Saturday, 28 April 2012

Waiting for China's Response

How a blind 40-year-old activist lawyer managed to escape from his home at night that is guarded by several rings of thugs at all times, climb over a wall and meet a friend the next day who then drove him to Beijing is a major loss of face for China.

On top of that Chen Guangcheng released a video addressing Premier Wen Jiabao directly, describing his ordeal under house arrest, how he and his wife were beaten many times, how his daughter is subjected to non-stop surveillance, and how others were beaten including actor Christian Bale and prevented from visiting Chen.

He tells Wen there are serious corruption issues that need to be dealt with and outlines how there is corruption in his community as the thugs seem to have a better gig preventing anyone from seeing Chen than having a normal job.

Fellow activist Hu Jia revealed that he visited Chen in the US Embassy though the State Department refuses to confirm this. After his visit, Hu's wife sent a message on Twitter saying her husband was detained.

Many China analysts are hoping the American government will use this opportunity to force China's hand in creating accountability systems in place to ensure there are human rights in the country. One even suggests the US government make these negotiations multilateral and even involve the United Nations to hold China to account for its numerous human rights violations.

So now there are two major issues to deal with now -- what to do with disgraced official Bo Xilai who attempted to undermine the ruling elite through wiretapping, and now a blind lawyer who is probably in the US Embassy trying to force China's hand into ensuring justice for all.

While Bo and Chen are complete opposites in their backgrounds and motives, their actions both point to the need for real political reforms in China. Otherwise what's left of the Communist Party's integrity and its premise that it is the only one capable of ruling the country are fast crumbling thanks to corruption and not following rule of law.

Wen may just be a man of words and no action since the Party rules by consensus.

But now that both stories have hit international headlines, the government may have no choice but to somehow concede some change, if only to preserve its survival.

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