June 14, 2024
The People’s Republic of China at 70; or, the Rectification of Names
The word ‘People’s’ is quite the misnomer.
The word ‘People’s’ is quite the misnomer.

In the Analects of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher points out that “the failure to assign things their proper names can lead to social disorder.” His remedy was “the rectification of names,” so that words matched reality. It would be hard to come up with a more apt criticism of the People’s Republic of China on the occasion of its 70th anniversary.

Let us engage in the rectification of names.

What about “the People”? Should we consider the Muslim-minority Uighurs? Last week in Geneva, as world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York, the U.N. Human Rights Council heard from the China Tribunal, an independent human-rights monitor, which laid out its findings in a report on mass organ harvesting of Uighur prisoners. The government denies that it engages in the practice, but the government denies the mass concentration/detainment of Uighurs in the China far east, about which there has been ample reporting by credible international sources and journalists. According to a report by Reuters, the government does acknowledge organ harvesting of certain prisoners but says it stopped — in 2015.

Were the “people” considered in the disastrous one-child policy, which led to the mass abandonment and infanticide of baby girls for decades? And to demographic challenges that include what the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences itself calls an “unstoppable” decline of the population to 1990 levels by the middle of this century? What can be said for the 400 million “people” in China living on an income below $5 a day? According to the World Bank, China is in the top quartile of income inequality of 148 countries ranked, as the urban coastal elite, including billionaires and millionaires who, cozy with the government, live a life that cannot even be imagined by those millions.

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See Also:

(1) Donald Trump congratulates China on 70 years of Communist Party rule

(2) Hundreds march in protest as Hong Kong reels from police shooting of student

(3) 18-year-old shot by Hong Kong police in stable condition as students stage protest

(4) Hong Kong police say shooting of 18-year-old at close range was in self-defence

(5) Scores of Hong Kong journalists injured during National Day protests, as some outlets recall staff from frontlines

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