As the world struggles to deal with COVID-19, many people have been busy focusing on simply surviving to the next day (be that physically, mentally, or financially) while under intense lockdown. But I suggest we step back for a moment and ask ourselves “Why are we in this situation?” And the answer lies squarely at the feet of the ruling party of China, the Chinese Communist Party.
China has been desperately trying to protect their image since January, even if it comes at the cost of scores of their own citizens, and a collapse of the world economy. According to USA Today, on Dec. 30, Dr. Li Wenliang, posted on social media that a new SARS-like illness was spreading throughout the city. Four days later he was detained by Chinese state security police and forced to recant his statements.. He later died of COVID-19 on Feb. 7.
Stepping away from COVID-19, the CCP has a long history of repression and violence against its population. Violent reprisals against dissidents and protestors is exceptionally common for China. In May 1989, after weeks of student-led protests advocating less restrictions on speech and the end of political nepotism at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the CCP decided to act. 30,000 troops, including tanks, were sent into Beijing. The end result was a massacre. Scholars estimate the number of dead between 500 over 3,000. According to the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, to this day, the massacre is officially denied by the Chinese government, and any mention of it within China is met with censorship.
According to Reuters, United States Department of Defense assistant secretary Richard Shriver said China is illegally detaining about 2 million Uighur Muslims in secret detention centers throughout the Western Xinjiang region. The CCP officially denied the existence of the camps in previous years but has recently acknowledged them and described them as vocational educational centers meant to curb the threat of Islamic terrorism. However, the US Department of Defense describes them as closer to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. It is claimed that Muslim prisoners are subjected to torture, round the clock political indoctrination, and forced violations of their religious principles, such as being forced to eat pork.
A system of “social credit” has even been put in place by the CCP to ensure loyalty. According to Business Insider, citizens are given a credit score by local party officials, which changes based on their behavior. Examples of actions that will lower your score include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, posting fake news online, and of course, dissent against the government. A poor score could have severe repercussions, such as being barred from leaving the country, you or your kids not being allowed into the top universities and even public naming and shaming.
I could easily continue describing the horrors the CCP has inflicted upon the citizens of China, but they are simply too numerous to describe in less than a multi-volume series. With its repression of information, and lack of regard for the rights or even lives of its citizens, coupled with its vast economic resources, population and military, it is clear to see that the CCP is the greatest threat the world has seen since 1945. The ones who will pay the ultimate price for this are the Chinese citizens suffering under an aggressive, authoritarian regime. If the world does not act united and decisively to force China to change its ways, the Red Dragon will continue to rise, and we could see a very different world order in only a few decades.