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Beijing’s Dark Designs

There have been recent reports in the media that President Chirac of France has been calling for an end to the arms embargo that the European Community (as then was) placed upon China after the Tiananmen Square massacres.

The French head of state also called for an end to the European Union’s arms embargo against China – imposed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on student protesters in Beijing – describing it as “a measure motivated purely and simply by hostility.”

To shed some light upon the abuses that the government in Beijing continues to perpetrate upon its subjects, we can draw upon the eugenic policies followed by that state. The birth control policy of one family, one child was instituted in 1978 under Deng, with fines and forced abortions or sterilisations for those who broke the law. This was reinforced by the eugenics law that identified inferiors as those suffering from genetic disorders or, as reported, belonging to ethnic minorities.

This has provided the legal and cultural authority for local communist cadres to effect coercive campaigns to reduce the fertility of ethnic minorities or conquered peoples. Tibet has proved one of the most resistant regions to Beijing’s determination that they “self limit” their populations. As a Home Office Bulletin quietly reported in 2002:

2.11. One of the main reasons for the continuing high birth rates has been the ethnic Tibetans’ campaigning to exert their right not to be treated like the Han. Tears of Silence, a report published by the Tibetan Women’s Association, in May 1995, outlined the abuses inflicted on Tibetan women during the 1993 campaigns.

2.12. Tibetan campaigning organisations have relayed more recent accounts that Tibetan women have been forcibly sterilised, with local Chinese authorities implementing a three-child, and in some cases even a two-child, maximum policy with forcible sterilisation in some parts of the province irrespective of assurances given to the contrary.

As the bulletin concludes,

2.14. Since the mid-1990s, the mismatch between central policy and announcements, and allegations about local implementation have shown the transmission problems in stark relief. Central PRC Government announcements promise adherence to ethnic minority commitments; but local cadres and officials feel pressure to apply pressure on a highly resistant population in remote areas, who in turn relate their experience through anti-PRC organisations. Co-operation, accountability and verification are missing from the process.

The stark suffering of these families, whose futures have been robbed from them, is hidden by the bureaucratese of the British civil service. Nevertheless, we should remember that the potential of the Chinese economy does not outweigh the wickedness of the Chinese state.

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12 comments to Beijing’s Dark Designs

  • do you think a moral imperative keeping the embargo in place will win over new market potential?

  • Tony Di Croce

    As an American facing an increasingly hostile europe, this to me looks a bit like “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, even if they do massacre student dissidents every so often”.


  • Darth Snarky

    Tony is having some cognitive dissonance. “Europe” (whatever the hell that means) hurt your feelings did it? Sheesh. You would make-nice with a brutal and increasingly well armed China because creaky, confused and frankly pathetic Europe, who pose no threat to anyone except themselves, do not tow the Washington DC party line.

    And some Americans wonder why so many people hate us.

  • Shawn

    Disclaimer: In talking about “Europe” I am not talking about Great Britain, but primarily about continental Western Europe. Still, it would seem that GB is sadly headed in the wrong direction.

    Personally I’m in favour of a US/China military alliance and free trade zone. One of my few criticisms of the neconservative pov is their hostility towards China. Increasingly China and the US are the only real superpowers left. It will not benifit the world to have both countries at each others throats. China has policies that I strongly disagree with, but so do the EU and the US for that matter. China’s one child policy is vile, but so is the abortion on demand that is practiced in Europe.

    And yes, I consider Eurabia to be a far greater threat to the US and the free world in general than China. Whatever its faults post-Mao China is not communist and is driven largely by a pragmatic nationalism. Europe on the other hand, especially old Europe, is still in the thrall of socialist/post-modernist ideology, driven by a virulent anti-American hatred, and an even more virulent anti-Jewish hatred.

    An alliance between China and the US would help to nullify the Europes power until the Europeans choose to grow up.

  • Guy Herbert

    Tony has it right and is being misinterpreted I think. The shadow-state that is the EU has been cosying up to China for a while now, as it sees itself as a competitor with and (at least potential) enemy of the US. An example is cooperation over the rival GPS system called Gallileo.

    This is rationalised as a balance of power play, not an ideological move. It is one that China obviously will encourage as it too is not capable of seeing itself as an ally or client of the US.

    Shawn, I submit you are completely back-to-front on this one. Anti-Americanism is vastly stronger in Europe than anti-Semitism. Most of the vehement hatred offered to Israel by the Euro-left arises from its being seen as an American colony and satellite.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Is it okay for me to point out that China has a tacit alliance with Israel?

    Regarding the one-child policy, it’s certainly a vile one, but one that demands evil be done now in order to prevent greater evil later. China simply does not have the resources to comfortably support a population that could easily reach 1.5 billion if the one-child policy was not enacted. It’s a damn if you do, very damned later if you don’t situation.

    Furthermore, I’ve never seen anybody who disparaged the one-child policy acknowledge the problems facing the chinese if they did not implement such a draconian policy. Who’d provide food, clothing, shelter, education, energy? Those families in China,some of them, can barely provide for themselves, let alone additional children, yet they still keep on popping out babies that serve as serious drains on the resource base, at least until the children are capable of some labor. And no matter how much labor is present, the scarcity of arable land is a fact.

    It’s a matter of sheer national survival. Look at China, then at India, both facing similar overpopulation problems. In 20-30 years time, you’ll see the wisdom of the totalitarian Chinese leaders compared to the clueless Indians, especially when Indian is gripped by widespread poverty, and with no way to pull its poorest out of the abyss because there are simply too many of them.


  • Shawn

    Guy, your possibly right, although I’m convinced that both anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli attitudes are both the bastard children of Europes centuries old fear of the Jew, the US being “Jewish” in its monetary/capitalist globalising character.

  • Johnathan

    The Wobbly Guy engages in a touch of Malthusianism in his defence of the China one-child-only policy. Quite apart from my objecting to the brute interference with life involved in this policy, and the dodgy population economics on which it is based (read Julian L. Simon about this), there is also the problem of imbalance. As a result of the China policy, there has developed an imbalance of boys and girls. Women typically have an abortion if they think their baby will be a girl.

    The long term consequences of a heavily male dominated China are unfathamomable, but one can at least wonder how such a nation might want to expend all that male energy. (ie, the odd invasion of a juicy target like Taiwan).

    Good article, Philip.

  • Perhaps the PRCs would self-limit their reproduction if they knew they would not have social safety nets to take care of the kids they doom to poverty. How’s that for ownership and responsibility? But that would be unpopular and undermine the shaky legitimacy of a regime based on delivering welfare…

  • A_t

    ” I’m convinced that both anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli attitudes are both the bastard children of Europes centuries old fear of the Jew, the US being “Jewish” in its monetary/capitalist globalising character.”

    I’ve not met many centuries-old europeans recently, & coincidentally I’ve never come across anyone really anti-semitic either. People dislike the US because it’s top dog & throws it’s weight around quite a lot. Americans would feel exactly the same way about another country if they were top dog (& indeed started to develop many of the same attitudes towards japan when it looked as though it was going to overtake the US economically).

    Also, I think many of you overestimate the level of hatred. Yes there’s quite a lot of anti-americanism, but very few europeans wish you ill. The person on these comment boards the other day who suggested that the French would like to nuke the US has it all wrong; that’s like suggesting the guys who run Barr’s (who make Irn Bru) would like to blow up Coke’s head office. They see themselves as competitors; that’s the main thing.

    There’s also a lot of knee-jerk anti-europeanism in the US from what I see in the press & on the internet, & I doubt that all of it’s just a reaction to the bad euros. Cultural misunderstandings cut each way.

    And Shawn, if you prefer authoritarian, expansionist neo-communist dictatorships to social-democratic liberal democracies on the basis of some centuries-old persecution complex, that’s your own (twisted) prerogative.

  • Commenters on the one child policy tend to ignore the fact that the problem was created by state action. Access to contraception and abortion was severely restricted by Mao because he saw a huge population as a weapon. Now his country is struggling to deal with that decision.

    As Johnathan points out the consequences of the policy could be horrendous as tens of millions of Chinese men fail to get their oats.

    Wealth and education are the only real constraints on population growth. China was getting there anyway, whereas India is a problem because such a huge number of the women are illiterate.

  • winter

    “Also, I think many of you overestimate the level of hatred. Yes there’s quite a lot of anti-americanism, but very few europeans wish you ill. The person on these comment boards the other day who suggested that the French would like to nuke the US has it all wrong”

    Thanks to A_ who understood this.

    Many Europeans respect and appreciate America and its culture.

    Jose Bove represents only a small amount of dumb frogs bone-headed. Actually, does he represent someone ?, Is there more than 1000 persons ready to follow him, journalists included ?

    Don’t put everyone in the same bag.