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Shadow of Shanwei versus Legacy of Sun Yat Sen
An opinion piece analyzing China's situation
John Patrick Kusumi

When the Shanwei Massacre happened in China three months ago, I wrote that the Communist Party was foolish to make an enemy out of farmers, fishermen, and villagers -- China's rural population, estimated to be 800 or 900 million Chinese. The Communist Party desperately needed to offer something to rural China, and hence it was no surprise to learn that Wen Jiabao just offered a conciliatory gesture towards China's heartland, which has been left behind in the uneven growth of China's economy, which favors the cities. The Shanwei Massacre casts a political shadow over the Chinese rulers, in a way similar to how Hurricane Katrina now casts a shadow over the American leaders, who seemed feckless at the time that New Orleans went under water. The ruling factions of both countries now have a built-in problem -- the shadow of these disasters is a political liability, following these factions around and reducing their approval ratings among the common people.

Politicians in general seem to be very much the same in both countries -- they over promise, and they under deliver. This year, America was shocked when one dozen coal miners died in West Virginia. But, how many miners die in China's mines? --In 2005, almost 6,000 miners died in various explosions and accidents. The latest accident was two days before Wen's speech. It is estimated that 68.9 billion yuan are needed to fix China's mines. Did his speech sound promising, as it offered 3 billion yuan for mine safety? --That amount is less than 4.4% of the 68.9 billion estimate. In fact, 3 billion is what was spent last year on coal mine safety, so it really means no increase, or if it is an increment, then it is a 4.4% solution. Wen Jiabao was able to use the right words and to give a speech that sounds like responsible action, but he is leaving 95.6% of the problem in place, undisturbed.

China's CCP government is a machine for killing its people. In some cases like Shanwei, the killing is deliberate. In some cases like the coal mines, the killing is by neglect, but that neglect can still be counted as willful negligence. China should cancel its military buildup and spend that money on fixing its mines. But, in the values of the Communist Party, it is more important to threaten Taiwan than to manage the Mainland rationally. It is shameful that China's CCP members support a system where six old men efficiently persecute 1.3 billion people. And, it is understandable why democracy scares the six old men. They are outnumbered! --And, they would not win a popularity contest if an election was held.

China's CCP government discards the advice of Deng Xiaoping--that "China must be governed by law" and instead, rules by arbitrary fiat and any convenient excuses or outright lies that serve to remove the person at the short end of any challenge or argument. The PRC Constitution says that citizens get freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to criticize the government. That is only on paper, because in the rule of arbitrary fiat, as mentioned, the Constitution itself can stand at the short end of any challenge or argument. The CCP government is brazenly illegal, every day! Deng Xiaoping authorized the training of 150,000 lawyers, and one of them was Gao Zhisheng, who now bravely stands for the rule of law in lawless, uncivilized China.

I am an observer, standing at a distance, but I participated in fasting, March 6-7. I was happy to do something for Mr. Gao, and to do something for China. To this observer, China is a distant place with a long history, distinguished culture, and a heritage or a reputation for inventing civilization. Why did civilization become invented thousands of years ago? --I feel, that is because order is better than lawlessness. What order exists in China right now? Boom! Another coal mine blew up. It very much appears that after inventing civilization, that China continued onwards to undo civilization. Why does China have a saying that begins, "If you kill one person, you are a murderer."--? A murderer is a lawless criminal who belongs behind bars. As noted above, China's CCP government is a machine for killing its people. That means, China's CCP government is a lawless criminal that belongs behind bars.

Civilized people understand this, and China's common people have lost their patience with mass murderers, running their country in a way that shames this formerly-civilized nation. As an outside observer, I see the situation and to me, China appears silly, barbaric, and savage. And of Wen Jiabao? His job is to put a human face on this inhuman system and outrageous savagery. Not to serve the people, but to find the right words that justify one more day of socialist China. He also needs to fill a suit and wear a nice tie. In his speech, he may have worn a nice tie, but his words are hollow promises. If I were a Chinese citizen, I would not place faith, pin hopes, or even believe promises coming from the same government that rules by arbitrary fiat and has made similar promises before.

From a pro-democracy standpoint, I feel that Wen Jiabao's words were too thin to inspire excitement, and that they change nothing in the overall picture of China and its pro-democracy movement. In fact, there is more excitement that is inspired by Gao Zhisheng and the pro-democracy movement, and we mutually admire that famous man of stature, Sun Yat Sen, who spoke of China having a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people." May the day of such a government come quickly to hand for the long-suffering people (including coal miners) of China!

John Patrick Kusumi is Director emeritus of the China Support Network, an organization devoted to supporting Chinese dissidents. .

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