Ok, this debate consists a lot of China is evil because CNN told me so, to America is evil because BBC reported on Abu Ghraib. To truly appreciate
many of the human rights issues, you must understand the history of many of these issues.
The cultural revolution was the work of Mao and him alone, as a way to regain power. it has long passed, even the Chinese leadership now accredit Mao
Zedong as a good leader "who made some mistakes". To blame the post-Deng Xiao Ping leadership on that is like blaming slavery on President Bush.
The labour prisons you refer to do exist. A majority of them serve purposes not unlike the "chain-gangs" in the US. They are of course convicted
"political dissidents" among them.
Chinese prisons are NOT clean, LOL, and most people in society prefer them to be nasty.
China's legal system has a long way to go, but it cannot be dismissed as a kangaroo court anymore. It is true that political cases are dealt with in
a dubius fashion but criminal cases are not.
The death penalty has always being in use in China. One of China's oldest phrases is "kill a man, pay your life. Contrary to popular opinion,
China does not condone the executions of Children, they are BY LAW, not executed. Amnesty international is very strange on this issue, it seems to be
having a bet each way. It acknowledges that China does not systematically execute Children but it says it wants China to stop its "mistaken age"
death penalties. I suspect that it's real aim is to get China to stop using the death penalty altogether.
Tibet was annexed by the Communist party after the civil war. Genocide is a word that has become too widely used to offer it's original meaning.
Sure, Tibetans were killed by Chinese army, many of them during the uprising that was organised by the CIA. But Genocide means a deliberate attempt
to exterminate a race, this was NEVER EVER practiced by China.
In fact, China has done what it always has done, the Tibetans who fought for independence were caught, killed, jailed, or ran to India. It wasn't a
systematic killing of the people just for fun.
Of course, could anyone offer me the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"? Tibet was an example of a state exercising its
control over another, it was certainly not a practice in "genocide".
In terms of Tibet as a nation, it is a very complicated topic which is too easily dismissed by people on both sides of the fence. The are 2
contentious issues over whether or not Tibet is an independent nation.
The first is the Yuan dynasty, which Kublai Khan conquered China and Tibet, and alot of other places. China claims the Yuan dynasty as a dynasty not
dissimilar to the Manchu Qing, which will then mean that the dynasty is Chinese (just not Han). This would allow Chinese claims to Tibet.
The Tibetans claim that the Yuan was like a foreign power (Mongolian), and if China could claim it, then India could claim Australia (work it out
logically, since Briton ruled over both).
The truth is of course more complicated. China is a melting pot of people over 50 ethnic minorities including Mongolians, and cultures ranging from
Middle-Eastern to Korean. So it is really nothing like imposing British rule over India. However, Yuan was certainly not "ethinically Han" and was
eventually pushed out by the Han's Ming dynasty. (which was the time when China started to go bad militarily but the Ming still had arguably the
best fleet of it's time).
The trick to the arguement of course is whether or not you define China as Han (over 90% of Chinese are Han). China definetely started off as Han but
over it's evolution has become more and more less "Han". You can not say that China means Han nowdays, but at the time of Kublai, the Chinese
identity was still very much Han.
The 2nd topic is the marriage of a princess from China to Tibet (during the Tang, i think before the Yuan). I must confess i'm not too familiar with
this issue, you should read up on that yourself but YOU WILL NOT FIND A UNBIASED SOURCE on this. It is a very charged topic.
Seekerof, that website you provided before was from a Falungong website and had drawings. That is not evidence.
Falungong has now lost credibility as a religious organisation, it's a pseudo-political organisation funded and used by anti-chinese forces. This is
not to say that Falungong is evil or a cult, just that people should really read what Falungong is all about before using that as a reason to comment
on China's human rights.
Falungong was founded by Li Hongzhi and he claimed to be the re-incarnation of the buddha (a Jesus, Messiah character). It is not "ancient" or
"traditional", it was started in 1992 by one man. It has a very aggressive (by that i mean protests, not violence) strategy more akin to
evangelicals then traditional Chinese Buddism. It's true believers believe in Falungong and Li Hongzhi before the state or anything else.
The real reason why it was cracked down in China is because of that last sentence. If leaders of a state believe that a group might infringe on it's
rule, then it will move the change that. This is no different to tussles between the monarchy and the Vatican in middle ages Europe.
People should go and see some of the protests they hold, it is very surreal. The former Chinese president Jiang started the ban because of the huge
march organised. They were various reports describing how the huge group sat as one, meditated as one, rose as one, marched off as one. That display
of total organisation, not they protests or religious beliefs are what triggered the ban.
It is true, China cracks down very hard on political dissension. However, this is exaggerated in the media like all things tend to be. As China's
Communist leadership have firmed, it has become more "complacent" about dissent. As long as you don't organise or ferment unrest, nothing will
happen to you. If you publish columns, you will be harrassed but you will NOT be sent to prison for just ranting on the net. The line is if you
start to ORGANISE something.
The issue of free speech is a historical issue in China, and yes, it was a problem long before America declared independence or sailed from Briton.
For example, the first Emperor of China persecuted scholars and burned books in an unimaginable way (this was latter learnt by Mao Zedong towards the
end of his life). During the Qing Dynasty, Emperors persecuted scholars who wrote the word "ming" (the name of the previous Han dynasty, the Qing
were Manchu) in they poems for often innocent purporses.
Have in mind though, America has one of the most extreme freedom of speech rules across the world. America is a nation founded on entreprenier ship,
independence and the American dream. This has very little in common with China which has a strong community based society, mostly inward looking. In
past generations (even currently), Chinese would never ever tell it's Elders that he or she is wrong, even if they are.
The fact that there is a "Great Wall of China" tells you about the culture. China never had Cavalries like the Mongolians, Legions like the Romans,
Empires like the British, or Profound influence like the USA.
But through all the turmoils of history, China has survived.
Summary & Rant
The above are just my opinion, plz don't flame me
The reason why i didn't offer any links to any of the above issues are because of the lack of good links. The links are either extremely anti-China
or extremely pro-China, where the truth like it always does, lies in between.
I believe that they is too much people on this forum who plonk down a link which supports them and says thats it, i'm right. That is BS, history is
open to interpretation, even Neo-nazis can find sources which support them. A majority of us have an opinion, shares it, then googles for supporting
sources, of course you will find them.