Anyone who thought that Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and their five colleagues in the countries ruling Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee were going to slowly take the world’s most populated nation towards political reforms should think again.
Beneath the heady rhetoric of Xi’s campaign against corruption both he and his predecessor Hu Jintao have stated publicly threatens the Party’s very existence the ugly truth of remains of a state where people are getting less, not more, political freedom.
As Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, being carried out by one of his administration’s more respected members Wang Qishan as head of the CCP’s Orwellian sounding Central Discipline and Inspection Committee has gathered steam, so has another mirror image campaign.
That campaign is a fresh crackdown on critics of the government and the latest targets have been anti-corruption activists.
The irony would be amusing if it was not so tragic, there are now estimates that as many as 100 government critics and activists have “disappeared” or been locked-up.
But in a rare strike back a short video emerged yesterday of prominent activist lawyer Xu Zhiyong speaking, handcuffed, in his place of detention. It was filmed secretly and at enourmous personal risk to the person or persons who smuggled it out.
Click here to watch Xu on YouTube for a rare insight into how China’s government treats its anti-corruption campaigners who don’t happen to be in the Party elite.
This is what Xu says (thanks to Wall Street Journal):
“No matter how this society [of ours] is, how defeated or how absurd, this society needs brave citizens who can stand up and hold fast to their beliefs, who can take their rights, responsibilities and their dreams seriously. I’m proud to put the word ‘citizen’ before my name, and I hope everyone does the same, putting the word ‘citizen’ before their name. Let us unite, and work together to make our rights as citizens matter, to make our identities as citizens matter — working together to promote democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice in our country. Surely we can build a free, public-spirited, loving and good China.