This article is dedicated to all who gave their lives for a better China.
China. The Dragon of the East. The Orient. The People’s Republic. What comes to mind when you hear these names? Do you think of pretty women in qipao gracefully dancing? Do you think of pigtailed squint-eyed yellow-skinned people with long fingernails? Or do you think of evil copycats who pose the greatest threat to world peace since Hitler? Well let me tell you: China is none of these things. China is no longer the land where people everywhere live honourable lives, memorising long-winded poems. Nor is China a land where everyone is morally corrupt and wants to be as American as possible. No, China is none of these things.
The name “China” in the 21st century has become synonymous with two things: typical Chinese culture (qipao, dumplings, etc) and communism. The Communist Party of China, founded on July 1, 1921, has proceeded to become the world’s second-largest political party, after India’s Bharatiya Janata Party. The Communist Party of China is THE dominant player in Chinese politics and is linked so closely to the government that it is essentially the government. In fact, the Chinese armed forces, the People’s Liberation Army, is actually subordinate to the Communist Party of China, and not the People’s Republic itself.
Most people in North America and Europe, upon hearing the words ‘Communist Party of China’, immediately assume that as long as the person speaking about that topic isn’t a critic of communism and China’s human rights record, then they are a brainwashed fool and/or “tankie”, an apologist for the supposed crimes committed by previous and current communist governments. However, have those people who are so convinced about the evilness and brutality of communist governments actually done their research? Mobo Gao noted in his book The Battle for China’s Past that books such as Mao: The Unknown Story have become standard reference material for discussions on Chinese communism.
Although people outside of China tend to slam Mao and the Communist Party for “human rights violations”, they tend to ignore the fact that the policies enacted by Mao and his successors have saved many millions of lives, and continue to improve the living conditions of the Chinese people. China has one of the highest government approval ratings in the world, and Mao is still revered by many in China. The current PRC government is constantly striving to improve itself, purging corrupt officials and improving the living conditions of the people, investing heavily in infrastructure. People who do not know the full story should not slam China simply for being a communist nation.
Another reason why some dislike the Chinese government is because of their purported human rights abuses. While the Chinese government has made a number of mistakes, most notably the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, they have done more good than bad for the Chinese people, and the world. China is currently a hotbed of technological innovation. In addition, the most prominent allegations of human rights abuses against China has been disproven; especially the allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. Finally, though people may criticise the Chinese government for the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, one should remember that the starvation during the Great Leap Forward was caused by poor weather conditions for two years in a row; and that most of the destruction caused during the Cultural Revolution was caused by out-of-control Red Guards.