Por: Rev. Robert Sirico
Fuente: Fox News
2 de diciembre de 2022
We can’t allow Communists to confine the Chinese people’s struggle to COVID mandates
The simultaneity and spontaneity of the protests erupting throughout China indicate that there is deep discontent among the Chinese people over much more than just the regime’s draconian and longstanding COVID mandates. Communist officials are of course trying to portray the protests as isolated, merely the result of the most recent round of lockdowns. Yet a whisper that manages to scale totalitarian walls is not just perceptible, it’s booming. And here and today, the message of the Chinese people is resoundingly clear: Something has to change.
In the documentary film The Hong Konger, which in part details the CCP’s shuttering of Hong Kong’s largest-circulation newspaper, Apple Daily, I stressed the importance of remembering that all freedoms are ultimately one—human freedom. Freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, freedom of religion, freedom of commerce, among other universal rights, are all intrinsically interconnected, as we are witnessing now in Mainland China.
We are seeing that regular Chinese people understand this reality and are demanding, an end to not merely the COVID mandates that have weakened China’s prosperity and cost innumerable lives, but Xi Jinping’s tenure and even the end of Communist party rule. This sentiment is summed up by their chant, «We want freedom!» and their readiness to display blank pieces of paper, representing the innumerable dissenting news stories and social media posts that have been censored on the CCP-controlled internet.
According to videos circulating online, hundreds of protesters from students to grandmothers are shouting, «Give me liberty or give me death!» The very words of American patriots are not uttered by people merely concerned with virus prevention lockdown measures but by rebels seeking to break free of the oppression that imprisons them as surely as any welded gates.
Almost providentially, Jimmy Lai, the publisher of Apple Daily, goes on trial soon in Hong Kong under the national security law that was passed in 2020, largely in response to the massive Umbrella Movement protests in 2019. Lai was front and center at those demonstrations, urging courage and peaceful protest. The legislation is incredibly vague and can be applied retroactively extra-nationally which means that anyone, anywhere in the world they are who is critical of China can be in violation of the law and extradited to the mainland.
Lai is charged with «colluding with foreign forces» meaning he has spoken openly with foreign nationals and politicians about the situation in Hong Kong.
The trial will open in Hong Kong, but it remains to be seen if Lai will be transported to the mainland, where access to legal advice and press will be limited. It is virtually a forgone conclusion that a person tried in such a court will be convicted.
Lai’s trial exemplifies the fraudulence and Kafkaesque absurdity of the CCP, which is, in important ways, on fuller display than at any time since tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square in 1989. We cannot allow the Communist regime to confine the Chinese people’s struggle to COVID mandates. Lai’s trail affords the international pro-democracy movement a critical chance to prevent that from happening by amplifying the Chinese people’s cries for freedom into one robust demand for an end to the dictatorship of the CCP.
The spark at Foxconn adds fuel to what is already a burning and pervasive feeling of unease among the Chinese people. We cannot let the Chinese authorities to dilute the reality of the present protests by simply changing COVID policies. Those of us who understand the interconnectedness of human right should be ready to amplify the struggle of the Chinese people in this critical moment.
Combined with the almost inevitably unjust outcome of Lai’s show trial, this might prove the tipping point in much the same way that a Tunisian fruit vender’s self-immolation kicked off the Arab Spring or shipment of highly taxed tea being thrown into Boston Harbor also sparked battles for freedom.
Revolutions have started over far less.