By Khoa Doan / GICJ

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949 by Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since then, the CCP has held a monopoly on power for 73 years. In this record, there are only two sister parties, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (74 years) and the Workers' Party of Korea (74 years). While the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has lost power since 1991, and Communists in North Korea struggle to govern a small country, their Chinese comrades have been firmly ensconced for more than a year in the country with more than a billion people. 

The CCP's longevity can be explained by three characteristics: ruthlessness, ideological agility, and economic growth. Accordingly, the CCP has been willing to violently suppress and even kill anyone who dares to oppose its power. Additionally, it is flexible in its ideological transformation as long as it achieves its goal of retaining power. Finally, the opening-up period helped the economy develop significantly. People's living standards were improved, thereby creating a basis for them to convince people of their leadership ability. The three elements paint a relatively complete portrait of the CCP, but only on the front. It would be remiss not to look at their backs, where there is an unrelenting obsession with the past. The Chinese Communist Party's 100-year journey is a series of events that constantly erase, redraw, and overwrite history. It manifests itself in efforts to claim credit, deny guilt, and silence all dissenting opinions.

In the past several decades, the Chinese government has perpetrated some of the most serious human rights violations. The CCP’s crackdown on fundamental rights and its growing influence worldwide via its massive Belt and Road Initiative are of major concern to foreign leaders, concerned global citizens, and international human rights advocates. Through repressive means, the CCP seeks to solidify its legitimacy as the ruler of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. 

Beijing stepped on public opinion in 2020 to impose the National Security Law on Hong Kong. In contrast with the filmmakers of "Decade" five years ago, today's CCP does not even have to hire assassins to stage terrorist attacks to profit. The government claims that there are issues of “national security” in Hong Kong, which are used as grounds to crack down on civil society and dissent against the regime. As Taiwan observers said, Beijing was now "acting but not acting", bluntly tearing up the "one country, two systems" agreement it signed in white and black ink in 1984 with Great Britain. The National Security Law violates the most basic rights of Hong Kongers under their existing rule of law, such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to assemble, to protest, the right to remain silent, the right to bail, and the right to privacy. It allows the police force to carry out almost unlimited activities of surveillance, tracking, arrest, and interrogation without having to get through a subpoena. Also created were special units operating in Hong Kong without being subject to any government or law enforcement authorities, to provide "national security." It is similar to the secret police (Jinyiwei) of the Ming Dynasty or the Gestapo of Nazi Germany, an effective henchman tool of the government that suppresses societal terror. It covers both extradition laws and education reform policies, which Hong Kong residents have opposed for almost twenty years. Finally, to "compensate" for the problems that arise later from ambiguous and contradictory definitions in content, the law gives the right to interpret and make the final decision to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly of China. Country, the central government. That means a complete end to the so-called "one country, two systems". Article 38 stipulates that anyone who violates the provisions of the law, whether they are Hong Kong residents or not, will be punished if they violate the laws.

In Xinjiang and Tibet, the Chinese government has adopted the rhetoric of the “global war on terror” and uses this as a pretext to justify its repression of ethnic minorities. The government claims that cultural and religious expressions are signs of “terrorism, extremism, and separatism,” which are otherwise known as the “Three Evils”. For Xinjiang, the New York Times published more than 400 pages of confidential Chinese government documents related to Beijing's mass arrests of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in the far western region of Xinjiang in 2019. The document contains nearly 200 pages of internal speeches by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, of which more than half are from President and General Secretary Xi Jinping himself. There are also directives and reports on the control of concentration camps (161 pages) and 44 pages of reports of internal investigations of local officials. The person who provided the document is a member of the CCP and requested anonymity. This person hopes that party leaders, including Xi Jinping, will be held accountable for their crimes. The confidential documents provide detailed information about the persecution in Xinjiang. First, it is the clear position of China and Xi Jinping himself that the Uighurs have links to terrorist forces. Second, concentration camps were set up to educate those who were allegedly exposed to offensive ideas, with the view that "it is better to catch by mistake than to miss". Third, there are disagreements within the party over this policy, but these will be seen as dissidents and risk punishment. 

Human rights of Tibetans have been a concern since the founding of China. Judicial mutilation against Tibetans by the Dalai Lama's government, and controversy during serfdom have been cited as causes for China to interfere with the welfare of Tibetans. The CCP claimed a Tibetan cultural renaissance since 1950, while the Dalai Lama emphasised that "whether intentionally or unintentionally, somewhere cultural genocide was taking place". In what the New York Times called "the extermination of Tibetans", Han migrants dominate Tibetan industry. About 1.2 million rural Tibetans have been moved into a “comfortable housing” program. Some critics of the government state that the policy of teaching most classes in Mandarin high schools is aimed at "destroying Tibetans who are fluent in their language", however, officials and some students contend that Tibetans need to be fluent in the Chinese language to compete.

The circumstances in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong are emblematic of the worsening human rights situation in China. They are emblematic of the regime’s widespread and systematic crackdown on anyone who opposes the government and its ideologies. Despite the fact that the CCP relies on dangerous rhetoric that slightly varies relative to each focus region, its goal remains the same: to shut down any dissenting voices and “threats” to the regime.


Click on the PDF to read the entire report!

Human Rights Suppression, Chinese Communist Party, Legitimacy, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, National Security Law, Global War on Terror, Three Evils, Systemic Crackdown, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre for Justice

GICJ Newsletter