As the Olympics approach, major cities in China are filled with soldiers and police. Not only does Beijing look as if it’s facing a formidable enemy, even Shanghai, as human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong has described, is in a state of semi-martial law where civilians are treated as terrorists, which has caused major complaints.
Zheng Enchong lives in an apartment building in the center of Shanghai, close to Nanjing Road. Looking from above, he describes, “Shanghai has entered a state of semi-martial law. Now that the Olympics is near, the traffic has declined significantly. The never-sleeping Shanghai is now desolate.” He quotes from a friend within the hierarchy, “It used to be tight control, but looks relaxed on the surface. Now it’s tightly controlled both from within and now apparent on the surface.”
The CCP Treats Civilians as Terrorists
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims its call to the people to report terrorists is to prevent a terrorist attack. Take Shanghai as an example, every report will be rewarded with 100,000 yuan (approximately US$14,285). However, Zheng Enchong indicates that the CCP is actually creating an atmosphere of fear and treating every civilian as a terrorist. “The police are free to check anyone. Two days ago, a friend from the Department of Education was stopped while walking on the street with his daughter. His daughter’s backpack was searched for metal objects. The atmosphere in Shanghai is more intense than prior to the Cultural Revolution!”
Zheng says, “Civilian mentality is to not attract trouble. Even though it’s summer now, the kids are reluctant to go to the Internet Cafes. People are afraid of going outside. Everyone feels the terror of the Olympics. The CCP claims the Olympics is not about politics. Yet, people are treated like a terrorist even when holding a bottle of water or a bag.” He sighs.
Why is the CCP in such a state of suspicion and fear? Zheng explains, “Through the Olympics, I indeed see that the CCP has lost its credibility, far more severely than I had previously imagined. I thought it was only in Beijing. Now, I realize it’s widespread. The whole nation is complaining about the Olympics because the Olympics has become an event that restricts everyone’s personal freedom.”
‘Hot Olympic Ticket Sales’ Is a False Representation
Zheng believes that people will avoid conflict by not going to the Olympics. He says, “The Olympic tickets are not sold out. For instance, there are millions of soccer fans in China. However, the report about the soccer ticket promotion suggests something is not right. The so-called long ticket line is highly improbable. You can book the tickets on the Internet. It has been so hot in Shanghai, it’s impossible for people to wait in the ticket line. Those so-called ticket lines are simply staged.”