Thursday, 01 October 2009

Communist China at 60

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On October 1, the Beijing government celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, declared formally through a proclamation by the communist revolutionary Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949. As is traditional on such milestone occasions, the Chinese government will stage a mammoth military parade that will showcase China's newest nuclear missiles, displayed among more than 50 types of weapons.

The culmination of the day’s events will be an evening gala performance on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. In preparation for the day’s events, the government has imposed stringent security restrictions, which include a ban on the rental of hotel rooms along the parade route, a ban on the opening of windows or occupying balconies adjacent to the route, and a ban on the flying of kites or allowing the flight of domesticated pigeons near the square — apparently out of fear that miniature explosive devices might be attached to them.

The New York Times reported that when three journalists from the Japanese Kyodo news agency stood on a hotel balcony to cover a September 18 parade rehearsal, the authorities stormed into the room and assaulted them. The explanation provided by a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry was that the journalists ignored explicit instructions not to report the event, out of concern that details of the event would be published, apparently spoiling the surprise.

The Times reported that during the massive event, nearly 5,000 Chinese soldiers will march past the nation’s leaders. The troops will be followed by a parade of tanks and vehicles mounted with missiles, satellites, and military equipment. And the parade will be highlighted by more than 150 planes flying in formation overhead, with some dispersing colored vapor trails.

Liang Guanglie, communist China’s defense minister, stated in a message posted on the Ministry of National Defense website: “This is an extraordinary achievement that speaks to the level of our military’s modernization and the huge change in our country’s technological strength.”

Wang Yue, executive commander of the headquarters for civilians' parade affairs of the 60th anniversary celebration in the Chinese capital, issued a news release stating:

Immediately following a massive military parade, there will be a civilians' parade comprising 36 formations and six performing groups involving about 100,000 citizens and 60 floats. It is complemented by 80,000 primary and middle school students in the Tian'anmen Square forming background patterns.... The civilians' parade will have three themes: ideology, achievements and future prospects, Wang said.

"Ideology" will be portrayed by formations holding high portraits of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, and placards featuring slogans characteristic of their thinking.

One wonders if any placard will sport one of Chairman Mao’s most famous quotes: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

Or perhaps: “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Media coverage of the celebration has mostly focused on the great progress China has made in 60 years, particularly economic progress. Some reports seem to exhibit extreme naïveté about the repressive nature of any communist regime, whether China, Vietnam, North Korea, or Cuba. An exception was an editorial in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald for October 1 entitled: “China at 60: epic progress on all fronts but one” and subheaded: “A repressive Beijing cannot be fully embraced as a force for good.”

After noting a checklist of Chinese accomplishments, including the production of enough food for its 1.3 billion people, its 91-percent literacy rate, passing Germany to become the world's third-largest economy, and an obligatory pat on the back for developing “green technology,” the writer addressed the negative side of China’s communist rule, particularly is Orwellian-like revision of historical events and its typically communist suppression of political dissenters. An example:

Beijing is still unwilling to permit any open examination of the darker chapters in the story of the past 60 years. The ideological mistakes that led to famine and murderous purges will not be open for discussion; Beijing's failure to end half a century of rebellion and repression in Tibet and other regions such as Xinjiang, home to the Uighurs, will not be assessed. And 60 years after the defeat of the Kuomintang, the differences with Taiwan, now a democracy, remain considerable. When President Hu Jintao delivers his keynote speech in Tiananmen Square, he will certainly ignore the massacre of democracy activists at this site 20 years ago.

Another editorial willing to discuss some of the unpleasant truths about the communist Chinese regime was found in the Wall Street Journal for September 30, “Communist China at 60,” subheaded: “Today's celebrations ignore history and the Party's uncertain future.”

Observing that the anniversary festivities in Beijing were carefully choreographed public relations events designed to showcase the country’s military might, but from which most Chinese citizens were excluded, the writer noted:

This isn't the people's democracy that Mao Zedong sold to a war-torn country in 1949, although it's largely in keeping with the way he governed. Mao's reign of murder, persecution, paranoia and famine left between 30 and 60 million people dead. When countries the world over congratulate the Chinese government on its anniversary — the Empire State building in New York is even lighting up with the red and yellow hues of the Chinese flag — they are paying a kind of tribute to Mao's ascendance and the dictatorship he bequeathed to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.

The editorial concluded by stating:

Mao would not recognize today's modern Chinese economy, but he would recognize the Party that runs it. Until China's leaders can trust their own people to attend a parade — and pass judgment from the ballot box — the so-called people's revolution will remain unrealized.

While such commentaries recognize the undeniable facts associated with 60 years of communist rule in China — such as the killing of between 34 and 64 million people according to a 1971 Senate subcommittee report — they fail to address the basic nature of communism, which is not so much an economic system or a political philosophy as it is a criminal conspiracy.

Mao Zedong did not sell communism to the hapless Chinese peasants, it was imposed upon them by military might. Recall Mao’s maxim: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

As to how Mao’s forces acquired the guns needed to gain control of all in China, that is a very long history lesson. But two factors played a major role in tipping the balance of power away from Chiang Kai-shek (who would eventually withdraw to Taiwan, where he relocated the government of the Republic of China) and towards Mao.

1.) As their reward for participating in a mere five days’ of war against an already-defeated Japan at the tail end of World War II, the Soviet Union received control of Manchuria and control of Japan’s huge arsenals of arms stored there. The Soviets handed these arms over to Mao Tse-tung’s communists, to be used against Chiang’s Nationalist government. In additoin to the captured Japanese arms, the Soviets also turned over to Mao additional arms received from the United States via the Lend-Lease agreement.

2.) In addition to helping arm the communist side in China’s “civil war,” the U.S. government went a step further and actually helped disarm the anti-communist side. Shortly after being appointed to the position of Secretary of State by President Harry Truman in 1947, George Marshall imposed an arms embargo on the nationalists, and even bragged that he had disarmed 39 anti-communist divisions “with a stroke of the pen.”

As the U.S.economy continues to suffer from our trade imbalance with China and the loss of millions of jobs that have been exported to slave-wage Chinese factories, the shelves of our stores are filled with merchandize labeled “Made in China.”

Ironically, the revolution that brought the communists to power in China 60 years ago could rightfully be labeled “Made in U.S.A.”

Photo: AP Images

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