Mark Collins – The Dragon’s Squelching Foreign Criticism, Kowtow Section

A useful reminder of how the Chicoms operate–at the Washington Post:

The West kowtows to China through self-censorship

Teng Biao is a human rights lawyer and a visiting fellow at New York University’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute [more here].

Two years ago, I was invited by the American Bar Association to prepare a manuscript for a book to be titled “Darkness Before Dawn.” This book was to describe the decade I spent engaged in human rights work in China and what those experiences tell us about the country’s politics, society and future. But the ABA soon rescinded the offer. The reason I was given? The group did not want to anger the Chinese government.

I don’t write this to pick on the ABA. There was nothing uncommon about this episode, but the details are useful in illustrating the corrosive influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the West. Far too many Western organizations and scholars working in China practice self-censorship — and for perfectly understandable reasons. If their conclusions on a sensitive political topic anger the regime, they won’t get a visa, and their work and funding will be jeopardized.

Whenever Chinese politics is mentioned, most think of the factional struggles among Communist Party leaders [more here on that]. But this is only part of the picture. The stories I’ve long sought to tell are otherwise: About activists given heavy prison sentences for forming opposition political parties. About human rights lawyers representing persecuted Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans and Uighurs. About rights defenders whose activism helped end the labor camp system, the one-child policy and forced demolitions.

I am intimately familiar with this work, because I am one of their number. For my activism I’ve been banned from teaching, forced out of a job, disbarred from practicing law, jailed and tortured. All of us who engage in this work pay an enormous price. But we’ve also made progress. And no understanding of contemporary China can be complete without a thorough grasp of this suppressed community. China’s activists and dissidents are the country’s hope for the future.

These were the ideas animating my manuscript proposal, which was at first enthusiastically received by the ABA. The group said it promised to be “an important and groundbreaking book.” But unfortunately the project was quickly canceled, with this explanation: “There is concern that we run the risk of upsetting the Chinese government by publishing your book, and because we have ABA commissions working in China there is fear that we would put them and their work at risk.”..

Read on…some relevant posts here. Sunny ways with Beijing anyone?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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