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China brings Orwell's "1984" to life
Cao Changching

There has been a flurry of articles and commentaries in China's media lately ridiculing Taiwan and the US. These articles have mainly targeted Taiwan's electoral disputes and US mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. Such propaganda makes one think of a rapist ridiculing legislation on sexual harassment.

It is true that the outcome of the presidential election resulted in a dispute, but the investigations that have been carried out so far suggest that none of the parties engaged in vote-rigging and that the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu on the eve of the presidential election was not engineered by Chen himself.

Following opposition-led street protests after the election, the electoral dispute has now entered the judicial system for resolution. This is clear evidence that the nation's democratic mechanisms are maturing.

While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ridicules Taiwan's electoral dispute, it seems to have completely forgotten that it relies on dictatorship to deprive China's people of the right to choose. The result is what amounts to a continuous rape of public opinion.

Even if Taiwan's presidential election had involved vote-rigging and vote-buying, that would still not have been a reason to make Taiwan the target of the CCP's ridicule, because after all the CCP relies on the gun to deprive the Chinese people of the freedom to hold elections.

The same goes for China's reaction to US mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

No matter where it occurs, the mistreatment of prisoners is scandalously vicious behavior.

What China's media do not report, however, is that it is the Pentagon itself that has investigated and exposed this behavior, and that it is the US media that are taking the lead in reporting and criticizing the mistreatment. Further, the US government is already meting out severe punishment to the guilty parties.

In China, however, it is not a matter of mistreatment, but rather of just plain killing people. According to figures from Amnesty International, China has executed, on average, more than 2,000 people every year over the past 10 years, and last year over 10,000 people were executed. Nine hundred Falun Gong members alone have been killed.

At the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting in New York last month, it was reported that over 1,000 Falun Gong members have been locked up in psychiatric institutions; that 13 of these people had been given medicine that "cured" them to death; and that innumerable Falun Gong practitioners have been beaten by Chinese police and suffered various kinds of cruel physical humiliation.

And a government such as this is actually shameless enough to ridicule Taiwan and the US.

In his book 1984, George Orwell exposed the true essence of dictatorship and the way it stands things on their head: "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is power."

Cao Changching is a writer based in the US.

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