The 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China is tomorrow,
bringing deep reflection on China's path since 1949 and its role in the
world. Yesterday, we rounded up the praise heaped on a growing China
Many Western writers, though thrilled with China's economic expansion
and global leadership, have given China's human rights and
environmental struggles little attention. References to Beijing's fraught relations with with the Uighurs
, for example, are oddly absent from Western reflections on China's
anniversary. Today we survey the criticism of China, the strongest of
which come from non-Western media.
- China Must Address Human Rights Nina Hachigian asks
in the L.A. Times, "Now that China is fully engaged and has earned
considerable clout, what
will it do? Will it increasingly abide by and support international
standards? Could it eventually become a genuine leader for the global
common good, with the risk and sacrifice that often entails?" The
Sudan, for example, has long traded with China. "China's human rights
conduct does not live up to international
standards, and, often to ensure access to natural resources, it
supports and shelters dictators who abuse their people," she wrote.
"The U.S. does not have the power to make China a global do-gooder, but
it has some cards to play."
- Big Growing Pains for Richer China Melissa Chan writes for Al Jazeera
that China, for all its success, has real problems. "All these economic
changes have come at a heavy price for China's
environment, in the form of dead rivers, poisoned land and toxic air.
Then there are the increasingly frequent reports of unrest and
rioting," she wrote. "the Tibetans, as we saw in the recent outbreaks
of unrest, remain deeply disenchanted with Chinese rule. Other ethnic
riots earlier this year in the western region of
Xinjiang, home to Muslim Uighurs, revealed that, after 60 years of
communist rule, some of the most entrenched obstacles to uniting
China's people remain untackled."
- The Death of Maoist Marxism Chris Patten writes
in the Malaysia-based New Straits Times that the Maoism dictatorship
being celebrated in China has been long debunked. Patten criticized Mao
as a "tyrant" and China's Mao worship as forgetting his crimes. "There
was the Great Leap Forward, which led to mass starvation and
perhaps as many as 38 million deaths. Then the madness of the Cultural
Revolution, when millions suffered terribly, many died, and many more
behaved disgracefully as Mao sought to destroy those who had rescued
China from his earlier follies," he wrote. "This creed has clearly not
creator. Pragmatism with a Leninist face is the order of the day. The
glories of getting rich have overwhelmed the deprivations of patriotic
self-sacrifice. Mao made China proud. Deng [Xiaoping] made it
- West Must Push China on Human Rights A staff editorial in the U.K. Telegraph
condemns China's leadership while praising its people. "The Communist
Party insists nowadays it wants to build a normal nation,
and perhaps the most encouraging aspect of modern China is the
increasingly normal behaviour of its people: they work, they play, they
go on holiday. They grumble about the corrupt among their leaders; they
moan about censorship; they worry about the dominance of American
multinationals without trying to burn down their headquarters," the
editorial reads. "This imposes a duty on the West. It is incumbent on
us to accept with
enthusiasm the challenges and opportunities presented by a vast
population ready to play its part in the world, while remaining
sceptical about the often rose-tinted image of the country's
development propagated by its leaders."
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