How Much Longer Will We Be Deceived?

August 25, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015
Military police squad patrols Tiananmen Square. (Ted Aljibeapp/Getty Images)
Military police squad patrols Tiananmen Square. (Ted Aljibeapp/Getty Images)

When Olympic track star Liu Xiang hobbled off the field, leaving Beijing’s Bird Nest stadium, thousands of his fans were both saddened and stunned. This Chinese athletic superstar was favored to win the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles, but an injury after a false start by a fellow runner offered a different fate. There is a heated debate in China as to whether Liu’s exit was part of a conspiracy or truly due to injury. Xi Jinping, one of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), sent his sympathies to Liu according to China’s state run Xinhua News Agency. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Ming Pao reported that China’s Central Propaganda Department sent a press release to all news organizations stipulating that “one shall not speculate on Liu Xiang’s exit and all news [of this event] shall abide by a unified standard. Even though he [Liu] was injured on the field, he is still a hero.”

The Central Propaganda Department and Xi Jinpin have only seemed to exacerbate the conspiracy theory, however. I don’t intend to suggest that Liu Xiang purposely threw the race, but the popularity of this conspiracy theory reveals the deep distrust Chinese people have towards the communist party.

And for good reason—the Chinese people has been badly deceived by their government many times. The more often the Xinhua News Agency and the People’s Daily promote news stories that the stock market is stable, the more likely stock holders will pull away. Likewise, the more the CCP talks about Liu Xiang’s injury, the more people will believe that the event was staged.

Even though the CCP has demonstrated that they have the Olympic games under control, and even though the false fireworks display of the opening ceremony went well, they are forever challenged to win the trust of the Chinese people.

Logically the Chinese people do not trust the regime, and have reason to harbor such discontent. Yet among this population of 1.3 billion, there has not been seen even a single demonstration in the special areas for protesting.

On August 18, the Beijing Police Bureau revealed that it had received 77 requests for demonstration, according to the Xinhua News Agency.  Among these, 74 cases were supposedly resolved so the requests were withdrawn. Among the three remaining cases, two were in the midst of being processed and one case was rejected. In other words, the Beijing Police Bureau did not approve one request for demonstration. So the requests from people who had their homes demolished due to Olympic construction, or from Hong Kong businessman Wang Wenjin were not approved. Other applicants were even harassed, detained, arrested or held in custody in labor camps. Their issues have never been resolved.   

The popularity of the conspiracy theory of Liu Xiang’s injury shows how much the Chinese people do not trust the regime. But the lack of demonstration at the Beijing Olympics reveals how little trust the Chinese regime has of its people. How long can a government remain stable using violence against an increasingly suspicious populace?

The emperors of ancient China knew that “suppressing the voice of the people is worse than facing a flood.” The democratic society of the West allows people to demonstrate or protest to give a voice to their discontent. Only after the people speak out, is a government persuaded to take action. This is the way that a normal society should be. The Chinese regime has revealed itself to be no different than the likes of oppressive leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il.

Without granting a single protest the CCP has failed to deliver its promise to honor the Chinese people’s constitutional rights. Furthermore, failing to deliver both the journalistic freedom and improved human rights it had promised in order to secure its bid for these Olympic games, the CCP has managed to deceive the entire world

Americans have a saying: Cheat me once, shame on you! Cheat me twice, shame on me!

How much longer will we let ourselves be deceived by CCP?


Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Zhang Tianliang
Zhang Tianliang
Zhang Tianliang (Shujia Gong), Ph.D. former adjunct professor of George Manson University, is dean of the Department of Liberal Arts and Science at the New York Based Feitian Academy of writes on China's history and politics. He contributes to a variety of publications, including the Arts. He is a popular columnist at the Epoch Times and senior commentator at the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television and a guest commentator at Voice of America’s Chinese service. He is the author of China's Path to Peaceful Transition.