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Hold the Cheers for China’s Human Rights Action Plan

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Hold the Cheers for China’s Human Rights Action Plan
Behind the scenes ‘Project 6521’ organizes repression

By Tianlang Zhang
Epoch Times Staff Apr 23, 2009 .

As is usually the case when the Chinese communist regime appears to take a step forward in honoring human rights, congratulations have been offered by many around the world for the regime’s National Human Rights Action Plan. But perhaps these observers have forgotten that the regime has already guaranteed its citizens’ human rights in China’s Constitution. A look at how that document is honored gives a clue as to the meaning of the Action Plan.

Forced labor camps are a simple example of how the regime violates the constitution. In these camps prisoners of conscience can be deprived of freedom for up to 4 years without any trial. Yet, Article 37 of China’s Constitution states that “No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by the decision of a people’s procuratorate or of a people’s court.”

The forced labor camp was established by Mao Zedong in 1957 for political purposes, to detain the “rightists”—in practice anyone whom the Party considered disloyal.

The labor camps are still filled with those the Party wishes to suppress. According to a United Nations report, more than 100,000 peaceful Falun Gong adherents are detained and tortured in the labor camps. Other detainees include dissidents, independent writers, underground Catholics and house church Christians.

For decades scholars have questioned the legitimacy of labor camps. However, each year, when the National People’s Congress has its regular meeting, abolishment of forced labor camps is never put on the floor for discussion—even though the Chinese people have pressed hard on this issue.

Redefining Human Rights

The opening of the Human Rights Action Plan tries to lower expectations regarding real progress in human rights. It claims that “due to the influence and limitations of nature, history, culture, the economic and social development levels, and other factors, China still confronts many challenges and has a long road ahead in its efforts to improve its human rights situation.”

A simple question should be asked. What “limitations of nature, history, culture, [and] the economic and social development levels” prevent the Chinese communist regime from releasing the prisoners of conscience?

If there are economic constraints, why not save the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on the “Information Berlin Wall” by dismantling it, instead of using it to block the Chinese people from accessing independent media such as the BBC, the Washington Post, and The Epoch Times?

In fact, where economic constraints have been lifted, the Chinese communist regime still denies human rights. Hong Kong’s per capita income of $25,430 exceeds that of both Germany and France, yet the people of Hong Kong still do not have the right to elect their own governor.

The Action Plan’s appeal to the limitations imposed by China’s level of development is another version of an old excuse. The Chinese communist regime wants to claim that the “the people’s rights to subsistence” is a human right that takes first priority over all other human rights. There are two problems with this excuse.

First, there is no antagonism between “the people’s rights to subsistence” and other human rights. Second, because people in China have lost their human rights, they subsequently have lost the ability to feed themselves—their “rights to subsistence.”

Yuan Longping is known as “Father of Hybrid Rice.” New strains of rice pioneered by him feed 60 million more people than the rice strains they replaced. In an interview in the Guangzhou Daily on April 8, Yuan claimed that 40 to 50 million people starved to death between 1959 and 1962 in mainland China after Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” campaign.

According to scholars who have studied the period, in those years China did not lack food, but the food was “reserved for war.” If the Chinese people could have had freedom of speech and let their voices be heard, or if the Chinese people could have gathered and protested the Communist regime’s food policy, or if they could have changed the government through election, would tens of millions of people have starved to death?

Taking Rights Seriously

Item (9) of Article I in the National Human Rights Action Plan is dedicated to guaranteeing human rights in the Sichuan earthquake area. It promises to respect “earthquake victims” and requires “Registering the names of people who died or disappeared in the earthquake and making them known to the public.”

Ironically, on March 28, two weeks prior to the publication of the Action Plan, Mr. Zuoren Tan, an independent author, was arrested. His crime? He devoted his own time and money to collect information about the victims, especially those who died due to the poor quality of the buildings in the earthquake area. These actions of his were said to be “instigating subversion of the state.”

In other words, someone who takes this plan seriously will end up in jail. Consider the case of Falun Gong adherents. When they practice freedom of belief, the communist regime throws them into jail and even deprives them of the “rights to subsistence.”

On Feb. 28, the South China Morning Post published a report on “‘Project 6521’—nationwide taskforces set up to crackdown on Falun Gong, among others.”

“Sources said some officials had described the campaign as ‘Project 6521’—a reference to this year’s 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1, the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising in March, the 20th anniversary on June 4 of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests and the 10th anniversary in July of the outlawing of the Falun Gong movement,” according to the report.

The report says that “Vice-President Xi Jinping has been put in charge of a massive public security campaign to prevent and respond swiftly to any possible social unrest this year … All provinces and municipalities have also been required to set up similar taskforces, headed by their deputy party secretaries and assisted by local police and law enforcement chiefs.

“The campaign’s apparent aim is to step up control over people or areas the authorities believe can cause trouble. It involves heightened surveillance of, among others, political dissidents, human rights campaigners and petitioners, and a tighter grip on the media and internet chat rooms.”

This report gives a clear picture of the Chinese communist regime taking human rights seriously. Should any of these anniversaries lead the citizens of China to exercise their human rights, the regime will have police at the ready. The “6521 project” can therefore be viewed as the “Anti-Human Rights Action Plan.”

While one may be very skeptical as to whether the Chinese communist regime will really implement its Human Rights Action Plan, that the regime will carry out its “Anti-Human Rights Action Plan” is a sure thing.

Last Updated
Apr 23, 2009

 http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/15804/

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