A Distant Witness to 70 Years of Chinese Communist Rule


I.          Domestic Policy

October 1, 2019 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War.  Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plan a day of celebration where they can bask in their successes and rededicate themselves to a glorious future.

As they do so, millions of Hong Kong citizens await a new and greater Tiananmen Square Massacre.  They fear another murderous repression because Hong Kong citizens had the temerity to demand that the CCP keep its Treaty promise to maintain democracy within the former British colony for at least fifty years.  A city of millions raised free is seeing its liberties stolen to serve Beijing’s insatiable hunger for control over the lives of others.

Moslem Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province are being “re-educated” by the millions in camps employing the tried and true methods of torture and brainwashing.  The stated goal is nothing less than the elimination of a distinct cultural and religious nation through unrelenting thought-control, backed up by a slow-going but meticulous physical genocide.

Outside of these camps, a surveillance state that makes Orwell’s “1984” seem loose and amateurish has been built in partnership with US Tech companies.  Ubiquitous cameras and microphones employ artificial intelligence and facial recognition technologies to monitor and track almost everything that individuals do and say.  This data is converted into a “Social Credit Score”, wherein loyalty is rewarded and conscience is punished.  Imagine a city without doors and window coverings, or a language without the word, “NO!”  That is what the CCP has built in Xinjiang, and is spreading everywhere that they rule.

Everyday Chinese within the People’s Republic have been encouraged to tolerate CCP control because a variant of Free Market Enterprise has radically improved the physical standard of living within certain Chinese cities.  The deal has been simple, give up all political expression in return for an ever-increasing prosperity.  However, as the nature of the global economy shifts against Chinese competitiveness for the first time since the 1970s, the CCP can no longer ensure an ever-more-plush lifestyle in these regions.  In fact, economic reality may prevent even the maintenance of current living standards.

Because of this, no matter how mighty the CCP seems in its propaganda, the reality is that they are both weak and afraid.  Since 1989, they have known that everyday Chinese have been patiently waiting for the death of the old generation of leaders who ordered the Tiananmen Square Massacre.  Xi Jinping has so far managed to perpetuate their Totalitarian style of rule into the next generation. 

However, no thinking CCP leader actually believes that they have the loyalty of most Chinese citizens.  They have been allowed to rule on sufferance, tolerated because they did preside over a marked improvement in material well-being while simultaneously crushing all real or imagined dissent with conspicuous brutality. 

Consider the persecution of the Falun-Gong meditation technique.  Mass arrests of practitioners of this peaceful variant of Tai-Chi have been followed by the mass-harvesting of their organs to be sold on the Black Market.  The victims of this horror either die or live on in a half-life, depending upon the momentary needs of the international market in fresh replacement organs.

II.         Foreign Policy

In their fear and weakness, the CCP is becoming desperate to rally their people in a national cause and gather everyday Chinese around the CCP banner.  All schools, media, and popular culture have taught a brittle form of Pan-Sinoist Nationalism, pitting ethnically Han Chinese against non-Han minorities within the People’s Republic and the People’s Republic of China against all foreigners. 

The anti-Japanese jingoism ubiquitous on Chinese television is breathtaking in its crudity and blatancy.  The CCP is beating the war drums, with constant and lurid reminders of genuine Japanese atrocities from before Japan’s defeat in World War II.  However, the raw emotionalism of this propaganda is designed to provoke nothing short of violent rage on a massive scale, which will need to be expressed at some future moment.

Everything that North Korea does is a direct result of ongoing CCP support.  The CCP has publicly stated their intention to reunite Taiwan with mainland China before 2020, by reason or by force.  Dubious claims by China over the islands and waters of both the East China Sea and the South China Sea threaten the free flow of maritime trade, as well as the territorial integrity of all nations bordering these seas.  The possibility of sudden war along China’s Vietnamese border is a constant threat.  Skirmishes have been occurring for generations along China’s Himalayan border regions with Pakistan, India, and Nepal.  These skirmishes have recently intensified. 

China was instrumental in North Korea’s nuclear program, which sparked both Pakistan’s and Iran’s nuclear programs.  CCP support for Putin is key to his ongoing dictatorship in Russia, and is contingent on his continuing destabilization of Eastern Europe.  Without Chinese support, the tyrannical regimes in Cuba and Venezuela would likely have already fallen.  

The CCP’s “Confucius Institute” is but one organ for agitation and propaganda designed to infiltrate and destabilize free societies throughout the West.  Chinese money and social media workers busily strive to undermine political parties and stymie civility between ideological opponents within Western nations.  Those who work on the internet are already experiencing the effects of an undeclared war against Western governments, companies, and even individuals.   

China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” is systematically putting strategically-placed nations around the world in debt-traps, whose only ready solution is to grant a series of 99-year leases for China to build a global network of Military Bases.  This technique is as blatant and repressive as anything done in the heyday of the expansion of Britain and the other European Empires in the late 19th Century.  In fact, much propaganda exists that celebrates these policies as righteous retribution for China’s “Century of Shame” from their defeat in the Opium Wars through the CCP victory in 1949.

III.        Political Legacies

China’s aggressiveness is destabilizing what passes for today’s world order, but CCP leaders fear their own overthrow more than they do foreign conflicts.  In fact, since a virulent pro-CCP xenophobia would be fed by foreign conflicts, they might even be seen as desirable.  In such skewed political calculations, World Wars can emerge.  The CCP leadership has no first-hand experience with the many hard-won lessons that the US and the USSR learned during the Cold War.  Both Americans and Soviets developed the wisdom to play out the conflict of personal freedom vs. central control without sparking an Atomic Armageddon. 

Instead of this legacy of careful Cold War balance, the CCP hearkens back to the late-19th Century Great Power aggressiveness that ultimately provoked the First World War.  Like these industrial Empires, today’s CCP sees the world as an arena of cutthroat competition, where for China to rise others must fall.  This Social Darwinism suffuses their popular culture as well as their national policy.  In the struggle for survival, conflict is inevitable and no policy can be seen as too violent or extreme so long as it is effective. 

What is alive and well in CCP leadership is the traditions of Mao Zedong, which Xi Jinping is self-consciously emulating; even to the extent of having himself named “Chairman”.  Mao’s rule involved the intentional murder of from 80 to 120 million Chinese in peacetime.  His “Great Leap Forward” caused purposeful starvation, and his “Cultural Revolution” destroyed almost every human relationship and tradition that pre-dated his rule.  To put this into perspective, Hitler’s rule murdered from 15 to 20 million victims and Stalin’s rule murdered from 20 to 60 million victims.  Absolutely nothing was allowed to stand in the way of Mao’s ambitions, which made him by far the worst mass-murderer in human history.

As we contemplate the legacy of 70 years of CCP rule, Americans and others from around the world should consider this newest threat to human dignity and freedom.  The ambition of the CCP has no boundaries, and their desperation about being overthrown has no limits.  Mao’s legacy is of total control, and today’s technology makes this vision of a Human Hive more possible than ever before.  The market reforms that have made China wealthy are limited by Party policy, much as Cartel Capitalism in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.  The prospects of the global market producing continuing improvement in living standards is dim, fueling CCP fears.

Finally, generations of “one couple-one child” has destroyed the traditional heart of Chinese culture, the family.  Simultaneously, this policy has resulted in a massive surplus of military-aged men.  Such circumstances may entice the CCP to risk war to achieve both domestic and foreign objectives.  Late-19th Century Imperialism in the Nuclear age makes what should be unthinkable possible.

Taken together, this 70 year legacy means that the CCP should be subject to the closest scrutiny, and their adventurism overseas should be opposed with the utmost seriousness.  Commercial and technological ties should be carefully reevaluated.  And, all of us should hope that one day the people of China will throw off the shackles of Communist rule and claim their rightful place alongside the free peoples of the world.

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I am a veteran public school High School History Teacher, specializing in the history of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Western Civilization. Generations ago, Americans erroneously removed Western Civilization requirements from the High School curriculum. Here and elsewhere, I am trying to restore the teaching of this essential heritage to young Americans. I invite you to join me in this effort! In fact, without the efforts and talents of others, this initiative will surely fail.