Rule of Law in China Called ‘Sheer nonsense’ by Netizens

May 3, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Liu Weimin, the spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin (R) . (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s midafternoon on May 2 and Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China, tells foreign media that he will accompany blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng from the U.S. embassy where he had been hiding to find medical treatment at a Beijing hospital. 

Minutes later Liu Weimin, the spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, distributed an official press release demanding an apology from the U.S. government about its handling of the issue. 

The statement emphasized that China is a country governed by law and that every legitimate right of citizens is protected by the constitution and laws. 

These remarks were soon bombarded by Chinese netizens.

Chen was sentenced to jail and imprisoned for four years after he exposed violence enforced by the local authorities in Linyi, Shandong Province, in implementing the state’s “one child policy,” which included forced sterilizations and forced abortions. 

After Chen’s imprisonment ended on Sept. 9, 2010, he and his family were kept under house arrest and forcibly separated from the outside world. 

On April 22, Chen successfully fled Shandong and arrived in Beijing. With assistance from friends he entered the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, seeking help. 

Chen’s house arrest and reported abuse were conducted outside of any legal framework, prompting netizens to ridicule the official Chinese statements.

One netizen said: “It is sheer nonsense. Especially, the sentence which reads, ‘China is a country governed by law’. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing at it. An innocent citizen was put under house arrest and the netizens who went to visit him were beaten and robbed. ‘A country governed by law’ is such shameless grandstanding.”

Photos posted on the Internet by Chinese netizens show journalists waiting at the entrance of the hospital which Chen was taken to. Inside the hospital stand a large group of police wearing steel helmets. A netizen ridiculed the image, saying: “[Chen is] the most important patient in China.”

Another netizen, named “zhizime” said that he shed tears every time he thought about Chen’s situation, in which a Chinese citizen was persecuted and beaten in his home and could not seek medical treatment for several years until being rescued by a foreign embassy. 

Referring to the demand for an apology from the U.S. government, the netizen questioned the Chinese authorities: “when will they learn to have a sense of shame?” He added that the Chinese state is a “rogue regime”, “enemy of all of humanity.” 

Another netizen said: “A Chinese citizen fails to find protection in his motherland and is forced to flee to another country’s embassy, who should feel ashamed? Who ought to apologize for repetitive persecution and insults? Don’t they feel bashful claiming that China is ‘a country governed by law?'”

Read original Chinese article.

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