Despite China’s economic growth, its people’s discontent can’t be stifled

Despite China’s economic growth, its people’s discontent can’t be stifled

By Editorial Board, Wednesday, June 4, 12:20 AM

TWENTY-FIVE years after the Tiananmen massacre, you would think China’s Communist rulers would feel confident. China’s economy, by some measures, is poised to become the world’s largest. Its military has grown by leaps and bounds. Businessmen from every corner of the world pay court.

Yet their behavior suggests fear. They dare not let their people know what happened at Tiananmen Square. They employ tens of thousands of agents to watch over online conversations, blocking and censoring any hint of criticism. They knock down churches that become too popular. Increasingly, they bully, harass and imprison peaceful citizens who urge the regime to follow its own constitution.

Two of those citizens, Liu Xiaobo and Xu Zhiyongreceived Democracy Awards last week from the National Endowment for Democracy here in Washington, though neither was able to accept the honor in person. Mr. Liu sat in a prison cell during the ceremony, just as he did when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Mr. Liu helped write Charter 08, a call for the government to honor its people’s constitutional rights, which quickly garnered more than 10,000 signatures before the regime squelched the movement. His wife, though charged with no crime, remains isolated under house arrest. Mr. Xu, a founder of the New Citizens’ Movement, has been detained since last year in a crackdown that has intensified since Xi Jinping become president.

Mr. Xu’s award was accepted by another brave activist, Hua Ze, who now lives in exile in the United States. When she was kidnapped by Chinese security agents in 2010 and interrogated brutally over many days, she infuriated her captors with her fearlessness. “Why should I be scared?” she taunted one of them, at a time when she did not even know where she was being held. “You abduct a feeble woman like me by force and don’t even dare identify yourselves, which means you’re even more terrified than I am.” (Her account is published in the recently published “In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China.”)

Ms. Hua said the Obama administration should do more to back people inside China who are fighting for freedom; public security officials who violate rights could be denied visas, for example. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who also was honored by the National Endowment for Democracy last week for his many years of democracy promotion, proposed renaming the street in front of China’s embassy for Mr. Liu. We hope District officials take up that proposal, which is backed by other members of Congress, including Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Meanwhile, as the regime tries to show “the glorious, prosperous side of China,” Ms. Hua said, the number of people with discontents that cannot be expressed is growing: religious believers, people forcibly evicted from their homes, victims of China’s one-child and forced abortion policies. “There are a lot of weaknesses built in that will come back to bite them,” she said, and then echoed her own words during her detention: “Even though we are persecuted, they are even more scared than we are.”

Read more about this topic: Dan Southerland: 25 years after Tiananmen Square, time to break the silence Ruth Marcus: In China, a political ceiling that’s hard to shatter Dana Nemcova, Jiri Gruntorad and Jan Ruml: China has not been able to hide Liu Xiaobo’s ideas The Post’s View: China turns the screws on dissidents by persecuting their families Ruth Marcus: China’s new generation knows little about Tiananmen Square


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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