The Chinese Communist Party has not yet blocked this website.
Last week accessing the Internet and the rest of the telecommunication network in China was even more difficult than normal. Phone and email conversations were not as smooth as they usually are and interruptions were frequent. Typically most western media websites are inaccessible without the use of a proxy server, but these days even proxy servers are no help. Of course, The New York Times and Bloomberg.com are blocked for obvious reasons; both media giants offended the Chinese authority when they released articles exposing the enormous wealth of Premier Wen Jiabao’s clan.
However, blocked information is only a part of the recent inconveniences. Some of my friends in Beijing are trapped in their homes and are not allowed to leave without first asking the police for permission. If they’re fortunate, an officer will accompany them in their vehicle and bring them where they want to go, even if the dissidents are just going grocery shopping.
Indeed security was heightened all over the country from November 8 to 14 for the CCP’s 18th Party Congress, even though some of the suspected “trouble makers,” such as Hu Jia or Liu Xiaoyuan, were evacuated beforehand. During this time 1.4 million volunteer security personnel (also called self-defense-troops) and 2.8 million armed security police were dispatched to protect the stability of the capital city, and the safety of the 2,300 representatives participating in the Congress. The government treats the people like their most dangerous enemy: On the “free” market, kitchen knives and scissors, as well as remote controlled airplane toys, were forbidden merchandise. In Hubei province 60 thousand police had to cancel their well-deserved holiday in order to be in a state of readiness and maintain security so that the Congress could be held in peace in Beijing. The atmosphere in some provinces was as tense as if the country was under martial law.
The nervousness could also be felt a thousand miles away from Beijing. Even in the southern city of Fuzhou one of my friends was surprised by a special gift from the CCP. A team of construction workers arrived days before the 18th Party Congress to install four 360-degree rotating HD cameras around her house. These cameras reinforce the existing surveillance network, as there is already a 24 hour-monitoring system in place behind her neighbor’s curtains. Fan Yanqiong, the dainty female writer who is the subject of the cameras, is an “enemy of the state” because she likes to make noise about social and political injustice. She once exposed the injustice behind the case of Yan Xiaoling, a girl who was raped and murdered. Because of that, Fan went to jail for a year and her health was ruined. She lost all her hair and has been confined to wheelchair since her release. Her husband left her because he could not bear the burden of being married to an “enemy of the state,” and even Fan’s 25-year-old daughter, who was raised by the single mother, is on the brink of breaking off contact with her. Fan’s daughter could barely find a job because of her infamous mother and she eventually lost her beloved boyfriend when he found out about Fan’s political activities.
Tragedies occur all too often in this huge empire that dares to name itself a People’s Republic. No laws protect human rights and individuals pay a high price if they try to protect their rights themselves. Will this situation change after the 18th Party Congress? Definitely not. Mrs. Fan and all of the other “enemies of the state” know that without systemic changes, without the end of the one-party dictatorship, there will be no real reform or change in China.
Updated on September 12, 2020
In October 2017, the 19th National Congress of the CCP was held. Since Mr. Xi Jinping stepped in to replace Hu Jintao as Party and state leader, the grip on untamed dissidents is even tighter as before. In October 2020, the 5th plenum will be held in Beijing. The focus of the plenum shall be on the 14th “Five Years Plan” , the future perspective of the economy until to 2035 etc. To the time, the uncomfortable intellectuals will be removed from the capital as usual and they are allowed to return home when the plenum is over.
The writer Fan Yanqiong has just published a book, The Culprit of Sodom (Suoduoma de zuikui), it is a reportage about the medical accident on her husband and herself. She lost one of her kidneys in 2015 and her husband died in hospital in 2019 because of a common neumoria. This book is not only about her own tragedy, the author wants to expose the commercialization of the medical system in China, which causes human lives and the authority instead to help the victims, it backs up the hospitals and the responsible physicians.
First published at Sampsoniaway.org on November 21, 2012.