The western policy makers and think tanks appeasing China equates to caressing the the Frankenstein monster. Why the West, which is the “self-proclaimed” custodian of fundamental human rights turns a blind eye to this principle stance and has double standards when it comes to fostering friendly relations with China, arguably the country with the worst track record of human rights violation in the world.
This policy of appeasement as far as Chinese Frankenstein is concerned has many facets the most important of which is its economic might that it has attained ever since the Chinese government has foregone the Maoist communist vision and sort of replaced it with visible leaning towards capitalism.This leaning is towards capitalism and not democracy__ to use a cliche it is old wine in new bottles.
In truth the Tienanmen Square massacre; the killings of thousands of men and women protesting for democracy; thousands still languishing in jails; the most prominent jailed dissident being the noble laureate Liu Xiaobo. Recent crack down on the peaceful followers of Falun Gong__ a peaceful religious movement at the turn of the millennium, and the oppression of its citizens on a daily basis, is the way life goes on n China.
All these incidences go on to show the real face of China; the rigid, autocratic and dictatorial mindset of the Chinese leaders, with no regard for human life. With all this clear as day light, why are the western countries obsessed with nurturing cordial diplomatic, political and most important of all economic relations with the Chinese Frankenstein.
It is not a difficult question to answer. The main asset of China is its population and where other countries all over the world are fighting a losing battle against the population explosion, China has turned its apparent disability into its main power base. Because of the availability of cheap labor in China the top multinationals from all over the world have targeted China as the main country where they manufacture their products at the cheapest rates possible. At the cost of large scale unemployment in their own countries and benefiting a nation which they known in the deepest recesses of their minds is inimical to their very existence in the long run.
And as in the “dark ages” of Mao’s China so in the glittering lights of Shanghai of today, once again, it’s the common Chinese, that is at the receiving end of this economic resurgence of China. The ground reality is that a few are getting enormously rich at the expanse of the majority, whose lives and life style remain the same and in some instances has become even more dismal , as compared to those old, bad communist days.
In order to compete in the world market, the Chinese have been so ruthless in their pursuit of economic prosperity that they forcibly thrust every individual, including the students studying in colleges, mostly hailing from countryside into factories producing products for the consumption of the western consumer societies. In fact it is the forced student labor which is central to this phenomenal economic boom in China.
In addition, sick old men, poor, starving women (in some instances pregnant and reportedly giving birth at the factories, busy at work) and children, against all norms of decency and against international laws regulating child labor are working in these factories. The Chinese history is replete with instances of flaunting these rules and regulations, not as an exception but as a norm. But what really hurts is that the west is going too far in its policy of appeasing China__ the Frankenstein monster__ and doing so, is losing the high moral ground it once used to enjoy, in the good old days.
The situation has come to such a state that the Chinese companies are now competing against the European conglomerates and the American multinational firms, in short the west, for the 21 century’s largest petroleum find in Brazil and if this deal comes to fruition, this policy of appeasing the Frankenstein monster, will be the undoing of its creator(s).
An Op-ed written by: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada