CHINA: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
Beijing's crackdown ahead of Olympics
, June 9, 2007
In light of China's gross violations of human rights, should the Australian Government discourage Australia's participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008? Peter Westmore reports.The recent resignation of 22 million people from the Chinese Communist Party is an event unprecedented in the history of any communist party, and indeed, of any political party anywhere.
Yet in spite of the fact that the CCP has lost the confidence of so many of its members, and undoubtedly a far larger number of ordinary Chinese people who were never members, the regime stubbornly refuses to submit itself to the will of the people.
If the official title, the "People's Republic of China", is to mean anything, it is imperative that the Chinese Communist Party permit the operation of other political parties in China, and submit itself to the will of the people in open, free and fair elections, of the type which we are used to in Australia.
The abject failure of the Chinese Communist Party, under President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, to relax the political stranglehold of the Chinese Communist Party is a clear sign of the failure of the party to admit any true form of democracy, either inside China or inside the Communist Party itself.More open?
When China was granted the Olympic Games, it undertook to improve human rights in the country. In fact, some people said that the Olympic Games would force
the Communist regime to be more open, more democratic, and to respect human rights.
In fact, the opposite has happened. Today, China is less
democratic, and shows a contemptuous disregard for human rights: the Olympic Games have simply become an occasion for the regime to spread propaganda about its economic development.
But this development is being conducted at the expense of human rights, workers' rights and the environment. It is a sign of the regime's contempt for human rights that it is stepping up political controls ahead of the Olympic Games.The Australian
's Beijing correspondent has reported: "China ... appears to be cranking up a strategy of preventing human rights activists with strong international profiles or contacts from travelling overseas, as a damage-control measure in this sensitive period in the run-up first to the crucial five-yearly Communist Party national congress in October, then to the Olympic Games." (The Australian
, May 21, 2007).
Further, courageous human rights activists such as the lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, and Dr Gao Yaojie, have been detained without trial or put under house arrest. And in the meantime, an unknown but large number of Falun Gong practitioners are being detained without trial, and their organs forcibly removed from their living bodies in acts of barbarism comparable to the medical experiments performed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
All this is happening today in China, and has been documented by many former Chinese citizens in Australia, as well as by two well-known Canadian human rights lawyers, David Matas and David Kilgour.
Unless the persecutions stop now, the Australian Government should indicate, as it did with the cricket tour of Zimbabwe, that it does not approve of Australia's participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.- Peter Westmore.