Under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) totalitarian system, justice is often dispensed in the opposite way from what most people would expect. In many cases, hard-working citizens who stand up for their rights are sent to prison rather than the true perpetrators.
There are a number of examples of this injustice happening in China such as: those who owe wages do not go to jail, but those who ask for payment for owed wages do; those who demolish other people’s houses do not go to jail while those who defend their homes against forced demolition do; those who commit corruption do not go to jail, but those who criticize or blow the whistle on corrupt officials do; those who persecute innocent people do not go to jail, but those who defend their rights do; those who create tainted food do not go to jail, but those who expose the truth do—the list goes on and on. Obviously, injustice prevails under the CCP’s one-party rule.
Here are a few specific cases that illustrate this phenomenon:
Case 1: Migrant Worker Detained for Protesting Over Unpaid Wages
Many people in China’s rural areas who go to big cities to make a living as migrant workers (mostly) for Chinese regime projects, often find themselves frustrated because they don’t receive their wages. Protesting is often futile because local authorities usually impose crackdowns on them.
On Feb. 5, a migrant worker from China’s Gansu Province was arrested and detained for 10 days after he climbed up a 50-meter-high tower crane arm at the construction site in an attempted suicide to protest his unpaid wages, according to a report by Chinese news portal Sina.
The local authorities accused him of disturbing the public order and maliciously demanding unpaid wages. Authorities have a “zero tolerance” rule and will crack down on any illegal acts of migrant workers, such as jumping from buildings or tower cranes, or other extreme actions to viciously demand unpaid wages, states the report.
Case 2: Resident Detained for Protesting Against Forced Demolition
Whether it is to make way for development or some other reason, Chinese authorities often forcibly demolish residential houses, but residents who protest against it face harsh treatment or arrest.
In early December 2020, Beijing authorities started forcibly demolishing a 3,800-house residential community, Xiangtang Village, in the Changping district of Beijing, setting off a surge of protests among the community residents.
Resident Guo Lingmei, a 70-year-old retired film director and the daughter of renowned Chinese poet Guo Xiaochuan, was arrested and detained by local police for allegedly inciting protests after she pledged to continually defend her rights to save her home and the community.
Case 3: Citizen Sentenced to 4 Years for Exercising Free Speech
Under the CCP’s one-party rule, moral depravity and corruption are ubiquitous, but citizens who dare to publicly criticize the regime or its corrupt officials face grim consequences. Cases of citizens getting punished for exercising free speech are quite common.
In April 2020, Liu Yanli, a female bank employee in Hubei Province, was sentenced to four years in prison by the Dongbao District Court in Jingmen city of Hubei Province for posting on WeChat (a popular Chinese social media platform) messages that allegedly attacked CCP leaders and requested transparency of CCP officials’ personal assets, according to a report by Voice of America.
Liu was charged with causing serious public disorder by “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a vague charge often used against people the CCP sees as threatening. Prior to her arrest, Liu became a “key target of concern” for CCP authorities after she posted, on her WeChat account, several articles that called on CCP officials to disclose their assets and showed support for military veterans, who had staged nationwide protests to demand better health care and pensions. Since September 2016, she has been detained and placed under residential surveillance. Unable to bear the persecution, she attempted suicide but was rescued and taken to the Jingmen City Detention Center, said the report.
Case 4: ‘709 Crackdown’ Against Human Rights Lawyers
Disregarding China’s constitutional provisions and its international commitments and obligations, the Chinese regime has continued its unrelenting persecution of human rights lawyers and activists, according to reports by Amnesty International.
On July 9, 2015, more than 200 people were arrested and interrogated by the CCP in a nationwide coordinated strike, known as the “709 crackdown,” against Chinese human rights lawyers and activists. These human rights proponents are accused of inciting subversion of state power—charges condemned by international rights groups and Western governments.
Later, many of those released were still subject to surveillance, harassment, and economic restrictions. In addition, lawyers who had provided legal representation during the crackdown also became targets of political persecution themselves. As human rights lawyers continue to face criminal prosecution, the regime further tightens its control over the legal profession by restricting speech and requiring loyalty to the CCP.
Case 5: Doctor Arrested for Faulting a Popular Tonic
On Dec. 19, 2017, a doctor named Tan Qindong of Guangzhou, in southeastern Guangdong Province, posted on his WeChat an article about a popular Chinese tonic that had been heavily promoted on state and local government-run TV channels.
Tan warned in his article that the tonic, which contained toxic herbs, would cause harm to the elderly who have hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, according to a BBC report.
On Jan. 10, 2018, police arrested Tan at his residence on the grounds of “damaging the reputation of a commodity.” Police traveled all the way across the country from Liangcheng, in northwestern China’s Inner Mongolia region, where the company of the tonic is based. However, the company had a record of exaggerated advertising claims and violated rules against misleading advertising more than 2,600 times. It had been suspended from sales dozens of times, according to the report.
Tan’s arrest sparked a huge uproar on Chinese social media, and he was released after being jailed for more than three months. But many questions still remain unanswered, for example, how could an online post lead to the local police (who likely colluded with the company) traveling thousands of miles for a “cross-province arrest?”
Case 6: Judge Arrested for Exposing Judicial Misconduct
In December 2018, Wang Linqing, a Chinese supreme court judge, went missing after he exposed judicial misconduct at the regime’s highest court involving two multi-billion-dollar mining cases. Later, the whistle-blower was arrested and placed under criminal investigation for leaking state secrets.
On Feb. 22, 2019, state-run television CCTV aired a video “confession” from Wang, in his first public appearance since he disappeared in early January. The “confession” video followed the release of two other videos in which he disclosed alleged misconduct in the two high-profile cases.
Having Wang openly take the fall revealed that the CCP would never allow anyone to expose its internal scandals to the public.
China’s Social Justice Is Dead
The law is the cornerstone of social justice. On Dec. 16, 1966, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obliges each state party to respect and ensure the rights of its citizens, including: the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the right to vote, due process of law, and the right to a fair trial.
Since the Chinese regime formally signed the Covenant on Oct. 5, 1998 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the CCP has never kept its promise to honor it.
In the past decade, China’s human rights situation has worsened, and despite persistent international criticism, the CCP has continued to act in total defiance of international conventions and continues to violate human rights in the country. These include forced family planning, construction of a national internet firewall, forced demolition of residential houses and churches, suppression of religious freedom, deprivation of freedom of assembly, deprivation of freedom of speech, construction of concentration camps in Xinjiang, arrests of Hong Kong citizens in the fight for their freedoms, arrests of human rights lawyers and activists, to name just a few. All of these are sufficient to show that social justice in China is dead.
Gu Feng is a former media veteran from mainland China who spent many years reporting on the country’s political, economic, and social issues. He is now living in the United States.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.