. Wenzhou, the site of a huge government crackdown late last year, has a large Catholic community which grew from the pre-communist days when foreign missionaries traveled from the main port city of Shanghai down the east coast to Wenzhou to convert the Chinese.
Between November and mid December of last year, Communist officials in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang shut down, and in some cases blew up, 450 Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Taoist and Buddhist temples.
The campaign was aimed at wiping out “illegal” religious groups not registered with the State Administration for Religious Affairs. At least 239 unregistered religious facilities that were shut down were in Wenzhou.
“The churches, temples and religious halls were shut down to protect the public,” said a Chinese government spokesman. “In order to maintain social stability, the local government demolished underground churches and temples and other illegal places. These organizations were operating under the cloak of religion. They hoodwinked people, interfered in normal religious activities.”
In the legal realm, liberalization and democracy do not seem to be in the offing inside Communist China.
Supreme People’s Court president Xiao Yang recently stated that dissent and outlawed religions will be among the three key targets of a stepped-up crackdown by the Chinese regime in 2001. In a speech delivered to a national meeting of higher-court presidents, Xiao said that the subversion of state power and attempts to “split the nation” would be seriously dealt with.
“Chinese courts at all levels should this year strengthen legal procedures against the subversion of state power,” said Xiao, who added that “religious cults that conducted activities sabotaging stability are the country’s second-most-dangerous threat.” Xiao also promised to stamp out the activities of the Triads and graft within the government.
But persecution of a religious nature in Communist China is not merely limited to Catholics and Protestants. Recently, a newly freed Chinese-Canadian Falun Gong member who graduated from a Chinese labor camp — the 60-year-old Zhang Kunlun — said he experienced such horrific electrical-shock torture that “you could smell the burning skin.” Falun Gong is a meditative martial arts regimen that has been outlawed by the ruling
Communist government as subversive since July of 1999.
Zhang stated Falun Gong practitioners in the labor camp were tortured with electric-shock “therapy” and brutal beatings. Practitioners on the camps were made to write letters of confession and promise never again to take part in their martial arts and meditative exercises. “They beat all practitioners who were doing exercises and appeals; they electrically shocked them. I saw the injuries from the beatings and burns on their bodies,” he said.
Western opposition to China’s religious oriented persecution is at an all time low. For example, Seth Faison penned an article in the New York Times about how the head of Time Warner — which also owns CNN — gave the Chinese president a bust of Lincoln and praised him for his parlor trick of reciting the Gettysburg Address.
The chief of the American International Group, an insurance giant, stated that China needs more food, not human rights. Many commentators and critics of Beijing have claimed that the Chinese do indeed have enough food. One critic stated that he would like to “invite the insurance man [from the American International Group] to a dinner that will include a dish sometimes served to Chinese political prisoners — rice in a toilet bucket.”
“Touched by an Angel,” considered to be the top American-produced Christian/religious television show, produced a popular episode, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon.” The show was extremely successful in dramatizing China’s horrendous human rights record. Actor Richard Gere was so taken by the episode’s subject matter that he appeared on national television to promote the show. However, under pressure from the Communist government, the studio which produced “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” has ceased production of it.
“This episode can be rented at some Blockbuster stores, but when those tapes wear out from use, there will be none left to replace them,” said a Blockbuster executive in an interview with WorldNetDaily. The executive requested anonymity, citing a “culture of bias against Christians in the company.”
“Just look around any Blockbuster. Most of the videos are sex, occult, violence and that kind of thing. The government in China leaned on President Clinton’s Hollywood buddies in an effort to make the studio stop producing that particular episode. I am making hundreds of high-quality bootlegged copies myself, and mailing them to friends. I know it is illegal, but this is a spiritual war we are waging.”
The ‘Web’ of control
Not all of the browbeating has been quite so Neanderthal in nature, however. Rather, China has continued to employ technology as the stick in its Marxist surveillance society.
For example, China is using its GPS satellite system to help the fight against crime. When a security van was recently hijacked, Beijing’s Public Security Bureau command center was alerted. Inside the Bureau, a huge wall-sized screen immediately pinpointed the location of the van, and a special unit was dispatched to intercept, recover and arrest those responsible for stealing the van. The GPS devices cost about $1,200 per unit in U.S. dollars. More than 800 of the capital’s nearly 1,000 security vans in eight urban districts — belonging to 19 different banks — have been installed with the devices.
Banks in suburban areas are also considering introducing the system this year. According to Liu De, deputy director of the bureau, not a single criminal has been able to steal cash from banks in Beijing since the end of 1997.
In response to the success of the Hong Kong Blondes and Laurie Holden hacking groups in harassing and infiltrating the computer systems of China’s military industrial complex, the Communist Chinese government has stepped up its anti-hacker research, development and infrastructure.
Tianhaiwei Digital Co. Ltd. has showed off the latest anti-hacker security system produced by the Communist Chinese military industrial complex. It is called Landun, or the “Blue Shield.” The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has endorsed Landun as the first China-produced network security system with “defensive abilities.”
Not far behind Landun on the technological spectrum is Far East Science and Technology Co. Ltd.’s maverick “Hacker Killer.” This high-tech security system can defeat more than 800 attack methods used by hackers. In addition, Far East Network Security Academy in Beijing, cooperating with the major state information security research office of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has developed a series of network security products labeled as “Far East Net Security.”
The Chinese government has also spoken about setting up “network morals” which will govern the way all nations monitor and control the World Wide Web.
Of course most thinking Americans realize that China seeks to control the use of the Internet as a means of expression against its dictatorial rule. One way the ruling authorities attempt to do so is by using pornography as an excuse to curtail dissent on the Internet.
Last December, the Public Information Network Monitoring Department under Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau recently raided the “Internet Cafe Street” outside Beijing University and discovered pornographic sites on 56 computers at the famous “Fei Yu” Internet Cafe chain stores. The police imposed a 10,000 yuan fine each to the Internet Cafe stores that violated the rules and confiscated the computers in question.
Furthermore, the Communist government forbids webmasters from posting links to overseas news sites, the setting up of Internet newspapers such as WorldNetDaily. E-mail, chat rooms and news groups are under constant scrutiny. Over 20 individual provinces in China now have Internet police units which exist to root out postings the government finds subversive and objectionable.
Only this past week, China’s Supreme People’s Court stated that people caught stealing or leaking state documents on the Internet could face the death penalty. Those “engaged in spying activities” such as “stealing, detecting, purchasing or leaking state secrets” either through the Internet or elsewhere will be executed or given a prison term ranging from 10 years to life. If convicted, an individual’s personal property could also be confiscated as well, it added.
Israeli online surveillance-systems producer Daniel Data Systems and American transnational corporations such as Sun Microsystems, Motorola and Dupont were among the foreign companies which peddled their latest gadgets at Chinese police business fair held in Beijing last November. The Chinese government’s Ministry of Public Security’s “Golden Shield Project,” was held in an effort to augment Beijing’s ability to monitor and control Internet activities it has deemed “criminal.” The fair was organized by the Hong Kong-based Adsale Exhibition Services, but was sponsored by China’s police ministry, its paramilitary police corps and the Office of Comprehensive Control of Social Order. This government body is under the direct control of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which coordinates action against protests and dissidents.
The number of people the government seeks to control is mammoth. Latest statistics show that there were 22.5 million Internet users in China in 2000, more than twice the number of 8.9 million in 1999. The China Internet Network Information Center reported that 56 percent of China’s Internet users are under the age of 26. More than 40 percent are aged 18-24. Women account for 30 percent of Web surfers. Beijing boasts the largest population of Internet surfers in the country. Guangdong is second, and Shanghai third. Of the more than 265,000 Chinese websites using a World Wide Web address, one quarter of them are based in Beijing, 14 percent in Guangdong, followed by only 10 percent in Shanghai.
Of course, Net troublemakers loyal to Beijing are another story. The Chinese government has recruited, protected and applauded ethnic Chinese hackers who attack foreign governments via the Internet. One site, a sub-domain of a government telecom website in the southern province of Guangxi, was used in a cyber attack on a Japanese government site. The Chinese police publicly referred to the offending site as “patriotic.”
The despotic giant
In light of these developments vis-?-vis the Internet inside China, it would seem premature to pronounce President Clinton’s pro-China policy as a success. However, it is not too late to call it what it really is — a complete disaster for the cause of freedom.
Yet all hope is not lost. As “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” has shown America, China’s religious and political martyrs have inspired even the angels with their faith and courage. They have much to teach 21st-century Americans about fighting the emerging antichrist awaiting Western man across the Pacific.
As Napoleon said, “Let China sleep. For when she awakes, let the nations tremble.”