The words “American Dream” may still conjure a proud idea of hope and potential in some minds. The existing “Chinese Dream” may bring cynicism and more hollow propaganda.
In most countries, a government ideally acts upon the will of its citizens. In communist China, the leadership tells the citizens exactly how they are expected to act.
In 2012, Chinese leader Xi Jinping introduced the “socialist core values” into Chinese society. They consisted of 12 words, each one theoretically representing a virtue that exists, or should exist, in society.
Not long after introducing these values, many Chinese citizens found them richly ironic. This is because the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) consistently does the opposite of what it says. Each one of these values have been contradicted in various ways, even after their introduction.
Being the second largest economy in the world, China certainly has individuals of great affluence. Compared to the overall population though, those people are the rare elite. Much of the nation’s populace is now experiencing the hardships associated with a growing wealth gap.
The Greek word “democracy” means “rule by the people” and voting is essential to this system of government. When an individual searches on Google, “Do the people in China vote?” he was met with a convoluted, bureaucratic answer which boiled down to: not really.
The CCP, and all communist parties, tout themselves as organizations of the people. They are technically democratic, if you count having only one option to vote for as a democracy.
Even though China has some of most strict penalties for drug use, that doesn’t stop officials from taking part in illicit drug use. Several years ago, one official had almost turned one southern Chinese city into a brothel.
Even before the introduction of “socialist core values,” “to be harmonized” was a catch-phrase in China meaning “to be censored” by the CCP. The CCP enforces its version of “harmony” by allowing no voice to speak but its own, including on Chinese social media.
What may be the most ironic amongst the core values, freedom is precisely what nearly every Chinese person lacks. The precursor to the most recent offenses against the Chinese people’s freedom is the persecution of Falun Gong. The CCP is now jailing Christians and attacking Uyghurs.
The CCP always tries to play by its own rules, including with the rest of the world. Many believed that allowing China to join the World Trade Organization would make for steps towards democracy. China, instead, has exploited loopholes and broken promises at every turn.
Lawyers are essential in bringing individuals to justice. In China, the CCP is the arbiter of justice, and any lawyer who does not follow its rulings on what is just will vanish. Human rights lawyers in China are state targets, and their families are left to defend them against the entire state apparatus.
Rule of Law
For the CCP leadership, the law is a matter of convenience. Entire government divisions can be established or removed, on a whim, regardless of legality. Law is only followed when it suits the CCP’s wishes.
One individual said, “Serving as a judge, I couldn’t tell whether I was a defender of justice, or simply a murderer made legitimate by the veil of law.”
In the past, no one could ascend in a large business without being a communist party member. It seems that it’s still the same today. Jack Ma, one of the richest businessmen in China, recently confirmed his party membership, which one human rights lawyer said was necessary for business success.
Swearing one’s life to the party seems to be a thing of convenience for party officials. Some even preempt this behavior, sending their families abroad first, with Canada and America being popular destinations.
Here’s a joke: in China, you build a building, then you knock it down. You build it again, then you knock it down. You build it once more, then you knock it down. You finally leave it standing after building it one last time. What are you left with? Four times GDP.
Fabricating numbers has been a practice since the early days of communist power in China, where not lying about harvest yields would get one murdered. It is still rampant today, with any economic data reported from China needing to be taken with a grain of salt.
Understanding is key to friendship, but it seems China felt that during the tariff escalation, an eye-for-an-eye was better. Now maybe it’s three-eyes-for-an-eye.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.